Feeling Burnt Out at Work: Ways of Managing Burnout in the Workplace
If you feel burned out from work, you're not alone. Workers all around the world are feeling the pressures of their demanding jobs. As a result, more people in the workplace are experiencing exhaustion, cynical thinking, and a lack of motivation at their job.
Burnout in the workplace shows no signs of slowing down either. In fact, scientists are starting to study the effects of burnout as it continues to rise. As a result, recent research has shown that people who experience work burnout frequently, are at risk for a host of health issues. This includes high blood pressure, insomnia, and even cognitive decline.
A recent 2019, systematic review and meta analysis showed both statistical significance in depressions-burnout, and anxiety-burnout relationships.
Even after recovery, some of the effects of burnout can remain. The brain and body are changed under the weight of burnout. But, there is some hope. If you can prevent burnout, or stop it in its tracks early, the damage to your health can be minimized or halted all together.
The other issue is figuring out if you actually have "work burnout" or is it something else in your life that is leading to this state of mind, as some research suggests people who have experienced symptoms of job burnout, don't actually think it's about their work.
Many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) have even taken notice of this worldwide issue. More evidence is also mounting that work burnout is not always about the individual, but has a lot to do with the "workplace" environment itself.
Staggering research numbers have now been associated with workplace stress and health cost as well as mortality rates. According to some Stanford research this has led to health costs of around 190 billion (that's right, we said BILLION)!. Mortality numbers are around 120,000 deaths per year.
To help you, we'll talk about the causes of work burnout, and discuss ways you can effectively manage burnout at work.
What Causes Work Burnout?
Work burnout happens for all kinds of reasons. Here, we'll introduce some of the most common causes of burnout.
1. You Have No Say At Work
In some jobs, it's become harder to say no over your workload, your schedule, or your work assignments. In this situation, you might feel a loss of control and hopelessness, especially if you feel like you have no freedom or ability to speak up about being assigned too much work.
This issue goes hand and hand with having a job, assignments, or job role with unclear expectations. Issue's arise like; who can you turn to? How much authority do you have?
More job flexibility and freedom leads to less burnout and a healthier and most likely longer life-span. On the other hand, a job that forces work and unreasonable hours on you, can lead to burnout and health issues both short and long term.
2. Your Workplace is Toxic
Toxic work environments are another common cause of work burnout. Now keep in mind a "toxic" environment can include and mean many different things, and be associated with many different variants.
However, probably the most damaging types of work spaces involve abusive managers and/or bosses or coworkers. Working under a tyrannical or unfair boss is the reason many people leave their jobs, and by staying in your role with a boss of this nature, you can increase your chances of depression and burnout, and being subject to further abuse.
Keep in mind this doesn't just have to be boss-employee. This can also be lateral workplace violence, employee-employee or even, an employee directed behaviors towards their boss.
Does your job have unfair expectations of you, and what you can achieve or produce daily, with unwavering chaotic energy to get things done? Is there this constant pressure to be focused 100% of the time? This to, can lead to fatigue and attribute to workplace burnout.
Bullies in the workplace exist. Feeling undermined or micro-managed can also lead to feeling of burnout on the job.
3. No Work-Life Balance or A Lack of Engaging Work
Finally, workers can experience burnout when they have no work-life balance. When you are constantly working, or thinking about work and what needs to be done, you're setting yourself up for burnout.
We all need to have balance in our lives. However, when work takes up all your time, you lose your ability to relax and unwind, even at home.
On the flip side, working a monotonous job for many hours each day can be just as bad for you. When you're bored at work or don’t have enough to do, you will dread going to your job as well. Not using your work skills to their full potential can be extremely demoralizing. You feel like you have no purpose which can on the alternative side, lead to burnout at work as well!
How Can You Manage Your Burnout in The Workplace?
1. Prioritize Important Work
To prevent work burnout, you want to start by prioritizing tasks that are most important to your job. There is plenty to do on a workday, but you want to conserve your energy and only spend time on tasks that are vital.
You might be the type of person that wants to help co-workers, or likes to answer every email, and that's okay at times, but you need to learn how to work more efficiently. By working smarter, you can reduce the chances of burnout.
Do you get emails that are oftentimes the same questions, can you set up autoresponders to answer some of these frequently asks questions (FAQ's), or set up a generic webpage to refer clients to? The point here is to streamline some of your work.
Can you refer an employee to instructional or support help so you don't have to be the one always lending a helping hand?
"Work smarter, not harder" in any way you can!
2. Create A Schedule
We've talked about this in numerous posts about burnout, even in managing stress at work during pregnancy. Why? Because it is simple, inexpensive, and it works!
Begin creating your work schedule. Having a deadline will help you stay on track and finish your work on time as well as prioritize. This can reduce many of the issues you have at your job.
A lot of work stress and burnout comes from a lack of planning. When you have a schedule, though, you won’t have to worry about finishing work last minute, or projects/work tasks piling up, because you know what needs to get done and when!
There are tons of apps, planner/schedulers online, or your can be old-school and keep a physical planner. There are tons of options on places like ETSY who can customize planners to suit your needs!
3. Learn How to Say, No!
This next tip goes hand in hand with prioritizing your own work. If you're in a work environment that is healthy and open, we would suggest saying no to extra work, at the very east until you know you can comfortably get done your regular assignments on time, and with little stress involved.
Don't make it a habit of putting extra pressure on yourself!
It can be awkward to turn down a co-worker or a manager, this is one reason to set boundaries right off the bat. If you simply say yes to everything anyone asks of you, it becomes harder to get yourself out of that role.
If you are already stressed at work, this should be a polite, but firm no to additional tasks. You need to think about your mental and physical health because not many other people may. Setting boundaries is not a bad thing.
Not everyone can do this, unfortunately. Still, try your best to set limits.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Work burnout can develop rapidly if you don’t take care of your health, as well. You'll want to make sure that you are staying healthy, this way you can function at work and have enough energy to get through your day. In short, make sure to eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and get a good night of sleep.
Your sleep is especially important. When you are sleep deprived, it can be harder to concentrate at work and meet your employer’s demands.
5. Relax After Work
It can be hard to relax after work as well, especially if you've just had "one of those days" as we'll have had. Jobs are stressful. Even if you enjoy your job you can get burned out if you don’t make an effort to unwind.
Yoga, meditation for stress relief, and other relaxing activities can truly be useful. However, at the end of the day, you should do things that you enjoy and that improve your mood and energy levels, whatever they may be.
6. Reach Out to Friends and Family
You aren’t as alone as you think. Likely, your family and friends have been in the same situation as you, or dealt with stress and work burnout to some degree. So, if you feel burned out from your job, try reaching out to the people in your social circle. They can give you advice and support.
It’s difficult being on your own when you're struggling, but staying connected with others can help. Having social ties will ease the pain of work stress and burnout. You can even turn your situation around with the aid of your loved ones or other support groups.
7. Ask Yourself If Your Job is Worth The Burnout & Final Thoughts!
In some cases, your work environment just won’t change. No matter what boundaries you put in place, and what negotiations you make with your boss, you might still feel burned-out. If you happen to be in this situation, ask yourself what you're willing to do.
Are you willing to jeopardize your health and happiness for a job that is literally killing you? Or, do you want to take a chance and look for a new job? No one can make this decision for you, but consider your wellbeing and health.
When you're at a job that is draining your energy and motivation, how much can you take? What are your limits and how far should you push yourself?
Learn about some other ways of managing stress in the workplace, here! Thanks for stopping by, we hope to have you again soon.