3. Prioritize yourself
You need to know and be mindful of who you are, what you want and how you spend your days.
Ask yourself why you do your work and what you wish to get out of it. What are you willing to sacrifice to get there, and what not? What else in your life is crucial? What do you not want to regret later?
Take time to think through these questions and how your life aligns with your priorities. Do your days mirror your preferences? If not, why and how not?
Think about what you can change, try to spend your days differently and observe the result. If something works better, integrate it into your daily rituals; if not, try something new.
4. Talk about burnout at work
There is only so much we can do individually to address burnout, which is far from a unique problem.
As employees we need to question, rethink and repair organizations that generate overwork — it is important to not only have these conversations with yourself, friends and family but in the workplace too.
Organizations should want to address burnout since it isn’t good for them and leads to higher employee turnover and lost revenue related to lower productivity. But organizations are difficult to fix.
They often can’t or don’t want to see how they’re the problem. And they respond by proposing individual solutions to what is a collective, systemic problem — wellness programs and yoga classes won’t help with overwork.
If you have the energy to try and address organizational overwork, start small. You can talk to trusted colleagues about their experiences and share stories, which helps raise awareness about how burnout is a collective larger issue.
5. Acknowledge this isn’t a you problem
A more significant role falls on leaders who have the power and resources to change work. If their employees burn out, it’s because they are OK with it.
Responsible leaders should reach out to employees to inquire about burnout. They should understand how their organization contributes to it. This might involve asking how work is set up, how information technology affects work and how employees are — or aren’t — supported.
Leaders set the tone and model what is acceptable — like overworking or taking time for yourself. Ultimately, if overwork is ingrained in company culture, we need to realize that the problem is the organization.
Burnout is serious problem that deserves all of our attention.