Ten Ways to Avoid Job Burnout and Be Happy at Work
If you dread going to work each day and feel sad and unhappy with your job and your life, you are in danger of burnout. Before you get to that point here are 10 ideas to keep your work and life from being stressful.
- Find ways to make your work more meaningful. Ask yourself how you can honor your values in your work. Not sure what your values are? I can email you a values assessment to uncover them. You will find my email address below. Ask yourself too if you are using your strengths in your work. You’ll be happier when you use your strengths and the work will be easier for you.
- What are the two or three tasks that must be done during your day? (I always think about this in the shower!) Prioritize the rest of your work so that once you are done with the two or three tasks for the day you will have your prioritized “to do” list to work from.
- Delegate the less important tasks if you can. To be most productive, do the tasks that only you can do and get someone else to do the repetitive tasks that you can show someone else how to do. If it is something that is only going to be done once in a while you will need to decide if it is worth your time teaching someone else how to do it.
- Don’t over schedule yourself. Leave time in your day for emergencies. Plan your time so that you complete the work promised to someone else on time.
- Build enough time in your schedule to do the work. Many of my clients complain that they have so many meetings that they can’t complete their work. Make an appointment with yourself for a few hours each day to complete your work. This is the time when you are at your desk doing the work and not taking calls or allowing others to interrupt you. Put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. When people are trying to set up meetings with you, say you are unavailable during those two hours.
- Use technology to your advantage. Manage your schedule around your family events and personal appointments. Work at home some days if possible. If working at home is not possible than try to get some time off for children’s events or personal appointments. Offer to work at home in the evening to get the work done.
- Set a time to leave the office each day (before 9PM!) and stick to it. If your job requires late nights then come to work the next morning late too. Get 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night. I know that when I don’t get enough sleep at night the next day I’m feeling out of sorts, tired and nothing seems good to me. Getting enough sleep is very important for your well-being and effects productivity.
- Exercise frequently. One way to de-stress is to exercise regularly. Do something that is fun for you (running, biking, tennis, volley ball, working out) and that will take your mind off your work. Find ways to sweat! You’ll be happier and healthier.
- Schedule time to be with friends and family. Avoid isolating yourself. It will just add to your misery. Schedule a coffee with a colleague, dinner with a friend, or go to a movie with someone. Being in the company with others is uplifting. Having a special friend to talk to can be helpful too.
- Take time off. Take a vacation to get totally away from your work for a significant period of time (at least a week). Set boundaries around your own free time to insure you have it. If you must be “on call” screen the calls and emails during that time and only respond when it is urgent. Have a standard recorded voice or email response for the rest.
*From the musical Hamilton with music and lyrics by Lin Manuel Miranda.
If you feel you are on the road to burnout a coach can help. I’ve worked with clients to help them prioritize and delegate. Perhaps there is politics in your office that makes leaving early frowned upon. Together we will find ways to navigate those issues as well. In coaching you decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. I just listen to you and then help you to decide what it is you want to do. Sound like something you’d like to try? Call or email me for a time to chat. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-598-0388 You might even get some free coaching!