Reduce Burnout In 4 Simple Steps

Reduce Burnout In 4 Simple Steps

Burnout is a very real problem that affects millions of people all around the globe. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who are trying to build a business on the side while still working a day job.

Not only do they need to meet deadlines at work, but they also need to burn the candle at both ends when they get home, just so that their business can progress. Over and above that, they have family commitments, chores, bills, and a multitude of other life demands to handle.

It can be too much to bear and many people break down before they make a breakthrough.

The common signs of burnout are:

  • Chronic stress
  • Insomnia
  • Physical manifestations of stress such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

And so on. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here. Sometimes life can deal you a tough hand. The good news is that there are ways to cope with burnout.

Step 1: Make A List

This is the first and most important step. Put it ALL down on paper so that you don’t have a thousand and one things floating around your head and sapping your energy.

The list of tasks you have should bring about clarity. Now you’ll need to sort them out into 3 categories: Urgent, Important, Others

The first thing you’ll need to do is get the urgent stuff done and out of the way. The rest can wait. Once your level of urgency is reduced, you’ll be able to breathe.

Now focus on the important stuff while checking off one task from the ‘Others’ list daily. The items in the ‘Others’ category could be household chores, catching up with a friend, etc.

Step 2: Make Time To De-Stress

There’s no right or wrong answer here because different people do it differently. Some people meditate, some do yoga and some hit the punching bag.

What matters here is that the activity needs to give you some release from your pent up frustration.

If riding a roller coaster or swimming at the beach does that for you, then that’s what you need to do. Don’t struggle with yoga just because the books tell you to do that.

Step 3: Create A Schedule

Achieving work-life balance is a juggling act… and just like any good juggling act, there is a pattern involved. Your schedule is a pattern or a routine.

Call it whatever you want, but just know that you need one. Decide what time you’ll wake, how long you’ll spend working, what time you’ll stop work, when your leisure hours start, what time you’ll exercise, when you’ll sleep and so on.

When you have a routine, you’ll have less decision fatigue. It’s easier to follow structure and contrary to popular belief, structure gives you more freedom than trying to wing your day haphazardly.

Step 4: Be Proactive And Overcome Inertia

The best way to beat burnout is to take an active interest in changing things up. Since what you’ve done so far has only caused you burnout, it’s time for new measures. (Apply the 3 steps above.)

It’s very easy to sink into a state of depression where you want to do nothing and nothing interests you. When you stay in this stage for too long, you’ll be in a state of inertia and it’ll require Herculean effort on your part to get back on track.

The key to breaking inertia will be to start engaging in new activities/routine slowly. Initially, it’s best to get started with slow, progressive steps.

Once you gain some momentum, then you can accelerate over the next couple of weeks until you’re roaring and tearing up the track.

By applying the 4 tips above, you’ll be able to cope with burnout and reclaim your life. It’s never going to get easier. You’ll just need to get stronger and smarter.

Once you understand this, you’ll accept the challenges of the journey and do what it takes to reach your destination.

Adopting A Proactive Approach To Mitigate Compounded Stress In Your Life

Nobody reaches breaking point overnight unless it involves the death of someone close to them. For most other situations where you’re stressed out because of work or a cumulation of multiple issues – it always takes time to reach your breaking point.

There are signs all along the way to alert you to what’s building up. Very often, we neglect these signs and carry on until we reach ‘boiling point’ and feel like we’re going to explode.

Stress builds up. The key to prevent this from happening is to be proactive at mitigating it. Here’s what you need to do.

Is Everything Going Wrong?

You must assess the situation. In most cases, it’s usually less dire than it appears to be. We often tend to amplify worst case scenarios in our imagination and act as if these situations have come to pass.

Make a list of exactly what is stressing you out. Is it the bills? Or your weight? Work commitments? The car? The spouse? The kids?

Once you list all the triggers for your stress, now you have it all on paper to refer to. It’s important to get out of your own head.

What’s Within Your Control?

Look at the list you have. Which are the problems that’s within your control. If it’s the bills, then you need to pay them off. As difficult as this may be depending on your financial situation, there are still solutions to this problem.

However, if the company you’re working for is suffering losses and you’re worried that you may be retrenched, this situation is out of your control. You’ll need to stop worrying and start making plans for what you’d do should you be let go from your job.

Focus on the problems that you can solve and mentally detach from those that are out of your control. Worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s problems, it takes away today’s peace.

What Do You Need To Do?

Once you know what you can control, then you need to make a plan to do something about it. If it’s the bills, then call up your debtors and structure a payment plan that’s within your ability. At least you’re making an effort and that does buy goodwill with those you owe.

If it’s your health, then make a diet plan and change your diet gradually. Move more and exercise daily. It’s all within your reach. You don’t need to do a lot at once. A little daily will add up to massive changes over time.

Just get started chipping away at your problems and you’ll feel better because you know these problems are going to be resolved.

Urgency vs Importance

Always get the urgent tasks done first. You don’t want them bouncing around in your thoughts constantly. Get them out of the way no matter how difficult or uncomfortable they may seem.

Once you’re done, you’ll feel an immense sense of relieve and less energy needs to be expended thinking about them.

You can then move on to the important tasks.

Delineate… Delegate… Discard

To reduce, you must be clear about what’s bothering you. This is delineation. Write it down and assess the situation thoroughly.

Do what you can and delegate what you can’t. If the chores are too overwhelming, get your spouse or kids involved and share the chores out. Everybody does their share and you’ll not be biting off more than you can chew.

Discard what you’re worrying about but have no control over. If you’re religious, spend time in prayer and let God move in his mysterious ways.

If you’re not religious, focus on what you can do and let what’s beyond your sphere of control sort themselves out, while you hope for the best.

Once you take a proactive approach towards stress instead of a reactive approach, you’ll be able to take back control of your life and bring about balance in it.

Achieving personal satisfaction in your life is not about avoiding stress completely. The kite rises against the wind. So, for you to progress and achieve satisfaction in your life you have to encounter stress. However, you do not need to be buried in it.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Managing burnout and stress requires self discipline and if you want to know more about harnessing the power of self discipline, check out the featured resource below for a free detailed report; download, read it and take action 🙂

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