You probably need some ways to fix burnout, which is bringing many workers to a breaking point after 20 months of intense pandemic work.
Unread emails are building up. You miss deadlines. Video calls that were once jovial are now more severe. You suspect burnout and need a quick way to fix it.
This feeling is becoming more common.
A September survey of almost 700 professionals conducted by consulting company Korn Ferry found that 89% felt they were experiencing burnout. Some workers have left their job. Others move to new cities or make similar drastic changes.
To combat burnout, you don’t need to quit your job. You can self-assess, work together with your manager to improve your mental health. People tend to see burnout as a personal problem. If it’s your problem, you will have to solve it.
Christina Maslach, a professor of psychology at a university in California, said that there is another part to this. It’s the workplace and chronic job stressors which are the causes of burnout.
Here are some ways to reduce burnout without affecting your life too much.
Make a personal inventory.
According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout is not a medical diagnosis. However, it can present as a mental and physical condition. A series of questions can help you determine if you are depressed, burned out, or anxious.
- Are you more critical of clients and co-workers than ever?
- Are you struggling to focus?
- Do you use food, alcohol, or drugs to feel better?
- Have you changed your sleeping habits?
- Are you experiencing undiagnosed headaches, stomach problems, or other physical complaints?
Jennifer Moss, the author of a new book about burnout, suggests that answering yes to these questions could indicate that you are feeling burned out. These feelings are not necessarily work-related. Consider the effects of the pandemic.
According to Ms. Moss and other researchers on burnout, people should admit taking a day off or going to the spa won’t solve the problem. According to Ms. Moss, workers and employees should collaborate to find a permanent solution. This could include a less stressful work schedule and a more manageable workload.
Plan your attack.
Make a plan before you talk to your manager about feelings of burning out, Lauren McGoodwin, noted podcast host and author, suggests.
She says that if you are imposing it on someone, it’s likely to be emotionally fueled.
Although venting can be an excellent way to talk to a friend, it could distract your manager from the ultimate goal of helping you. Instead, she recommends writing an email in which you state that you would like to discuss the job’s expectations and goals and how best to meet them.
Keep the conversation positive. It’s acceptable to ask your boss for help in prioritizing projects, delegating, and taking a vacation.
She says, “You will get more out of the conversation if your focus is less on them blaming and more on asking for their help.”
Set goals and expectations for burnout.
Many organizations are asking employees and bosses to do more with fewer resources. Some workers leave while businesses opt to remain lean. Ms. Moss suggests that perfectionists and high performers need to assess tasks. Ask if just one person can do this.
People are beating themselves up and asking, “Why can’t you meet these goals?” Ms. Moss suggests that they might be trying to make the pandemic “normal” by pushing past their mental limitations.
Our American workforce is rapidly evolving. In August, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs. This was part of what many call “The Great Resignation.”
“Think about us, not me” cures burnout.
Dr. Maslach created the Maslach Burnout Inventory to help diagnose and fix burnout symptoms. Discussing what is working well and asking, “What can we do better?” will help clarify that the goal is to help the boss and the company perform well.
Workers who have ideas for reducing burnout should emphasize that these solutions can help eliminate chronic stressors, not only their own.
Dr. Maslach states, “If ever there was a moment to say let’s look outside the box and redesign our work environment, it’s now.”
Say no instead of saying yes.
Workers need to redraw the lines.
Emily Ballesteros is a burnout management coach. Ms. Ballesteros states that many people have fallen into the bad habit, saying “yes” to managers whenever they ask. She suggests the following response when faced with another task: “Can I check my calendar and get back to you?”
Ms. Ballesteros states that pausing before you take on more work shows that you are thinking and not reacting. Your manager will appreciate you taking the time to consider a request and making sure you can fulfill it.
She says, “You need to be aware of your limitations with your time and your capabilities.”