How did you feel last night at around 5:00 pm? Did your weekend come to a screeching halt? Did the weight of the world suddenly find itself squarely on your shoulders?

How about this morning, did you have to drag yourself out of bed? Did you put off leaving for work until the last possible minute?

If this sounds like you, the Mayo Clinic says you may be headed for - or even have - job burnout.

In fact, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be burning out:

  1. Do you have to drag yourself to work?
  2. Do you have trouble getting started, once you arrive at work?
  3. Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  4. Are you irritable or impatient at work?
  5. Do you lack physical or emotional energy?
  6. Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  7. Do you have unexplained headaches or backaches?

Burnout is a serious thing, which may need medical attention. But there are some things that you can do on your own to improve the situation.

1. Say no.

The first thing you need to do is say no. Don't take on new assignments (at least for now). You're used to taking on the world. But for the next little bit, let the world fend for itself.

2. Delegate more.

It's time to start letting others take on some of the burden. By delegating, not only will you recover, but you'll grow as a leader. And the people you delegate to will have the opportunity to grow too.

3. Re-balance.

There are many causes for burnout, but one of the biggest is getting out of balance. As much as you don't want to admit that work can survive without you, it can. Leave your laptop, email, and worries at the office when you leave.

4. Eat better.

There's nothing I like more than a Coke, burger, and fries - but doctors say this won't cut it. When you eat better, you feel better. Period.

5. Exercise.

It's never convenient to exercise. But 1-hour of exercise is possible for the busiest executive. Even if it's just taking a walk by the river on your lunch, you'll find the benefits outweigh the excuses.

6. Rest.

Burning the candle at both ends doesn't work. It's not a badge of honor to brag about your 4-hours of sleep. The average person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

7. Focus on effort (not on outcomes).

In business, we normally focus on results. But that causes stress, and let's be honest - we can't control the outcome of anything. But we can control our efforts (which impact outcomes). So for the next little bit, just focus on your efforts. You can control that. The stress will lessen and the results will come, I promise.

Let me repeat: Burnout is serious. But these 7 steps will help you get things back in balance, and prevent them from getting out of whack ever again.

Published on: Jul 31, 2017