Most business leaders and entrepreneurs have a passion for what they do, but if the passion is not tempered by periods of rest and recuperation, burnout is inevitable. Burnout is a common reason why businesses underperform, and even go out of operation.
Here are the signs and symptoms of burnout.
1. Physical exhaustion or low energy
If it’s becoming harder and harder to do the tasks that used to take very little effort, it is likely that you are headed towards burnout. Feeling physically drained and exhausted all of the time is a sign that your body is not getting enough rest.
2. Low emotional and mental energy
Apart from physical exhaustion, if you have inexplicable emotional outbursts due to issues that didn’t overwhelm you before, or if you have a very low threshold towards impatience, moodiness, sadness or frustration, you are most likely mentally exhausted and may already be experiencing burnout.
3. Low immunity and susceptibility to illness
One of the most noticeable signs that you are experiencing burnout is that you become more susceptible to illness and disease. The illness may be in the form of flu, heart conditions or even fainting and collapsing.
4. Withdrawal from personal relationships
When one is burned out, there is no mental and physical energy to manage interpersonal relationships, especially with people not involved in the business. Family and friends outside the business are often neglected, because you may feel that you don’t have the energy to give them the attention that they deserve.
5. Increased pessimism
Since there is a lot of mental and physical pressure on the body as a result of over-exertion, your capacity for optimism usually suffers, and this directly affects how you handle stress. As a result, your outlook on life becomes harsh, and a downward spiral becomes inevitable.
6. Lower work output and work absenteeism
As a result of all the above symptoms, missing work is common, and low productivity is often the consequence. It might be surprising that you can’t wake up in the morning to do the work that you love.
7 Solutions to Stress and Burnout
Now that you know the signs and symptoms of burnout, here’s what you can do to begin to nurse yourself back to good health and productivity. The most important thing is to maintain a healthy balance of work and rest.
1. Break old patterns or habits and get organized
One of the main things that can contribute to burnout is an accumulation of work, and the adoption of bad patterns and habits. For example, if you are in the habit of sleeping short hours, or you are not used to planning and organizing your time, your work environment and tools, you will end up with a backlog of work that will put a mental strain on you, even if you love what you do.
Break any habits that affect your work output. Get organized so that you are in more control of your environment and tools.
2. Prioritize workloads
No matter how much you love what you do, you cannot do everything. Pace yourself by prioritizing what is most important, and leave out the rest. Start by acting on your top three tasks, and work your way down the list.
3. Plan your time
If you want to avoid burn out, be in control of your time. You should not let time control you. If you’ve scheduled two hours for an activity, and you need to take a 30 minutes break, do so with the seriousness it deserves. At the same time, schedule rest and holidays the same way you schedule your work.
If you like to stay active and busy, you can still take a rest from work by scheduling different activities or sports. A change is as good as rest, and it can often help you avoid burnout.
4. Stick to your schedule and learn to say no!
If you improve on your planning and schedule all the activities that are important to getting the work done, you will be more likely to stick to a healthy schedule that won’t lead you to burnout.
5. Have fixed work and rest time
Have a disciplined schedule of fixed work and play hours. For example, schedule your sleep hours from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and your work hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. That way, your body will also get used to a schedule that has consistency.
6. Acknowledge what stresses you out
If you know the things that are causing you tension, you will be able to find solutions, and therefore get rid of accumulated mental pressure.
7. Delegate what you can’t manage
As a part of managing your time, share your workload. You will have more time to pace the work that you do.
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