Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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Prevent Job Burnout With These Simple Strategies
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) Job burnout is very common, especially among workers in the United States. According to CareerBuilder.com, "The American worker has the least vacation time of any modern, developed society." Also, "One-half of workers reported they feel a great deal of stress on the job."
All this stress can lead to strange symptoms which may develop into serious mental and physical conditions if not addressed in time. In my article, "Top 10 Warning Signs of Job Burnout", I explained early warning signs of workplace burnout you should watch out for.
In this article, I'll explain how to prevent job burnout so you can maintain both your sanity and your career.
How to Prevent Workplace Burnout
The most important word you will ever learn to say is, "no". When you're already on the verge of collapse, piling more work on your plate will only make you burn out faster. You cannot make up for the productivity you've lost on one project by taking on three more.
According to an article published in Forbes Magazine, our brains are not equipped for multitasking tasks that require too much thought and concentration. This is why it's easy to talk on the phone and iron clothes at the same time, but impossible to focus on work with the television on. Either the TV program will become background noise or your work will suffer.
Your brain simply can't give equal attention to both at once.
You can't force yourself to feel positive and motivated about a task if you really don't want to do it. Instead of forcing yourself to work in this mindset, try getting away from it for a while.
Go out to lunch, take a walk, call a friend, or give your brain a break by switching to a more mundane task, such as cleaning, sorting, or filing.
When you're finally ready to tackle the project, acknowledge your true feelings about it and work right alongside them. Once you've finished, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and relief.
If you put off challenging tasks to spare yourself the stress, your anxiety is only going to get worse. Even if you're not doing the work, you're still going to think about it, and the fact that it isn't done yet will have you churning with anxiety. Do the tasks you like least first and, get them out of your way.
If you find yourself blowing up at a co-worker, think about what caused that reaction. Were you triggered by the person's manner or tone of voice? Could a lack of trust in this person be what sparked your outburst? Or, are you just completely exhausted?
Getting to the root of any problem is always the first step to healing. When you know the feelings behind your reactions, they will no longer be able to control you.
In order to be happy and successful, you must be healthy of body, mind, and spirit. Pushing yourself to work more hours or take on more projects can be dangerous to your health, especially if you're already headed for burnout.
Instead of saying, "I'm not going to bed until I finish this," set a specific time to stop for the night and stop. After all, if you're already tired and overwhelmed, you'll be far less likely to complete the task to your satisfaction.
According to research conducted by the Draugiem Group, a social media organization in Latvia, 10 percent of the employees with the highest productivity don't work full eight-hour days.
Instead, they take 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes they work. During these breaks, employees can choose to take a walk, chat with co-workers (about non-work related topics), or read a book.
Don't feel guilty about taking breaks. Your work performance will be better for it!
Exercise is so important, yet so many of us just don't seem to have the time for it. A 30-minute walk on your lunch break or some stretching exercises at your desk can help ease stress and give you some much-needed perspective.
Many companies are now moving toward a "culture of health", which means some provide gym membership discounts, on-site gyms, or even a personal trainer who specializes in both exercise and stress relief.
Ask your supervisor or human resources department to point you in the right direction.
When you're truly burned out, even simple tasks like doing the dishes or folding laundry can feel beyond your ability. If it has gotten this bad, you need rest and lots of it. Spend more time sleeping, meditating, watching comedies, going out in nature, getting together with friends, and enjoying your hobbies.
Job burnout is real and it can get serious. If you don't prevent it, it could lead to a heart attack, stroke, autoimmune disease, or nervous breakdown. And no job is worth that.
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