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Only You Can Prevent Burnout

By Bigg Success Staff
01-26-08

Work-Life Balance

heart_of_a_fire

Physical discomforts get our attention. We quickly buy a new chair for our desk or get an ergonomically-designed keyboard. We may even go to our doctors for help.

So why don’t we approach mental “discomforts” the same way?

When we experience these symptoms, we tell ourselves that “we must be strong”, “we have to push on”, or something similar.

But these symptoms may be early signs of burnout. Burnout happens gradually as a result of prolonged, unresolved stress.

Smokey Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

It’s also true that only you can prevent burnout.

No one will do it for you. It’s up to you to recognize it and do something about it. Here are three things you can do:

# 1 – Don’t get caught in the “superman” or “superwoman” trap.
You have a set of expectations. Others have expectations of you. Are they realistic?

You need to have goals, but these goals have to be achievable. Otherwise, you’ll just get more and more frustrated with yourself.

Learn to say “no” to others when you know that you’ll have to do something superhuman to give them what they want. And by superhuman, we don’t mean “leaping tall buildings”.

We mean setting aside time that you don’t have. Taking on another project when your to-do list is already insane. NOT doing something that’s important to you in order to do something that’s important to them.

Accept the fact that you’re only human – it’s a good thing.

#2 – Get past the “buzz killers”.
Some people are all “take” and no “give”. They expect a lot from you, but when you need a friend, they’re no where to be found. Get past them – find some new friends! That’s easy to say, but no so easy to do. However, you’ll be richly rewarded for hanging out with the right crowd.

Places can be buzz killers, too. The most obvious one is where you work. If you’re being asked to do more and more with less and less, you may need to move on. Change the job or change jobs.

#3 – Find more “buzz builders”
One of the secrets to preventing burnout is to make sure you have plenty of enjoyable activities. Work should be one of those, as we just discussed. But you need more than that or you will burnout at some point.

There are many ways to build buzz in your life. Some examples are:

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Volunteer for a cause in which you believe
  • Take a class
  • Get a hobby
  • Start a personal journal
  • Read great books

How about you … what builds you up?

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(Image by Marcus Vegas, CC 2.0)

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