3 Tips to Beat Burnout and Successfully Attain Work-Life Balance

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Do you feel burntout and that you have no work-life balance?

You are not alone.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity for a well-earned few days off.

But what about the rest of the year?

Do you take your time off?

And when you are working, do you work lots of long hours, nights and weekends?

Or do you maintain a semblance of work-life balance?

Abandoning Work-Life Balance for Work-Life Integration

In the last few years, there has been a lot of buzz around forgetting work-life balance because it isn’t really possible to separate the two.

Work-life integration is now the preferred term. Work-life blend is also used sometimes.

Do you feel like you have a good level of work-life balance or integration or blend?

If you said “No,” you are part of the majority.

Overwork has been a problem for many people for decades. So has burnout. These are not new ideas. But the pandemic has magnified these issues.

In 2020, more than 75% of employees reported feeling burntout at least once.

But there is no easy fix.

Taking some time off is great. While you are away from the office, maybe you can forget about the stress of the workplace. But when you return, so do all those triggers.

How often have you taken a week or two off, enjoyed your holiday, come back to the office, and within a few days, you feel just as exhausted and run down as you did before you spent the time away?

Research has shown taking a vacation is not the solution to burnout.

Burnout, Bitterness, and Workplace Blues

Burnout is about more than just being overextended in the workplace. Typically, it involves a feeling of bitterness or feeling disenchanted with the work you are doing.

You may question whether your work is meaningful or making a positive impact. This is where that question of, “Have I sold out by prioritizing money? Or maybe I should have followed my passion” come into play.

This is even more of a problem if you feel your work is unappreciated or unrecognized. And if there is no emotional support, that compounds the problem even more.

What can you do to overcome the burnout and work towards a reasonable level of work-life integration? Here are a few ideas to help you get back on track:

3 Tips to Beat Burnout and Attain Work-Life Balance

  1. Consider your priorities and how you can establish some boundaries.

When some people become burntout they question whether they are doing the right thing; whether they sacrificed pursuing a passion in favour of a title or salary.

It may be possible to consider ways to implement those abandoned desires into your work by reconfiguring your role. That may lead to more enthusiasm around your job and happiness in general.

Job crafting- redesigning parts of your job so that you can do more of what you want while the company continues to get what it needs- may be an effective way to stay true to your personal desires.

2. Review your professional goals.

Working toward a goal can give you a finish line to look toward.

Hitting that goal gives you the opportunity to celebrate an accomplishment and can be an excellent time to schedule a much-needed break.

Knowing you have a report due at the end of November, schedule a few days off in early December. The project won’t be hanging over you on holiday and you will have a good excuse to celebrate during your vacation.

3. Build stronger ties with people.

At the start of the pandemic, we were made concerted efforts to offer our colleagues emotional support.

As remote work and instability dragged on with no end in sight, we forgot to do that.

The tendency to check-in and be a friend and cheerleader gradually fell away and we reverted back to concentrating on our daily tasks and responsibility.

Emotional connections to the people we work with are key to workplace happiness.

Establishing better work-life integration is not an easy task. But this should give you a few things to think about, particularly as we enter the year-end holiday season when work and life commitments can really start to clash and questions may arise around burnout and fatigue in general.

Related episodes of interest about:

The importance of company culture.

How companies address employees’ mental health concerns.

Companies giving employees time off to relax and de-stress.