In today’s workplace, employees are expected to multi-task and hustle from nine to five and often longer. How do you become resilient and beat workplace burnout to maximize your capacity at work?
Whether you are hustling for a promotion or just staying afloat, it is easy to become mired in your work and lose focus. Below are key measures to establish and maintain resilience and work through workplace burnout.
Set Measurable Goals in and Out of Work
At work you may have a lot of responsibilities and it can be overwhelming. Start by prioritizing your tasks for the following time periods:
For longer term projects and tasks, establish S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is an acronym for goals that provides a template to develop goals that are realistic and measurable. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
|Specific||Goals should be written with the end result in mind. Why is it important? Who is involved? What resources are needed to achieve it?|
|Measurable||Create a meaningful way to monitor your progress.|
|Achievable||Set goals that are realistic and attainable.|
|Relevant||Make the goal relevant to what you are ultimately trying to achieve,|
|Time bound||Give yourself a hard deadline for achieving your goal and create a timeline for completing each step.|
. Break long term projects or larger tasks into chunks that are:
- Manageable during work hours
Setting up a goal and a way to track progress can be satisfying, but it also keeps you focused and centered on the project at hand
Healthy Habits Helps Build Resilience
We hear this all the time, but good physical health is integral to maintaining our mental health. There are three basic ways we can do this.
- Establish healthy eating habits
- Stay physically active
- Get enough sleep
It can be difficult to establish good habits, but you can apply the S.M.A.R.T goals method to help you develop habits that stick. Consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to create a healthy diet. Also, decrease or give up caffeine. It has no nutritional value and causes:
- Panic attacks
Don’t like to exercise? Get up and take a 10-15 minute walk three times a day. Gradually, you can increase the time or distance. Find another activity or sport and join a group of people who practice it regularly. Do something that is fun for you so it doesn’t seem like work.
Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Turn your screens off about an hour before bedtime. Set a firm bedtime and set the alarm to remind yourself when to go to bed and when to get up. Don’t hit the snooze button in the morning.
Celebrate Your Wins
Celebrating your wins at work is a great way to build resilience. Did you receive commendations from your boss? Allow yourself a treat at lunch? Did you score a hard to land deal? Treat yourself and a friend or loved one to dinner.
A celebration could be as simple as writing about how happy or proud you feel about your recent success or win. Call your parents or siblings to toot your own horn a little bit.
Acknowledging your workplace wins is a great way to maintain a resilient attitude when times get tough.
Establish A Support System
It’s essential to have a group of people who are trustworthy and will listen when you need a sounding board. Be careful that you don’t just end up venting endlessly to these people. It’s not healthy for you or them.
Instead, present a situation and ask their advice on how they would handle it. While it may not be the way you want to deal with a situation, it can give you another point of view that you may not have considered.
If you are continually stressed out at work, talk to a trained professional. Many people talk with therapists to learn strategies to appropriately work through stress. It’s also helpful to get an objective third party perspective on what you are experiencing.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
For many people, it isn’t easy to set boundaries, especially at work. Take these measures to appropriately set your boundaries and effectively work with your colleagues.
Establish Your Boundaries
First, decide where you need to draw lines and put them in writing and review them regularly, so you let them lapse as your workload increases. Clearly communicate your boundaries to your colleagues.
Create a structure that helps your coworkers to respect your boundaries. Have clear guidelines for what your roles and responsibilities at work are and stick to them.
For example, if one of your boundaries is not responding to calls or emails after 6pm, then don’t make exceptions. This decreases the likelihood of your coworkers overstepping your boundaries.
Maintain Professional Relationships
Keep your work friendships at work and make sure that work is your primary goal, not socializing or talking about personal matters at work. Talking about job dissatisfaction and stress starts a negative cycle that builds on itself and is unproductive at work.
If you are experiencing burnout, find someone outside of work like a
- Trusted friend
- Family member
It’s okay to have workplace friends but be careful about how much you share your personal and how often. This keeps professional lines from being blurred.
Delegate work or question specific tasks when they don’t seem suited for your position. This doesn’t mean you should question everything required of you.
Suppose the workload is too much for one person or seems outside of the realm of your particular position. In that case, it is appropriate to ask how it fits with your role and offer suggestions to redistribute or recreate responsibilities and workload.
Ways to Create A Positive Work Environment
The practice of mindfulness is about taking a minute to:
- Ground yourself
- Clear your head
Mindfulness is often confused with meditation. While meditation is a mindful practice, mindfulness is much more. Throughout the day, take a minute or two to step away from work, disengage from your electronics and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing.
If you are an employer, consider beginning staff meetings with a mindfulness minute. It creates a sense of calm.
Know Your Purpose
When you start to become stressed out, think about why you are currently in that job. What is your purpose? When we feel burnt out, one way to center yourself is to figure out if you are fulfilling your purpose.
Make Work Fun
Work is not always fun, that’s why it’s work. But it’s okay to add some fun in now and then. If your workplace doesn’t have a social committee, offer to start one. Anyone who wants to participate can pay yearly or biannual dues. Use the money to:
- Host ice cream sundae day
- Celebrate staff birthdays
- Have door prizes for staff meetings
- Host a teambuilding activity
Take A Vacation
Everyone needs to take a break now and then. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to cash in some vacation days and treat yourself to a week away with friends or family.
If you can’t take a week, take a long weekend or even just a mental health day. It’s important to take a break now and then to relax and recharge.
Sometimes maintaining resilience in the workplace means knowing when it’s time to make changes. When burnout can’t be fully beat by using the strategies in this article, maybe your purpose and goals have changed.
Burnout may be a signal that you have fulfilled your purpose where you are and it is time to fulfill a new purpose somewhere else.
Stay Resilient and Spread the Cheer
If you are experiencing burnout and want to build your resilience, review the strategies shared here and put them into practice. Be the person at work who spreads positive vibes.
If you see a coworker struggling, share these ideas with them and help them build their capacity to establish resiliency and beat the burn at work.
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