Feeling Overworked? Prevent Burnout With This Ultimate Guide!
Burnout is defined as "physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress", and it is a common problem among students and professionals alike.
Once you are burnt out, usually the only option left is rest. This can be an issue if you are studying for exams, own your own business, or otherwise rely on your own productivity.
Fortunately, it is now much easier to spot the signs of burnout before it happens and take steps to ensure you remain happy, healthy and productive.
We asked our team of productivity experts to provide this handy guide so that you can overcome burnout and stay motivated.
If you are interested in this topic, you may also be interested in checking out our article Flow State: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Get in 'The Zone' and Stay There.
Table of contents
- Methods to prevent burnout
How to know you are overworked?When it comes to being overworked or feeling stressed, it is important to remember that these feelings are determined by how we perceive a situation. Therefore, a situation that will cause someone to experience stress, will not be perceived as stressful by someone else.
Nevertheless, the stress perceived by any person is valid and will have a real effect on body and mind. The video below outlines the physical reaction to stress and what prolonged exposure to physical stress means in the long-run.
Feeling stressed at one point or another is something most people will report. Yet, not all people will be experiencing burnout.
When you are experiencing burnout, it is important to take into consideration other factors than ‘working too much’. Burnout-like symptoms come with many health conditions, therefore, please see your GP and ask for advice if you feel this may apply to you.
Tasks may seem overwhelming and endless and while you are working all day, you still feel like achieving nothing at all. Again, since being overworked is perceived differently by different people in different contexts, the symptoms or signs you experience may be different.
Nevertheless, there is the unifying factor of feeling discomfort in relation to work and/ or the everyday tasks that you are required to do.
Methods to prevent burnoutSince burnout can be caused by multiple factors, there is not a single method to prevent burnout. Depending on your situation and your experience of it, what works for some people to reduce the stress perceived may not apply to you and vice versa.
The below video highlights some simple methods that may help you to reduce the signs of being overworked.
The video mentioned four tips. The first one was to get more sleep, the second one was to say no to tasks if they would add to your workload, the third one was to schedule your time and the fourth one was to ask for help.
All of these may be difficult to get started with because if you are not practising these methods already, it is probably not because you don’t think they’d be helpful.
A great way to get started with these tips is effective time management using time management strategies such as the GTD (Getting Things Done) and the Pomodoro Technique.
The GTD can be applied to all aspects of life and will help you to keep track of what you need to do, what you have achieved so far and how to organize these actions.
It will also allow you to incorporate new ideas and it involves not only actionable actions such as getting someone’s present sorted, but it also includes unactionable actions such as filing that payment confirmation that just came through.
Importantly, it is easy to tweak GTD to suit your schedule and needs so you will definitely find one aspect of it that you could incorporate in your weekly schedule or to-do list.
You may wish to use this method alongside the Pomodoro Technique which works by breaking down a task that seems overwhelming and unmanageable. By doing so, the separate chunks suddenly do not feel so overwhelming anymore.
Additionally, you use a time management schedule and a specific routine to help you stick to the task you are doing and to do it as efficiently as possible.
The founder of this technique, Francesco Cirillo, lives by the motto “work smarter, not harder” and this basic idea is at the core of this technique. On his website, Francesco Cirillo has broken down the technique into 6 steps.
- Choose a task you’d like to get done
- Set the Pomodoro (or any other timer) for 25 min
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
- When the Pomodoro rings put a checkmark on a paper
- Take a short break
- Every four Pomodoros take a longer break
Meditation is very much related to awareness and mindfulness, which are interlinked with the concept of the flow state. This state of calm and focus, allowing for high performance in a relaxed setting, is about perceiving the task or action performed itself as fulfilling.
At the same time, people seek to experience such a flow state as it proves to be a productive phase.
While the flow state may seem too ambitious or challenging at first, it can be learned and practised, just like meditation or managing your time effectively. The key point is to give yourself time to practice these methods and routines and to test out what works well for you.
Some people opt for supplements that are designed to increase cognitive performance and energy, and therefore reduce the risks of running into burnout. These are known as natural nootropics or brain food supplements. Our favourite is BrainZyme®.
All of BrainZyme®'s products are scientifically-proven to support concentration, motivation, mental performance and the reduction of tiredness. This helps give you the focus, drive, and energy needed to get through your work, lift you out of a slump and be ultra-productive.
BrainZyme has been scientifically proven to support concentration, mental performance and the reduction of tiredness.
It can be used to prevent burnout by providing you with energy, focus and motivation whenever you need it, helping you get through more work whilst remaining healthy and happy. You can learn more about how BrainZyme can help you reduce burnout and stress here.