3 Smart Ways to Avoid Burnout

You’re a results-oriented high achiever. You do more and then some. But, how long do you really think you can keep up the fast pace? Before long, stress, fatigue and burnout will seize your energy and take you down. Does this sound like a vicious cycle that you keep repeating? If so, it’s high time you did something about it. Make positive changes in your work ethic by learning how to avoid burnout.

Try these three methods to clear the path for balance and achievement:

1. Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach, so to speak. Remember when mom would say this at the dinner table? The food looked so good that you put more on your plate than you could eat. It seemed like a good decision at the time, right? We pile on tasks in the same way. We want to achieve results. We love to please others and make their lives a little easier—by making ours a little more difficult. Burnout is often the result of artificially enlarging the vision of your reach and then executing on that lack of capacity.

Thus, the first way to avoid burnout is to realistically examine your circumstances and understand your capacity. This will help you avoid piling on a mountain of impractical tasks and effectively incorporate time for rest, reflection and renewal.

2. Learn to say no. Why has “no” become such a bad word in the land of overachievement? Overachievers and people-pleasers set expectations high for anyone willing to take advantage of someone else’s unallocated time and resources. Your willingness to deliver on someone else’s robust expectations, however, will eventually become the bane of your existence. So, why not change the game? Stop worrying about disappointing people and get your priorities in order.

Saying no is the next best step in avoiding burnout because it helps limit outside expectations and helps you to prioritize the most important things in your personal and professional life.

3. Chunk. Think you have 1—2—3 tasks too many? Then you cannot underestimate the power of chunking. Chunking is an effective way to avoid burnout and keep your to-do list in order. It involves five steps that include: defining your goal, setting a dead line for it, identifying underlying tasks, plugging those tasks into your calendar and finally assessing and acknowledging progress. Chunking helps you to avoid overwhelm and pushes you to make progress in a calculated way.

Chunking is the final step in avoiding burnout because it helps you to become organized and move forward on key tasks by providing guidelines towards their completion. When you’re not overwhelmed with unnecessary obligations you can pace yourself and focus on excellence and achievement.

Are you committed to do what it takes to avoid burnout? If so, rest, reflection and renewal are yours for the taking. Just remember: don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach, learn to say no and chunk!

Go for it!

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. CS, is the Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport. Follow her on Twitter @WSRapport or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: stockphotos: via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Karima Mariama-Arthur

Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport (www.wordsmithrapport.com), a boutique consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. which specializes in professional development. She consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high-performance leadership competence.

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