There’s a “go, go, go” mentality in the workplace that posits that the harder you work, the more successful you’ll be. Anyone familiar with the way a human brain and body works, however, understands why that’s just plain wrong.
Work yourself too hard and for too long and you’re liable to “burn out”. This isn’t just some corporate buzzword created to promote a better work/life balance; it’s a phenomenon documented by the World Health Organization and studied by medical professionals. Its effects – chronic fatigue, distractedness, reduced productivity and irritability – can hinder you from pursing your career goals and render you ineffective at your job.
The best way to be successful in the workplace, therefore, is not to “go, go, go”, but rather to “go, go, take care of yourself”. Avoiding burnout before it happens will take some proactive self-care on your part, but it’s entirely doable. Here are a few tips for how to make it happen.
Try Activities That Blow off Steam
Exercise, socialization and excitement are each potent weapons in defending against burnout. For an activity that combines all three, try axe throwing with your friends on the weekend or a weekday evening. Axe throwing keeps you physically active and, because it’s a group activity, allows you to socialize with others. Also, it must be noted, the act of throwing axes at a wooden target makes for some pretty compelling stress relief!
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
One of the most important factors in avoiding burnout at work is to get a good night’s sleep. Not just enough sleep, but deep, restful sleep as well. Here are a few bullet points to keep in mind when settling in for some quality Z’s:
- Avoid screen time before bed. A couple hours before it’s time to sleep, put aside your phone and computer.
- Avoid late night eating and drinking. Food or alcohol right before bed can disrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up still feeling unrested.
- Get a quality mattress. That old mattress isn’t great for your sleep quality and can cause pain and discomfort throughout the night.
- Be mindful of your sleep posture. Laying on your stomach or back can cause spinal problems, not only affecting your sleep but your overall wellbeing as well.
Keep these points in mind for restful sleep, which will make you more alert and less burnt out throughout your work day.
Don’t Forego Your Vacation Days
A lot of people think they’re doing their careers a favor by neglecting to take vacation days, but this is a shortsighted win. In the long run, without those much-needed days of respite, your productivity and quality of work will eventually suffer. It’s far better to take the days; no one will resent you for it, and the time spent relaxing will ensure that you come back to work a happier, more engaged employee.
Sleep, blow off steam and take some time off – it’s that simple. If you’re truly serious about advancing your career, you’ll understand that your work isn’t the only obligation you have. You also need to take care of yourself.