Burnout. . .

Our modern world can place extreme pressures on each of us to always be available and connected. As a result, we can face numerous challenges as we attempt to capture the perfect balance in our personal and professional lives. Although adequate rest is necessary for optimal health, sleep may be the first thing we decide to cut corners on when our lives place demands on us.

A lack of sleep combined with incapacitating stress can lead to a perfect storm. While stress may be prevalent in our lives, extreme pressure and insufficient rest can lead to the debilitating state of burnout. There are ways to alleviate the detrimental effects of burnout, and it begins with paying attention to a few things. Here are four ways to fight back against burnout.

Begin by getting an adequate amount of sleep each night – Some successful people will tell you that they can run on five hours a night. Others will try to suggest schedules that simply cannot work for everyone because our bodies and patterns are unique to us. A lack of sleep may reduce attention span, impose risky decision-making, and cause a lack of energy. It can also bring mood changes, such as increased anger and anxiety, and even have long-term effects such as cardiovascular disease.

Focus on your long-term career goals – Many of us want rapid career growth and a subsequent promotion as soon as we get one. While it’s perfectly okay to be hungry to learn and grow, consistently having an immediate gratification mindset can lead to unnecessary stress. This unrelenting pressure can also lead to feeling burned out. Learn to enjoy the process and the day-to-day skills you obtain every day. Small skills gained daily add up and are a vital part of your career growth.

Take your vacations – A change of scenery is good for you. While many of us may find it hard to take time away from the office due to the overflowing demands of our jobs, we will most likely find that we will be more productive by taking time away. It’s beneficial to separate yourself from what many of us refer to as the hamster wheel. Vacations can help you reset. When you return to your job, you are also more likely to have a different mindset. Putting your self-care first can also help you think of fresh ideas or aha moments that can make you more successful in the long run.

The success list over the to-do list – Burnout can also come from trying to do too many things at once. Instead of building long-running to-do lists and feeling overloaded every day, focus instead on the things that matter most. It’s important to realize not all tasks on your list are equal. The success list helps to hone in on tasks that will deliver the most significant results. Pareto’s Principle, which tells us that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results, can also put things into perspective. Focus your intention on the tasks to make you most successful verse running in circles trying to accomplish everything.

To conclude, be mindful of how you feel daily. Burnout and exhaustion aren’t things that happen overnight but slowly occur over time. Consistently check in with yourself to see how you feel. Be open to having conversations with others when the load seems to affect your health or speak with a doctor if you feel you are at risk.

Peace and Love, Jim

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