How to Avoid Job Burnout

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Oct 22, 2019

No matter how much you love your job, everyone can get burned out. Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress. Unlike a direct affect from other types of job stress, i.e. long hours, bad management, workload, etc., job burnout is a state of physical and/or emotional exhaustion.  Even in jobs that people truly enjoy, over time job burnout can sneak up on workers.  

Job burnout can result in fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity, as well as becoming detrimental to your problem-solving and creative thinking abilities. Over time, if burnout continues, it can contribute to health issues including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.   

Finding a balance in the workplace is important to avoid burnout, which is essential for long-term health and success. This is why most companies offer vacation, sick and holiday breaks.  Whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health, which means it needs to be identified and remedied before the damage has a chance to become permanent. So, how do you know if you have job burnout? Ask yourself a few questions:  

  • Do you dread going to work?
  • Do you have trouble getting your workday started?
  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
  • Do you find ways during your workday to sneak off to be alone?
  • Are you spending more time on the phone or computer doing unrelated work activities? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing job burnout. There are some steps you can take to avoid, or at least reduce the symptoms of job burnout.  Consider these:  

  • Use your benefits. If your employer offers vacation time…use it! Taking a break from work, home life, and the usual day-to-day routine can help recharge your batteries. If you can’t take a week off at one time, consider splitting that into long weekends.  Be sure to discuss options with your supervisor or manager. If your vacation time doesn’t rollover, or cash out at the end of the year, use it! You are literally paying your employer for you to not take a vacation.
  • Exercise. You would be surprised at how much regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. Not only can it take your mind off work, but it can also improve your overall physical health.
  • Breaks.  It’s easy to get involved in the day-to-day routine; however, staying at your work station (whether standing or sitting) over a long period of time can wear on your mental and physical condition.  Be sure to take small breaks.  It could be a simple walk to the soda machine, a walk around the block, or taking a few minutes to catch up with a co-worker. The point is to step away! It will be there when you return.
  • Evaluate your duties. Take an inventory of your workload. Discuss any specific concerns with your supervisor or manager. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach a compromise.
  • Seek support. Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or family, support and collaboration might help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
  • Try a relaxing activity. Explore programs that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation or tai chi.
  • Get some sleep. Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health. If you are not getting enough sleep, it could cause long-term affects including a change in your immune system, hormone levels, and your ability to heal.
  • Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment. 

Keep an open mind as you consider the options. Talk with your supervisor, if needed, to implement some of the tips above into your daily routine.  You love your job, so don’t let burnout steal it from you. Remember this simple work principle on which Lofton was founded:  Why we do what we do…for the joy of it!  

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today

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