simple tips for avoiding burnout

This post was originally run in August 2011, but it’s still a great reminder for us all.

Feeling uninspired and overwhelmed by your work?

Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. There are some easy ways to avoid complete and utter burn out. You just have to recognize when it’s time to step away and listen to that little voice inside.

So, let’s start with a couple of questions…

How do you know when you’re about to burn out?

Oh, you’ll know! Trust your instincts on this one. If you are starting to feel bogged down and unenthusiastic, that’s a tell tale sign that its time to step away before you hit the hard road to B.O. (yep, I abbreviated burn out as B.O. because, let’s face it, it stinks!).

And when do you know when you’re ready to come back after taking a break? There is no definitive answer here. It may take a few days or just a few hours. It really depends on how deeply rooted your burn out is. When you do come back you’ll want to trust you instincts again. Listen to that inner voice. It will tell you when you’re ready to come back.

(above) Trust your InstinctsYou Know More

Okay, so what are the steps for avoiding burn out or recovering once it has happened?

If you are teetering on the edge of burn out, you need to clear your head and your mind of the stresses that are causing you to feel exhausted. One of the best ways to do that is to change your environment. If you work indoors, head outside and away from the computer. Go do something fun that is just for you.

Hobbies are a great thing. So, don’t let your work run over the other things you really enjoy doing outside of your business, blog, or nine-to-five job. And along those same lines, taking care of your physical health is just as important as your mental health. Maintaining that balance will help you de-stress.

(above) Clear your HeadUnplug

When you’re feeling re-energized, slowly transition back into your regular work load. Maybe start by heading back to the drawing board. Brainstorm new ideas away from the computer if that is where you do the bulk of your work.

Working and creating in a new place just might give you that fresh start that you need. Who knows, the change of scenery might even lead you to the the brink of something wonderful.

(above) The Brainstormer On the Brink

And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Team up with like-minded people. Sometimes two (or three) really are better than one.

(above) Together

What are your tips for avoiding burn out or bouncing back after the big B.O.?

Share your response in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “simple tips for avoiding burnout

  1. These are some great tips. For a long time, I didn’t think it was possible to burn out from something I loved so much — but you sure can! And it’s almost more difficult to bounce back from because you weren’t expecting it. It’s nice to remember that giving ourselves breathing room from our businesses is just all part of the process.

  2. This is a great article, as I don’t think many people are overly aware of the term “burn out.” I have had to deal with the possibility of burn out through many time in my life, particularly when I was an elite athlete (swimmer’s burn out is very well known in swimming circles), academic burn out (7 years non-stop study can potentially do your head in), and now business burn out (though I haven’t even reached the remote edges of burn out yet as I am newly self employed). I do have some little things I do to try and prevent burn out creeping up – remember the big picture and don’t get bogged down in the boring detail, ensure that you have at least a day a week where you do nothing to do with your business/study/sport, meditate (it really does work), and hilarity (or learn to laugh at yourself and all your funny little idiosyncrasies). I remember when I fell “out of love” with swimming, I was on the edges of burning out and it was a sign that perhaps it was time to move on. Therefore, I think, if you know yourself you can catch yourself, before you go crazy and chuck in everything that you work for, before the “burn out” literally does “burn you out.”

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