Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guest Post: What to Do When Work Burns You Out

Exactly two weeks ago we had a great guest post on not letting bad weather keep you down and today we have another guest post on what to do when you get overworked at work. As February winds down, the work is certainly going to ramp up. Think about it: December was the holidays, January is broken up by MLK Day and snow days, February you can enjoy the freezing weather with President's Day and Valentines Day, but the nitty gritty always seems to start as the shortest month of the year ends. Well then it's great timing once again to have this guest contribution submitted by Lauren Bailey, who specializes in writing about online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to: blauren99 Without further ado, here is Lauren's guest post:
You begin your countdown to the weekend the minute you clock in at work. You find yourself unable to focus on any of the tasks assigned to you. You feel lost, confused, frustrated, and also entirely apathetic. All of these are signs that you may be feeling burnt out from your job. This is something that nearly every full-time working individual goes through at some point or another in their career. Luckily, the feeling of dread and unhappiness does not have to be permanent there are a few ways that you can combat feeling burnt out at work so that you can get back to enjoying your weekdays as well as your weekends.

Take a Break

When you're feeling overwrought and run over by your job, the best thing you can do is give yourself some space from it. Those who do not take regular vacation days tend to burn out faster than those who do, so consider using some of your vacation days and taking a break from the workday routine. Even if you only leave for a four-day weekend, it could be enough time for you to regroup and recharge. Take a trip somewhere new to give yourself a break from your usual routine. Even if you stay home, do something different during your time off, such as going to a new restaurant or visiting a friend you normally do not see. After getting some space from your job, you may be able to go back to it with some more clarity.

Plan a Future Break

Even if you cannot take a break at the moment, simply planning a future one can do wonders in lifting your spirits and giving you focus again. The promise of an upcoming vacation can add renewed energy into your work because now you have something exciting to look forward to other than just the weekend. Make it a point to plan at least one vacation each year even in-town vacations can be beneficial to your mental health.

Look for New Things to Do at Work

Your burnout may be a result of simply being stuck in a rut. Ask around for new responsibilities that you can take on, such as joining a new project or working in something not directly related to your field or department. A change in duties could be a much-needed breath of fresh air in the workplace, allowing you to reach outside of your comfort zone and try something different. If you are successful in all of your new projects and catch the attention of your supervisor, you may even change careers within the company, allowing you to shake off your last job and take on a new one without having to leave.

Look for New People at Work

Just as being stuck with the same job title and responsibilities can leave you feeling like you're stuck in a rut, being stuck with the same coworkers can have a similar effect. While you may not necessarily want to ignore your old coworkers completely, it could help you feel more lively and energetic to seek out new cohorts to socialize with. Explore the other departments in your company, or even talk to the other people in your building. New social connections can instantly make your work experience much more interesting and engaging.

Look for a New Place to Work

If nothing else works and you know that you need for your situation to change, consider looking for a new place to work. You can either ask for a transfer of location from your current employer, such as volunteering to transfer to another location, or seek new employment opportunities altogether. This way, you will gain the opportunity to start fresh again.

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