Monday, January 09, 2012

Avoiding Burnout...

  1. Take an extended break. There is a saying, "everything in moderation." That includes work. Burnout is often a loud and clear signal that you need to take a break. Take a break from work, even if it is a few days. But here is the key: it must be a complete break. No laptop, no iPad, no cell phone, no nothing.
  2. Start relaxed. Too many people jump out of bed, race through breakfast and on to work. In other words, stress, stress and more stress. Instead, start relaxed. Adopt a morning ritual that includes stretching, exercising, relaxing, meditation and/or reading. Just like you slowly warm up before exercise, you want to slowly warm up your mind and body before working.
  3. Regular breaks. Working straight through the day is not productive and has even been scientifically proven to be ineffective. Change your schedule to work in a short burst (ideally 60 to 90 minutes), then take a 15 to 20 minute break. Make sure the break allows your mind to totally disconnect from work. Go for a walk, talk with friends about the past weekend, or read your favorite magazine.
  4. Avoid the news. In some cases, burnout is a result of depression. The constant negativity perpetuated by news reports, over time, gives many people the false belief that all of life is horrible. And with that comes depression and burnout. Try not watching or reading the news for 30 days. It may be the perfect burnout cure.
  5. Change what you eat. Similar to keeping negative junk out of your mind (as in the previous point), you need to keep junk out of your stomach. A poor diet can not only suck the energy out of you, it can also mess with your mind. Improve your diet and, in many cases, you will see a rise in energy and a rise in your attitude.
  6. Write down why. Spend the time necessary to figure out why you are doing what you do. Is it a stepping stone to another goal? Is what you do serving a greater purpose than just making money? Once you know why you do what you do, the passion may return and the burnout out will go away.

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