Tack­ling burnout, not just once but again and again

The Pak Banker - - Front Page - Ra­nia Oteify

IF you've worked your­self to a burnout, you may know pretty well that the way out of this sta­tus can be much bumper than the way in. The first thought may be to take a va­ca­tion or a just a break where you dis­con­nect from ev­ery­thing and rec­ol­lect your­self. That is not a bad idea, but in many cases, peo­ple find them­selves re­vert­ing back to the same burnout sta­tus just a few days af­ter com­ing back from a va­ca­tion if not by the end of the first day.

Sounds fa­mil­iar? If yes, then it may be a good idea to look into your style of manag­ing your work­load, your re­la­tion­ships around the of­fice and how far you've al­lowed your­self to com­pro­mise on your own com­fort for the sake of pro­fes­sional ad­vance­ment.

Here are a few points to con­sider: The way you use your off-duty time­whether for lunch breaks, evenings or an­nual leaves can make a big dif­fer­ence in how much rest and men­tal dis­con­nec­tion from work you get. With to­day's mo­bile tech­nol­ogy, hav­ing work on our minds and at our fin­ger­tips around the clock is easy. This can't be healthy for two rea­sons. One, you ob­vi­ously don't en­joy your time off that could al­low you to come back to work with a fresh per­spec­tive. Sec­ond, when you are con­cerned about of­fice prob­lems, pend­ing projects or client re­sponses, for ex­am­ple, at non-busi­ness hours, you're un­likely to find re­lief be­cause it is not a pro­duc­tive time. For ex­am­ple, even if you see an e-mail that com­mu­ni­cates a client com­plaint at 9:00 pm, you may not be able to ac­tu­ally do much about it un­til the next morn­ing.

Ev­ery time you lose sleep over your con­cerns, you sim­ply will be more tired, less pre­pared and shorter in work­ing out the prob­lem when it is ac­tu­ally time to do so. Need­less to say, there are jobs that re­quires some sort of around-the-clock mon­i­tor­ing of e-com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but these typ­i­cally are or­ga­nized in a way that al­low staff to share the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

If you're al­ways rush­ing to fin­ish projects ahead of your dead­lines, you may need to take a se­ri­ous look into how you're manag­ing your time. This rush is likely a drag on your en­ergy, and you're likely to feel unin­spired if you al­ways work un­der time-pres­sure. If your work­load is be­yond be­ing con­trolled within your work­ing hours and there­fore you're of­ten re­quired to work over­time, it might be time to raise the is­sue with your su­per­vi­sor.

Don't un­der­es­ti­mate the im­pact of neg­a­tive vibes com­ing from dis­grun­tled co­work­ers. You're more likely to be happy even with a con­sid­er­able work­load if ev­ery­one is co­op­er­a­tive, pleas­ant and sat­is­fied with their sur­round­ings. Once of­fice pol­i­tics trig­ger hos­til­ity and fin­ger­point­ing in the work­place, you may be­come more vul­ner­a­ble to fall­ing a vic­tim to nega­tiv­ity and, there­fore, eas­ily be­com­ing ex­hausted and un­mo­ti­vated. All of these are signs of a burnout. The so­lu­tion is to pin­point the cause, and avoid groups or con­ver­sa­tions that of­ten lead to these types of ex­change.

Do you tend to over­work your­self? This can be your choice as a re­sult of your am­bi­tion for ad­vance­ment or to stand out from your peers. The bad news, how­ever, is even though your hard work may win your su­per­vi­sor's at­ten­tion, it may not be fully ap­pre­ci­ate if you of­ten seem tired, short and tight. In fact, your su­per­vi­sor may take the ex­tra hours and ef­fort you're putting as a sign of strug­gle to get your job done. Ad­di­tion­ally, once you're suf­fer­ing a burnout, you may find your­self in­dif­fer­ent to com­ments of ap­pre­ci­a­tion (sim­ply think­ing they aren't enough), or un­able to be as en­gaged as you once were.

As men­tioned, tak­ing a break and com­ing back to the same rou­tine may not help much. What you ac­tu­ally need to do is to find out the causes of your trou­ble and tackle them one by one.

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