6 tips to manage workplace burnout

According to a pertinent article in Psychology Today, burnout is one of those road hazards in life that one really should be keeping a close eye out for, but sadly—often because of our "I can do everything" personalities—we rarely see it coming. Because high-achievers (often synonymous with those who have an entrepreneurial spirit) are often so passionate about what they do, they tend to ignore the fact that they're working exceptionally long hours, taking on exceedingly heavy workloads, and putting enormous pressure on themselves to excel—all of which make them ripe for burnout.

Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to

  • physical and emotional exhaustion
  • cynicism and detachment
  • feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment

The difference between stress and burnout is a matter of degree, which means that the earlier you recognize the signs, the better able you will be to avoid burnout (IF you do something to address the symptoms when you recognize them.

Signs of burnout

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
  • Loss of productivity and poor performance
  • Interpersonal relationships with peers, colleagues and family members
  • Increased irritability
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Increased illness
  • Depression
  • Anger

If you're not experiencing any of these problems, that's great! However, you should keep these warning signs in mind, remembering that burnout is an insidious creature that creeps up on you as you're living your busy life. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, this should be a wake-up call that you may be on a dangerous path.

Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it's too late. Burnout isn't like the flu; it doesn't go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. And as hard as that may seem, it's the smartest thing to do because making a few little changes now will keep you in the race with a lot of gas to get you across the finish line. Focus on a set of small achievable goals to turn you back in the right direction.

Battling burnout and preventative measures

So now you are aware of how to identify burnout, both within yourself as your employees. This is half the battle. The other half is what to do when you start seeing the signs, to prevent and reverse the effects of burnout before it sets in. Here’s 6 tips, but don’t be afraid to get creative with a few of your own!