5 Powerful Techniques to Overcome Job Burnout

Job burnout is characterized by constant overwhelming stress associated with work. Burnout can be triggered by a chaotic schedule, unchallenging activities or simply too much work. It also can be exasperated by the stress of the holidays. No matter what the reason for job burnout, the ongoing stress can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health.

If leaving your current job is not a realistic option at the moment, try implementing these five techniques to regain passion for your work.

Top 5 Ways to Overcome Job Burnout

Stressed employee with head in hands at a cluttered office desk, indicating job burnout.

1. Look at the Bigger Picture

Recognizing how your work fits into the project as a whole will help you to understand the value of your job. It’s motivational when you can see the bigger picture, or the finished product, rather than just your individual part in it. Ask your coworkers to share other sections of a project in order to see how everything, including your part, fits together.

2. Increase Your Personal Responsibility

Increase your authority (the right to act, decide, and command) in the parts of your job that you can control. Keep an eye out for moments during meetings where you can propose ideas or request to participate more in the planning process as this will increase authority. Having personal responsibility can give your position more value, helping you to reinvest yourself in the work.

3. Learn the Job of Another Employee

If you and another employee are both burning out, then momentarily switch jobs. This allows you to challenge yourself and stay interested by learning about a new position. You will gain versatility by increasing your knowledge of the organization. By familiarizing yourself with other jobs, you will also learn how your work relates to other positions in the company.

street signs labeled "stress" and "relax" to reduce job burnout

4. Break Large Projects into Steps

Turn daunting or challenging projects into a series of mini tasks. Write down specific actions to take on a timeline or daily schedule leading up to the final deadline. As an example, you plan to do two hours of research each day for a report that is due in three weeks. The more concrete and defined your tasks are, the more motivated you will feel to reach your end goal. When you get into the habit of completing smaller goals, you build a strong momentum toward the finish line.

5. Schedule Relaxing Activities

Whether at home or in the office, prioritize leisure activity just as you would any work activity. For example, take five minutes to walk outside and breathe in fresh air before responding to emails. Reward yourself with a hot bath as soon as you get home. If it helps, write these relaxing activities on a to-do list so that you don’t forget. Prioritizing your well-being is also a great way to identify when you have reached your limit and need to start saying no to more work. Getting into the habit of self-care can change your outlook on life and serve as a stepping stone to regaining work-life balance.

How to Stay Motivated

While you may not be able to get rid of every nerve-wracking aspect of your job, pinpointing the areas you can control may significantly improve your stress levels. For more tips on how to stay motivated, try these KnowledgeCity courses: Goal Setting and The Art of Motivation.

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