Six years ago after graduating college, like many other graduates, I was officially on the hunt for a full-time job. Soon enough, I began work only two weeks after my graduation day and was in full-force with paving the way for my career. I was eager, excited, and ecstatic to have started so quickly. I was motivated, driven, and determined. I wanted to learn as much as I could so that I could ensure that I was great at my job.
Lo and behold, it has taken my far and after all of that hard work, I am very proud of just how far I have come. However, there were times when I felt that I was on the verge of burning out even though I had only just gotten started. Whenever I felt this happening, I made sure to take a breath, put things into perspective, and shift my mindset towards the bigger picture.
I have spoken to many other young professionals who also feel a similar way, which is what leads me to believe that sometimes, we just need to slow it down a bit in order to avoid feeling this way. Here are 10 ways to avoid burnout:
- Get to work early instead of staying late. One of the main reasons why we feel like we never have enough time is really because we’re just getting a late-start. Instead of cramming extra hours after work, try getting to work early instead. Whatever you don’t finish that day can always get done the following day. Get your day started earlier and see how that works. As they say, “early bird gets the worm.”
- Try not to take work home with you. There’s a taboo in the corporate culture that we cannot stop working if the job isn’t done. If we don’t finish, then we need take our laptops home to make sure it’s finished. But, we also we have to understand that there will always be work that needs to get done. The minute you finish one thing, more will always come, so instead of stressing yourself out at home, try relaxing instead. It’s okay to take the night off once in a while.
- Don’t let it get to your head. We all have different pressures at work. That pressure may be work itself, our colleagues, our bosses, or even ourselves. It can be extremely taxing on us and can even make us question our abilities. But, we must not let it get to our heads. Statistics have shown that 40% of workers have reported that their job was extremely stressful and that job stress highly affects our health. Even though we need to get the job done, we still need to take care of ourselves first.
- Enjoy your lunch time. Many of us feel that lunch time is more of an inconvenience rather than an actual break. We take our lunches straight to our desks and quickly eat just so we can get right back to work. Some of us even master the craft of multi-tasking by simultaneously eating and working at the same time. Instead, try enjoying your lunch time for once. Lunch time shouldn’t be an inconvenience.
- Don’t be afraid to take a midday break. There is absolutely nothing wrong with stepping away from your desk for a few minutes. Don’t be afraid to take a short walk or grab a coffee when you need to. Mental breaks are healthy. Sometimes you need that re-boot.
- Make at least one good friend at work. There is nothing wrong with having a friend at work. When we were students in school, it was almost instinctual to make friends, so why should work be any different? We all need someone to help get us through the day, even if it’s just one person.
- Get a good night’s sleep. One of the things that we need to prioritize more is sleep. Not enough of us actually get the recommended 7–8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep in extremely detrimental towards both our mental and physical health, so quit it with the all-nighters or late nights out and start getting yourself in bed at a decent hour.
- For crying out loud, take your vacation days! According to a study by Project Time Off, “More than half of American workers (55%) left vacation time unused in 2015. This adds up to 658 million unused vacation days.” Maybe we forget to use them, maybe we’re afraid to, or maybe we just don’t want to. Regardless of the motives behind our unused vacation days, we are ultimately depriving ourselves of hard-earned time-off. Do yourself a favor and use your vacation days (Even if it’s just a stay-cation in the comfort of your own home),
- Cherish your weekends. For those of us that have weekends where we are not working, then please cherish it. Weekends are meant for that “me time”. Whether you are spending it with family, running errands, going out with friends, or even just relaxing, cherish the time that you have to yourself.
- Allow yourself to have a life outside of work. Life does not revolve around work. Our lives are meant to be lived to the fullest, so when you aren’t working, make sure that you are enjoying your life outside of work. Allow yourself to have hobbies, allow yourself the time to spend with friends with family, allow yourself to travel, allow yourself to be happy.. Whatever you do, enjoy it!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Lindsey Lazarte