• Does your work and life feel unbalanced?
• Are you sick and tired most of the time?
• Do you feel like work overwhelms you?

You may be experiencing job burnout.

Taking care of a family, climbing the career ladder, or working for that new house or car can lead you to devote excessive hours to your job. Gosh I remember when I was in the middle of my corporate career, wow, I was literally working from 4:30am to after 11:00pm most days. I had hundreds of employees that I had to manage. I tried to work out, I tried to eat right, but let’s face it, you cannot live on Jolt and Chocolate muffins.

I definitely got so used to this routine that I become addicted to the stress that comes with an imbalanced life. And then I would crumble, I would get so sick that I needed meds, but I still didn’t stop.

The good news is that I learned how to create better balance and I am going to share some of those strategies with you:

1. Make every effort to stick to the number of hours you're required to work. One of the first clues you're gravitating toward over-work is noticing that you're working more hours than necessary.

• For example, if you're hired to work 40 hours weekly and you notice you're actually working 50 or 55 hours, recognize that continuing to work at that level will eventually catch up with you.

• Working extra hours from time to time may benefit your career advancement or your pocketbook. But the long-term effects of chronic overwork may leave you inefficient in the very job you're seeking to excel in.

• I believe that you need to set boundaries. For this project I will work 50 hours per week and when it is complete I will plan a week of vacation or, I will work only 5 days a week and I will ensure quality time with my family and loved ones on at least one day.

2. Take breaks. It's important to divert your mind a few times each day from your work projects.

• Take a coffee break and chat with your co-workers about the television show you watched last night.

• Call your partner to plan an entertaining activity for later on today or the upcoming weekend.
Spend 10-15 minutes in quiet meditation. It is very easy to do and takes no effort on your part. Just sit comfortably and breath in for 5 counts and breath out for 5 counts. Do this 5-7 times.

Whatever you do during your break, get out of your usual environment. If you normally stare at a computer screen, go outside or gaze out a window. If you're running around as part of your job, take a relaxing break. Sit down somewhere or take a nap if you can. A friend of mine says he would go in the bathroom to have his power nap, I much prefer my car, but you don’t always have that around.

3. Utilize tools at work to help you do your job more efficiently. Take the time to learn how to operate the timesaving "tools" found in your workplace.

• For example, perhaps you're responsible for copying and putting together a multiple-page employee manual and you still don't know how to use the fancy copy machine that copies, collates and staples documents. In this case, spending the time necessary to learn to operate the copier might shorten many of your tasks, making them quicker and easier.

• An example is staying super organized. Learn a method or strategy that will allow you to complete task on time and enhance your productivity. I like to use “Zen to Done” this is a variation of the “Get it Done” and there are many others. You can choose to use manual organization, ie pen and paper or you can use a multimedia strategy.

4. Delegate. If possible, assign some of your tasks to others whenever you can. One of the signs of burnout is the belief that no one can do the job or a task as well as you can.

• Whether or not your belief about others is true, you don't have to act on it. When you do, the result is that you do more and more of the work.

• When you delegate, you also give others the opportunity to grow and develop. If you're in a position to delegate, fostering this growth may even be part of your job!

5. Make it a habit to take all time off to which you're entitled. Taking the time off that you're allotted will help you prevent sick days from job burnout.

• During those vacations and personal days, recharge your batteries by engaging in activities that are totally unrelated to your work.

• As much as possible, unplug from your work completely during this time. Yes, this means NO tech. It is possible, if you really need help with this, head out camping to a remote spot where you don’t even have access.

• Some of my best vacations were staycations, there is no extra expense to worry about but you can do many of the things you would do while on vacation, like sleep in, hit some tourist hot spots. You might even learn something new about the city you already live in.

6. Stay in touch with your feelings related to your work. Acknowledge your feelings; they're all valid and worth evaluating. Plus, your feelings can be your first clue that you're headed toward job burnout.

• Are you getting tired of working all the time? Are you totally excited and interested in your job? Or is it becoming humdrum or even a hassle?

• If you discover you're feeling negatively about your work, take steps to resolve the challenges that are causing you to feel this way. It's important that your work provides a positive force in your life rather than zap all your energy.

Having a healthy work-life balance is important. Practice the above strategies to avoid developing job burnout. Discover the liberating beauty of living a restorative, balanced life.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Lynn Smith is a passionate and an authentic teacher who shares her real life experiences about creating a more nurturing and fulfilling lifestyle. As women, mothers, lovers, sisters, friends we often forget that we need to re-charge our batteries. We need to take care of ourselves; we need to love ourselves FIRST!

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