• Insights
  • Tips to Prevent and Manage Burnout

Are you having trouble concentrating or making decisions?

Are you easily irritated by others?

Do you feel that you’ve not been performing at your best with work or study?

In the past 2-3 weeks, have you often felt run down and drained?

Do you feel a lack of motivation to do well with your work or study?


If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are likely burned out. A 2022 McKinsey Health study, found through their survey of 15,000 workers across 15 countries, that a quarter of employees experienced burnout symptoms. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion resulting from prolonged stress or overworking in the workplace. It's characterised by feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a lack of accomplishment, often leading to decreased performance and motivation. There are vast flow-on effects for this form of exhaustion which can be extremely detrimental to your health and career goals. 


The costs of burnout

  • Feeling drained, unable to cope, irritable, and angry.

  • Increased risk of depression, substance abuse, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Loss of sleep.

  • Increased feelings of irritability.

  • Increased susceptibility to sickness.

How to prevent/manage burnout

  1. Pinpoint the cause

The first step to ensure you minimise the likelihood of feeling burned out is to pinpoint the risk factors and possible causes of burnout.

There are a range of different causes. This list is not exhaustive but does offer some common causes: 

  • Feeling out of control over your job, schedule, assignments, or workload. 

  • Not being equipped with the tools to carry out your work. 

  • A lack of clarity surrounding what your role entails and the standard that is expected of you. Without this reinforcement, you may start to question if you are completing tasks adequately.

  • Workplace conflicts or disagreements with coworkers. 

  • Heavy workloads and long work hours can cause fatigue. 

  • Having too light a workload can cause boredom and a lack of motivation. 

  • A lack of focus on your work-life balance. If you don’t balance how you spend your time you may begin to feel overworked with little time to spend by yourself, with friends and family. 

  • Working in a draining field like healthcare where you have to prioritise others. 


  1. Prioritise self care

Once you have pinpointed the cause of your burnout, you must examine what you can do to solve the problem. 

Outside of work, take part in activities that re-energise you. Look to start activities that help to alleviate stress including yoga or meditation. This sense of mindfulness will allow you to continuously assess how you’re feeling and what your priorities are. 

Including regular exercise and a healthy diet in your regimen will also help you cope better with stress. A recent study has shown that 33% of high-stress adults said they feel less stressed after exercising. 

It is also crucial to prioritise sleep as this will work to restore your well-being and help to build your immune system. Finally, taking regular breaks from technology will be immensely beneficial, particularly for those in office jobs, often spending 8 hours of their day at a computer. 

By incorporating these small changes into your daily routine, you will find a naturally improved work-life balance as you take the time to prioritise your health. 


  1. Spend time with friends and family

In addition to incorporating self-care techniques, it is also important to establish a work-life balance that encompasses spending time with friends and family. Ensuring you have a sense of social interaction outside of work is crucial for maintaining your mental health.


  1. Examine your options

While techniques outside of work will help to ease exhaustion, curb cynicism, and enhance efficacy, they don’t fully address the root causes of burnout. To combat this it is important to reduce your exposure to the stressors you have pinpointed. 

Are you in a position where you wish to leave your job? Maybe that would be something to consider if you think the conditions aren’t changeable. If you decide you’re able to persist, you have to change your workplace conditions. Talk to your boss about your concerns. This will enable you to make changes together that work for both of your interests. If conflicts with other employees are causing you stress, set boundaries and speak to your boss! 

Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals within the office will also make your work feel more fulfilling and make tasks more doable. This will help to minimise stress and keep you on track and motivated. 


  1. Shift your perspective

Shift your perspective around work. While it may be difficult to change your workload or office conflicts, you can control your mindset and how you approach your work. 

What can you change? Prioritise what you can control rather than fixating on what you can’t. Altering your perspective can buffer the negative impact of even the inflexible aspects. Making friends at work can also offer some relief when you’re feeling drained by your tasks as it offers a social outlet that is still productive. Finding the value in your work can also give you a new-found sense of motivation and remind you of why you chose this career path. There is also always an option to take time off so take advantage of the opportunity!


  1. Seek support

With such an increased focus on mental health, there are now more support networks available than ever before. A lot of large corporations now have employee assistance programs in place so be sure to look into the services provided by your employer. There are always coworkers, friends, and loved ones you can turn to. By turning to trusted individuals you may be able to minimise the symptoms of burnout and be offered advice specifically catered to your situation. 


Preventing and managing burnout is crucial to ensure you maintain a healthy career and personal life balance. 

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