By Bryanne Lawless, owner of BLND Public Relations.
But what does it mean to be "burned out?" Burnout is a type of exhaustion that affects us physically and emotionally, occurring when we experience stress over a long period of time. We can also experience burnout when we feel our work doesn't meet our own expectations, and we start to become disillusioned by the state of affairs.
However, not all is lost. There are a ton of great ways to motivate ourselves when we recognize these symptoms, or if we're already deep in burnout mode. Working in public relations, where burnout is a common obstacle, I have been able to identify five of the best methods to recharge and get back on track.
Cultivate a Life Outside of Work
If you used to have a hobby you loved, now is the time to dive back into it. Find an activity -- mental or physical -- to engage in that you're passionate about or want to learn more about. Being able to immerse yourself in an activity that is not centered on work will help you to unplug from the stressors and cultivate personal gratification.
Unplug From Everything
I cannot reiterate this enough: Technology consumes us on a daily basis, and even though technology is an incredible feat to make us more productive, it also takes away the time we can use to focus on ourselves, our family and our friends.
Make it a point to schedule time to spend away from your phone, computer, tablet etc. and focus on the time you are spending either alone or with someone else. Separating yourself from stressors helps regenerate your interpersonal and personal relationships outside of work.
One of the biggest work-related burnout factors is having too much work and not enough organization. Schedule time -- an hour, two hours, even a day -- to really dig deep and write out a comprehensive list of all tasks that need to be handled. This way, you can figure out the priorities of the tasks, who can be delegated a few of those tasks, and the status of each.
It's easy to get overwhelmed, but it's just as easy to take a step back and realize the issue at hand might not seem as large as you initially made it out to be.
Take Regular, Small Breaks During Work Hours
"I don't have time" is not an excuse. Studies show that we are most productive when we work at intervals of an hour to an hour and a half, then spend 15 minutes taking a break.
If you push yourself into exhaustion, the opportunity is now missed to rejuvenate your mind and dive back into work fresh and bright-eyed. Breaks can include taking a quick walk to grab a coffee, stretching, grabbing a snack and getting some fresh air. The possibilities are endless.
Evaluate the End Game
Being able to recognize burnout can help you to re-evaluate your initial career goals. Evaluate your end game by considering if your work is still aligned with your values and is continuing to benefit your long-term goals. The self-analysis will give you an all-encompassing overview of what's missing from your professional and personal lives.
The next steps are to determine if you can change your role within the company, or if it's time to find another position that better suits your new goals.
Bryanne Lawless is the owner of BLND Public Relations.