Avoid a Career Burn Out With These Stress-Reducing Tips

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel overwhelmed from time to time. The impulse may be to work harder, longer and faster – but if you’re not careful, this approach can easily lead to burnout.

Instead, follow these tips to reduce stress and put you back on the path to productivity.

Stay Organized – With much to do, it may seem that drafting new to-do lists is a form of procrastination, but in reality, taking this extra step can make your time at work much more efficient and prevent certain tasks from slipping through the cracks. While there are a multitude of online organization tools, physically writing out your daily tasks on multipurpose paper is one of the best ways to get a complete grasp on your responsibilities. From there, it’s easy to knock out items one by one, and crossing items off adds a sense of accomplishment and boosts motivation.

Prioritize – Rome wasn’t built in a day. When faced with a daunting to-do list, identify the most pressing items, and place less urgent or important tasks on the back burner. If two tasks seem of equal importance or urgency, start with the one that will be done more quickly. In addition, take a step back periodically to examine how you truly spend your time at work. Doing so can help identify time-wasting activities or perhaps shine a light on tasks that are taking up an exorbitant amount of time.

Break it Down – Stress is often a reaction to the unknown, and when faced with a large project or new undertaking, knowing how to get started may be the most difficult step. Instead of diving in head on, think about the project from start to finish and write down all the steps involved. Breaking large projects into smaller pieces makes them more manageable.

Disconnect – Cell phones and email have made it easier to stay in touch and work during off-hours – but they can also lead to working around-the-clock. It’s one thing to put in long hours every now and then, but if you regularly respond to work emails and complete tasks during off-hours, you may be depriving your body of the rest it needs to fully recharge. The result is a downward spiral of more fatigue, leading to less productive workdays. Instead, create rules and boundaries for off-work hours, such as “Do not check work emails after 8 p.m.” to give your mind the break it needs.