Workplace Burnout: Balancing Work and a Personal Life

This blog was provided by MI Blues Perspectives.

Have you ever had the feeling of being completely exhausted both mentally and physically at work? You had a good night’s rest, you had your morning coffee, but you can’t seem to shake this feeling of exhaustion.  You could be experiencing burnout and you’re not alone in feeling this way.

Burnout is actually listed as an occupational phenomenon in the International Classification of Diseases, described as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Feelings of exhaustion, reduced effectiveness at work and negative feelings or cynicism about one’s job are all listed as characteristics of occupational burnout.

Studies have shown that in one generation, the number of hours worked increased by 8% to an average of 47 hours per week. In most workplaces, the idea of always being involved with work in some way to be successful has played a part in why so many people suffer from burnout. Nearly 50% of workers say they need help learning how to manage stress.

So, unless you suddenly win the lottery, quitting your job likely isn’t an option. Here are our top tips for managing your work life with less stress and creating time for yourself outside of the office.

Set Your Priorities
Determine what is most important. Organize your work by what will require the most work and when it is due. This will allow you to prioritize what is truly important to focus on.

Track Your Time
Figure out exactly what you’re spending time on. See what aligns with your priorities. If something of lesser importance interferes with your ultimate career goals, try to delegate these tasks to a junior teammate or talk to your boss about eliminating them from your workload.

Respect Your Private Time
Learn to disconnect from work when you’re not at the office. Unless it’s an emergency, give yourself a chance to disconnect from work and enjoy the time you have to yourself.

Learn How to Say “No”
If it doesn’t fit in your schedule don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do work you can’t make time for. The work won’t be your best and you’ll be stressed, compromising your other priorities. Talk to your boss and communicate your concerns about taking on work you can’t fit in your schedule – he or she might be able to help you rearrange your schedule or offload other, less important tasks.

Take a Vacation
Taking some time off and getting away from the workplace can be exactly what you need. It doesn’t have to be somewhere far or even expensive, but you do need a chance to replenish your energy, so you can be happy and productive when you return to work.

Being able to find balance in both your work and personal life gives you an opportunity to perform efficiently in both areas. Have you or someone close to you experienced burnout? Share your experiences or how you find work-life balance in the comments below.

This blog was provided by MI Blues Perspectives. As a Wellness Works partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan shares content developed by subject-matter experts to provide well-rounded information to our readers.