By Jim Wong, CPA | February 7, 2018

No matter how much you love or hate your job, often times there can be the potential for burnout. The term “Burnout” is a psychological stress characterized by exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and motivation. Burnout most often occurs when you feel like you are putting more into your position than you are getting in return. The stress can come from working too many hours, leading too many projects or not being able to leave work at work.

The good news is that burnout doesn’t necessarily correlate with the level of job satisfaction. Rather, it tends to be the result of simply not taking enough time for yourself.

There are many obvious signs of burnout such as fatigue, loss of motivation, negativity and more. However, there are a few signs that some stressed-out professionals might not associate with burnout. For example forgetting important things, having difficulty in relationships and poor self-care.

Although burnout can often be inevitable, it’s not impossible to overcome. Those who best manage this stress understand how to spot the warning signs. Once the warning signs are identified, it’s easier to take a course of action to best relieve or prevent burnout.

I recently read an article in Forbes that discusses ways to beat burnout. As we ease into 2018, and accounting, finance and technology professionals gain heavier work responsibilities, I believe this topic is more relevant than ever.

Take a look at the 7 Ways to Tackle Burnout below:

1. Disconnect
Making yourself constantly available to work can lead to a constant barrage of stress and anxiety. We all know that person who is constantly on their phone for work, even at family parties, on vacations and more. Instead of being ‘that person’ who is married to their job and stressing about work 24/7, try scheduling certain times to check emails or respond to voicemails when it doesn’t interfere with personal time. It’s all about balance, and it’s important to find what works best for you and your schedule.

2. Listen to Your Body
Stress and anxiety can often bring on aches and pains that might have gone unnoticed before. It’s no surprise that if you get a headache at the same time every day at the office and are constantly feeling a sense of nausea, it could potentially be linked to burnout or stress from work. Be sure to listen to your body and understand when it’s time to give it a rest.

3. Schedule “Me Time”
I know what you’re thinking… “If I was able to relax, I wouldn’t be faced with burnout!” This is partially true, but it bears repeating — you must take time to relax! Although it’s hard to spend time away from work duties, it’s essential to maintaining your overall motivation in the workplace. So whether you make time to read a book, browse through Netflix or even go for a run, any time to yourself will allow you to mentally relax and clear your mind!

4. Forget About Sleeping Pills
According to the article, anything that interferes with the brain’s natural sleep process has “dire consequences” for the quality of sleep. Instead of popping a sedative, try making a cup of tea or turning off electronics before bed. Relaxing activities before you go to sleep will allow for a peaceful sleep more effectively than a handful of sleeping pills. Of course, if a person has serious sleeping issues, seeking professional medical advice is the best course of action.

5. Get Organized
Taking the time to clean out work spaces and even personal spaces can relieve burnout by organizing your clutter and thoughts, while helping to keep focus. Simple tasks such as organizing a few desk folders, deleting old emails or even clearing off a littered desk can create a small change with a large impact.

6. Take a Quick Break 
Although it seems impossible to step away from your desk when the work starts piling up, making an effort to take a quick walk outside or a coffee break can be extremely beneficial. It’s a proven fact that our brains function best when working for an hour followed by a 15-minute break. You can even start with a five-minute break at first and slowly ease into longer break-time.

7. Enjoy Personal Life 
No matter how tempting it seems to withdraw from others, it’s important to spend time with friends and family who bring you comfort and joy. These are the people who will be there even when your job isn’t. Cherish the moments with loved ones and your life outside of work – it’s the best career motivation there is!

These are only a few of the ways for professionals to beat burnout at work. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know.

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