6 Steps To Avoid Burnout and Not Burn the Midnight Oil

by Robyn Parets | Wellness, Health & Fitness

If you’re finding it challenging to juggle work, family life, and your own self-care, you’re not alone. You may often find yourself burning the midnight oil at work or running your business.

Indeed, working long hours may help you feel more productive or earn more money, but it may also lead to burnout, also known as mental and physical exhaustion caused by stress. This can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed and over time, it can result in a lack of motivation. To make matters worse, burnout can negatively affect job performance.

Yikes. 

When you are trying to get ahead financially, the last thing you want to do is sabotage your financial health – not to mention your physical and mental health.

So, what can you do to avoid burnout while still getting ahead financially? Take a look at our top six tips.

1. Rise and shine

While it can be easy to sleep in and still start your workday on time, maybe you should try setting your alarm for an hour earlier than need be. This extra hour can set the tone for a much more productive and stress-free day.

For starters, early risers are more proactive and better positioned for career success than their night-owl counterparts, according to one study. Not only that but many people concentrate better earlier in the day. You can use your extra morning time to answer emails, set appointments, check your social media feed and do other busy work that will free up time in your day for other tasks. You can also use your morning time to have a relaxing cup of coffee or even go for a brisk walk – energizing you for the day ahead.

2. Disconnect from technology before bed

For some of you, unplugging at night may be challenging. But, if you’re busy checking emails late into the night, this can prevent you from getting enough sleep. And, daytime exhaustion means you won’t function at the top of your game – ultimately affecting your productivity and earnings potential. To this end, it’s important to disconnect from technology every night so that you can reconnect to yourself. 

Thrive Global Founder Ariana Huffington recommends starting a nighttime ritual by putting your phone to bed at night and then putting yourself to bed. The goal: To infuse a bedtime ritual that promotes unplugging, quality sleep and increased productivity. 

3. Schedule breaks throughout your day

Regardless of what type of work you do, it’s important to remain focused so that you don’t waste your time on distractions. To help you remain laser-focused throughout your day, try pouring your energy into getting blocks of work done and then take short, 15-minute scheduled breaks to balance you out. These breaks will energize you, boost your productivity and help prevent burnout, according to the Harvard Business Review.  

It helps to put these breaks into your calendar so that you remember to take them. If you need a little extra help, you can turn to the Be Focused Pro app. You might also want to check out Stand Up! The Work Break Timer. This app lets you set alarms and break reminders throughout your day.

4. Take vacations

In order to truly unplug, it’s a good idea to get away from work and take a vacation at least once a year. Time away from work or your business helps you recharge and return with renewed focus and passion for your job, business or side hustle. 

In fact, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2015, vacations can result in greater productivity at work. Among other things, spending less time at your desk forces you to work more efficiently, according to the article.  

To help you prepare to go on vacation, organize your work ahead of time by creating a master list of tasks with deadlines that may include projects to finish before your departure. Then, set up an out-of-office auto responder message on your email and allocate tasks to someone else in your absence. 

Once on vacation, you might consider using your phone for emergencies only. You can also leave your phone in a hotel room or a safe, or perhaps turn on airplane mode so you can only use it as a camera. 

5. Exercise

When do you have time to exercise? Probably never. Well, you’ve got to make the time. This is important as a lack of exercise can make you feel run down, according to the American Psychological Association. Regular exercise, in turn, will help boost brain health, sharpen memory and alleviate stress.  

6. Set boundaries

Your health depends on declaring an end to your work day and a start to your personal time. This takes discipline and requires setting boundaries.

This is often easier said than done, especially if you’re the type who is always “on” and replies to emails late at night. If you find yourself in this situation with your boss at work, it may be time to discuss boundaries. For example, you can talk about times when you won’t be available to answer emails. These days, most employers recognize the importance of work-life balance and will respect you for coming forward.

When it comes to your business, setting boundaries may be easier as you make your own rules. On the flipside, time is money and you may feel it’s imperative to respond immediately to a client or co-worker – even late at night or on a Sunday morning. If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to let your clients know that you’ll respond to their requests during regular business hours. Then, put your phone in another room so that you can enjoy your downtime.  

Stay balanced and stress less To Avoid Burnout

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While these 6 steps can help you avoid burn-out, there are indeed other ways to reduce stress and maintain balance, like eating healthy and starting a meditation practice

Regardless of how you opt to reduce your stress, remember not to let your work life consume your entire life. You worked hard to get to where you are today. You certainly don’t want to lose this momentum by burning out.

Thank you for reading:

6 Steps To Avoid Burnout and Not Burn the Midnight Oil by Robyn Parets

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Robyn Parets
Founder and CEO at Pretzel Kids®

Robyn is the Founder & CEO of Pretzel Kids. She is also an editor, writer, content marketing expert, business coach, and yoga teacher.

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