As someone who is just coming out of working in the public sector for over 3 years, I know a thing or two about high workloads and small pay. Sure the benefits in the public sector where fantastic, however the workload took a toll on me as an employee and how I viewed the company I worked for. Below is a list of things you can do to avoid burning out at work.
8. Leave when you’re supposed to
If you’re anything like me, chances are you think you need to over achieve in everything that you do. Let me tell you something about other employees, they don’t. Being the over achiever in the office gets you lots of attention, but it also won’t get you a promotion if one isn’t available. When there is a promotion available all of a sudden everyone is an overachiever. Don’t put in blood, sweat, and tears that will go unnoticed, make sure you play your cards right. Work as many hours as your co-workers do and don’t overwork yourself.
7. Take your Vacation and Personal Time Off days
I used to never call in sick, I felt like me being in the office sick meant at least some work got done at my own personal expense. Of course my supervisor didn’t mind me coming in, that meant less work he had to do as my back-up. But I realized that going into work and putting my body through that stress meant it took longer for me to get better; something that then took a toll on my opinion of my job as well as my opinion of the company.
6. Know your Limits
We all have limits. Just because we think we are “work invincible” does not mean we are work invincible. When you feel like you have done all you can do for one day, stop, and either move on to something else or go home for the day. Just because you try to beat your head over something for 12 hours does not mean you will get the solution you’re looking for. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to look at something with a fresh mind and go from there.
5. Make Lists
Just because you think you won’t forget something, doesn’t mean you won’t forget something. Let me rephrase that for you “you will forget some things”. Write everything important down and then make sure to note what has to be done by the end of that day and what can wait till tomorrow. You have to be as firm as possible with this without overworking yourself. Eventually you will learn what your limits are using this system and you can challenge yourself to beat previous records.
4. Go for a Walk
Holding in your pee because you’re mid project? Not so smart. Take some time to take a 10 minute walk outside in the sunlight. Clear your head and then continue. It will help you stay mentally active while at work without those moments of drowsiness, especially in the afternoons.
3. Eat Snacks
Being at your desk doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a healthy snack, or a chewy bar. Sometimes in order to keep our energy levels up a snack is exactly what the doctor ordered so don’t be afraid to grab something and have yourself a little afternoon snack.
2. It’s okay to say NO
I am a YES person. If you need a project to be done in a timely and effective way, you can count on me to do it. However, I have trouble saying no and that can cause me to be overburdened with projects to do. This might lead to mediocre projects which will then get you mediocre satisfaction from your superiors. Take only what you can handle and don’t be afraid to say “no, I can’t handle anything else right now.”
1. Don’t come up with Excuses
Excuses are our enemies. We will always have an excuse to make us feel better about why we might have done something poorly. The truth is, it isn’t about whether or not we did something poorly, it’s the fact that we learned the errors of our mistakes and can now avoid making that mistake going on into the future. Don’t dwell too long on failures, for they will cause you to overburden yourself at work and you won’t be happy with your future successes.