How to work smarter and avoid burnout
“Burnout,” a buzzword that’s been around the modern workplace for some time, is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
What is burnout?
Many of us have experienced an intense workday or even a few where we’ve left the office thinking, “wow, I’m dead tired.” While it can be extremely exhausting and draining to have days like those, burnout is way more serious.
The WHO defines burnout as “chronic workplace stress,” leading to:
– Energy depletion and over-exhaustion
– Increased mental distance from, or cynicism towards, your job
– Poor work performance
To receive an official diagnosis, you must be experiencing all three simultaneously. If you happen to reach this extreme state, it may have a lasting impact on your productivity, health, and even happiness.
That is, if you don’t do anything about it.
Working hard or burning out? That is the question.
We live in a fast-paced world where demands are incredibly high and time escapes us. Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell whether you’re working hard or burning out.
There’s definitely a fine line. It all comes down to how you cope, and coping abilities vary from person to person. Some can handle more stress and less sleep better than others. It’s all about knowing your personal coping capacity, and when you’ve exceeded it.
Whether you immediately recognize burnout or not, there’s only so much you can do and so far you can go, when running on empty. It’s no different than a car without gas in the tank. You can keep moving without fuel for only so long until the car comes to a sudden halt.
That’s why it’s crucial to notice the warning signs and recharge before putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
How do you know if you’re on the road to burnout?
There are many ways to reach burnout, but the most common among them include:
– Unclear expectations
– Heavy workload
– Lack of control
– Juggling too many priorities
– Poor time management
– Work-life imbalance
If any of these sound familiar, you are most likely on a path headed towards burnout – yikes!
As a manager, you spend most of the time focusing on your team, making sure everyone is motivated and engaged in the work. There’s little doubt that it’s extremely difficult to be there for your team the way you want to when you’re suffering from, or close to, burnout.
And, the truth is you’re likely not the only one suffering. You may even notice burnout in your teammates before you notice it in yourself. That’s why it’s important to be aware and find a solution that’s not only beneficial for you but your whole team.
So, what’s the solution?
Work smarter, not harder.
It’s a common belief that if you’re not working hard, you’re not productive. This is a total falsehood. The truth is, when continually working in overdrive you are probably getting nowhere fast, which is why so many of us end up fatigued, frustrated, and officially “burnt out.”
To achieve the results you want and bypass the many roads to burnout, you need to find the right work management tool for your team. It will honestly change your lives.
We use monday.com. It’s an easy-to-use management platform that helps people work smarter so they can be more productive, and even happier, at work.
Here are a few of the many ways monday.com helps us, and more than 70,000 teams, work smarter to achieve success.
Visualize your workload
The first step in dealing with an excessive workload is to see how much is on your plate. Adding all your tasks and to-dos in one visual board lets you see everything that needs to get done.
Once you’re able to visualize your workload, it’s easier to recognize that you can’t do it all on your own, and that’s OK.
It’s actually a great opportunity to encourage teamwork within your team. Easily divide up the extra workload into manageable tasks that you can delegate to other teammates who have the time and drive to take on more. You’ll be able to accomplish so much more when you do it together.
Focus on what matters
No one wants to be stuck doing the mundane recurring tasks like notifying someone every time something changes, bleh. Repetitive tasks, while important, can take up a lot of valuable time that you could be dedicating to other tasks that require more attention.
The good news is that your team can easily automate many recurring tasks so you can all focus on what matters. What’s even better news is that you and your teammates can also create dependencies (when one or more tasks depends on another). For example, if your project timeline changes, instead of having to change each task due date manually, all you need to do is change one date to push all the others – what a time saver that is!
Prioritize work effectively
Let’s be real. Almost everything nowadays is a “priority.” That’s why we’re constantly “multitasking,” or more accurately, task switching. As we all know, this method is both stressful and unproductive. Yet so many people are working this way and can’t seem to stop.
When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority, so it’s important to better define the priorities with accurate labels. Labeling helps you and your teammates understand what’s actually “critical” based on its urgency and importance, and time available.
Carve out time for self-care on the reg
Self-care is a critical priority that rarely makes the list because of the age-old excuse “I don’t have time.” Skipping out on “me time” is guaranteed to send anyone on the road to burnout if nothing is done to relieve all that stress.
Don’t know where to start? Try introducing mindfulness! You can easily set a notification for you and your teammates so everyone remembers to take a few mindful breaths. If everyone sets aside time for mindfulness each day, you’ll actually notice a real difference in your team’s overall mood and productivity.
Are you ready to make a change for you and your team?