Feeling burnt out? You’re not alone. Many people are experiencing job burnout before they turn 30.
The American Psychological Association’s David Ballard, PsyD describes burnout as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.” Here are some signs to watch out for before burnout starts impacting you at work:
- lack of interest or motivation
- feeling negative about everything
- trouble concentrating
- deteriorating health
- poor work performance
So lets say you’ve noticed some of these signs. Don’t let yourself get discouraged—it’s still possible to get out of the slump. We’ve got seven ways to fight burnout at work.
1. Get organized.
Try to manage and identify the most stressful things in your career. Make a running list—every time you have an anxiety-provoking moment make a note. Looking back it will be easier to see where exactly the problem lies. Once you’ve identified what’s fueling your feelings of job burnout, you can make a plan to address the issues.
2. Evaluate your options.
Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Perhaps you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Although it’s tough to admit that you can’t handle it all, it’s more important to be upfront before things start falling apart.
3. Make an attitude change.
If you’ve become cynical at work, try to improve your outlook. What did you enjoy about work back in the day? Recognize co-workers for valuable contributions or a job well done. When you aren’t working, do things you enjoy. Exercise!
4. Set goals.
Your boss may have certain goals he or she wants you to meet but you should have your own goals and milestones to achieve as well. Write down what you’re hoping to accomplish at work—small or big! And reward your successes with a manicure, movie or date with friends.
5. Take care of yourself.
You have to be healthy and keep your energy up to have a positive outlook. Trust us—filling your body with junk will only pull you down. Water and well balanced meals will help sustain your energy level. Sugar seems like a quick fix (and it’s often what we crave when feeling down) but it will give you such a harsh drop when it is done with you! If you know you’ll be tempted by the vending machine at 3 p.m. try packing some high protein snacks—almonds, greek yogurt and fruit, or veggies and hummus.
6. Seek support.
Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends, loved ones, or others, support and collaboration may help you cope with job stress and feelings of burnout. If you have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), take advantage of the available services.
7. Set boundaries.
How much time are you wasting at work? It’s easy to get caught up in office gossip or become distracted in a busy space. Now is the time to start working smarter—not harder (we’ve got some great tips). Once you know what your deliverables are make a timeline and figure out what you need to do throughout the day to be productive. You don’t need to be the last one to leave the office—you just need to be doing your job well.
And once you get that down? You’ll be sitting in the pedicure chair before you know it.