There is a difference between a bad work day, work stress, and job burnout. Knowing the difference between workplace stress and burnout can help us prevent burnout, manage job stress, increase productivity, and be happier and engaged with our jobs.
Stress produces urgency while you are over-engaged, and it can lead to loss of energy and anxiety. Job burnout is characterized by disengagement and produces helplessness. It can also lead to loss of motivation and hope.
Preventing Job Burnout
- Clarify job expectations. Work with your manager or supervisor to update a description of your job duties and responsibilities. You may be able to gain a little leverage by showing that you’ve been working above and beyond the parameters of your job.
- Request a change. If your workplace is large enough, you might be able to move to a different office or department. Even a change of scenery can help you increase productivity gain a new perspective. Clear your desk of all papers except for those relating to the immediate task.
- Ask for different responsibilities. If you’ve been doing the exact same work for a long time, ask for something new—a different sales territory, project, or role. Do things in order of their importance. Prioritizing is the most important factor to prevent stress and increase productivity.
- Take time off. Use a vacation or personal day; do something to remove yourself from a situation. It’s proven that vacation improves employee engagement and individual feelings about the workplace. Use time away to recharge batteries and gain a new perspective.
- Learn to say no. With the myriad of options from which we can choose to use our time, sometimes we take on too many things that aren’t meaningful to us. Wisely choose activities that fill you up rather than drain you.
- Slow the pace. When we stretch our timeframe to the limit, we rush and sometimes sacrifice quality in our work. Fast is okay; too fast is not okay. Learn to relax at work and rest before you get tired.
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