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Just like a light bulb human beings are susceptible to burnout. It happens for a variety of reasons, but most often there’s a very simple reason. You forgot to take care of yourself. Burnout starts simply—so simply you may not notice it.
One morning you decide you don’t have time for breakfast so you substitute a healthy meal and a moment of reflection with a donut and a sugary coffee drink on your commute.
At home you have chores to do and family and friends who require your time and attention. In order to complete all of your tasks you decide to stay up late to finish a project. You cut back on your sleep. You may choose to wake up early to get a head start on the day.
Over time you will begin to build up a sleep deficit and that will have a negative impact on your ability to concentrate. Your productivity at work will suffer. The quality of your relationships with your colleagues, family, and friends will also lose their rewarding quality, and eventually become an exhausting chore. Burnout can lead to physical exhaustion and illness if you don’t pay attention to the demands on your time.
It’s not uncommon for people who are motivated to engage each opportunity they encounter with their full attention and energy to stumble into burnout. However, there’s a problem with this behavior. You can’t engage fully in your success if you’re energy has been depleted over time and you don’t the time to recharge your batteries.
The solution to burnout is simple. Pay attention to your behavior at work and at home. Here are some things to remember so you won’t get caught up in burnout:
- Don’t overpromise. Only agree to do what you can do with the time and resources you have. This doesn’t mean you stretch in order to learn. Stretch thoughtfully.
- Don’t create unreasonable goals at work and in your personal life. Remember to use your common sense. If it doesn’t feel right then reconsider your process. Do you create unreasonable goals for yourself at work and in your personal life?
- Use problem-solving skills to break down large goals into more reasonable, smaller goals. Take one step at a time and you will reach your goal.
- Schedule personal time so that you can relax and retain your good health and positive outlook.
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes. Don’t keep it a secret. Let people know what happened. Fix it. Let it go.
- Ask for help when you need it. Help someone when they ask you for help. Remember, success is a team effort.