Do you find yourself lacking focus? Perhaps the size of your workload is stressing you out and your brain feels constantly tired?
Long office hours and too much work can easily lead to burnout. But how can you prevent it happening? Life coach and corporate conference speaker, Neil O’Brien of timetofly.ie of gives us his tips.
1. Be self aware
“It’s vital to be aware of the stress that you’re under and the effect it is having on you,” says Neil. “When you’re overly stressed, you function in survival mode and you’re at risk of burning out.”
Three things happen when someone is overly stressed he says.
- You become both physically and mentally tired
- You start to suffer from short-term memory loss
- Your ability to solve problems and think creatively goes
2. Take one minute
“Take one minute every 45 to 60 minutes, to relax,” says Neil, “If you discipline yourself to do this every hour it will make a huge difference. It’s like taking a pit-stop.”
You should use that minute to relax and concentrate on slowing down your breathing and the noise in your head.
“If you can’t just sit and relax, then leave your desk and do a lap of the building or use the photocopier – whatever it takes to make you relax and breathe more slowly.”
3. Ask for help
“Each person is responsible for his or her own stress management,” says Neil. “If you find that your work load is too much, ask for help. Often your boss is not aware that you’ve got too much on your plate.”
For those in senior positions, another option is to delegate. “There’s nothing wrong with asking others to do some of the work,” says Neil. “Everyone should know their limits.”
4. Limit your use of social media
Constantly checking social media can add to work stress. Unless your job involves checking it constantly, limit your use of it.
“Use social media as a reward,” says Neil. “If you have completed a task in the office, reward yourself by logging on to Facebook or Twitter for a few minutes and don’t feel guilty about it.”
5. Go easy on yourself
Sometimes it’s simply not possible to achieve all that we plan to in a day. It’s important therefore not to be too tough on yourself and to talk to yourself kindly.
“If, for example, 80 per cent of the workload is all that you can accomplish today, then so be it,” says Neil. “Accept the fact and don’t feel bad about it. Make plans to spread the other 20 per cent of the workload over the coming days.”
6. Energise yourself
Stopping is not recovering. It’s not enough to stay at home and do nothing when you have a day off. You need to do something to re-energise yourself.
“It could be meeting a friend for coffee, watching a movie that uplifts you or going for a walk in natural surroundings,” suggests Neil. “Whatever form it takes, it must give you energy for when you resume working.”
7. Be Disciplined and Consistent
To avoid burning out, you need to be both disciplined and consistent. “It’s about digging deep and finding that little bit of toughness to get you through difficult situations. None of us know what’s coming next week, so all we can do is be as prepared as possible,” he adds.
“By improving the ways we deal with stress, we’re less likely to burn out and we become more resilient to stress in general.”
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