How to Identify and Combat Burnout

“The most entrepreneurial trait there is: the ability to persist.”

– Steve Chou

The term burnout seems to be an increasingly common word used to describe exhaustion and detachment when it comes to one’s daily work life. The fact of the matter is, burnout can affect those who aren’t even initially aware of its presence. This is true for those who are so locked in with constant repetitive day to day functions, and those who don’t take the time to analyze their nagging struggles. But burnout is a very real thing that is becoming more and more common for working people today. Luckily there is a myriad of things that can be done to combat this sort of exhaustion.

For starters, one’s personal health and sleep routine should be looked at in relation to burnout. Adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most adults) is huge when fighting stress, fatigue, and general burnout. Sleeping gives our bodies and minds time to reset and replenish in order to take on the next day’s tasks. Coupled with sleep should be general health and exercise. It may seem odd to add exercise into routine to fight a lack of energy, but studies show that regular exercise actually boosts your overall energy and productivity levels.

Burnout for some people has more to do with the monotony of their daily routine rather than the actual amount of work they are tasked with completing. For situations such as these, it may be beneficial to look at one’s daily schedule from a new viewpoint and see what sort of variations could be applied. For instance, it could feel refreshing to change the order or setting of certain tasks if possible. Along these same lines, an increased social effort can also help alleviate burnout. This doesn’t just mean being more social outside of business hours but seeing if there are more opportunities for social interaction throughout the workday. Adding a human element to work can help with the feeling of detachment or isolation, which often leads to burnout.

At the end of the day, monotony cannot always be avoided, and burnout can happen with even the best efforts. When it does occur, it is important to always have a good view of the larger picture. Having long term goals and a common understanding with those you work with can provide you with the energy and inspiration needed to overcome any temporary burnout.

Kelly D. Scott
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization