If you’ve grown overly critical about your employer, find yourself impatient with colleagues and clients alike, can’t seem to focus, and put a little bit too much value on unhealthy vices, there’s a good chance you’re burnt out with your career. Reasons for career burnout include too much work, too little pay, and a lack of control. No matter what caused your workplace disillusion, you have to provide for your family. Here are a few ways to beat the burnout so that you can be your best both at home and at work.
Change your focus
When you fall into a never-ending pattern of wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat, you give your brain very little fuel. You can enter into an almost highway hypnosis-like state, except instead of a car accident, you may experience a career crash. Give yourself a change of scenery a few times each week, and you just might find that you’re more productive and spend less time daydreaming about driving away from your 9-to-5 responsibilities.
One of the most effective ways to beat burnout is to take a vacation. Time off is a great way to break the cycle that contributes to burnout, and traveling to another city or immersing yourself in another culture can reinvigorate your mind and boost your productivity. Even a staycation can be therapeutic, and living in the Los Angeles-area lends itself to a lot of opportunity for rest and relaxation. Get out of your habit trail by snagging a vacation rental in an area that plays to your interests, like family-friendly Santa Monica, laid-back hipster haven Venice Beach or the Silverlake area, which has some of the best hiking in the city.
Feed your brain
There’s no denying that work can drain your brain. You can spend so much time trying to fix problems and put out fires that your gray matter isn’t able to easily get out of fight or flight mode. But there are ways you can jumpstart your senses, boost your brain’s ability to produce happiness-producing neurotransmitters, and even improve your attention span. This miracle cure? Exercise.
Exercise is something you can do even without the benefit of a gym. BBC.com recently wrote about the benefits of exercise during the work day. The site notes, among other things, that even just a few minutes of purposeful activity is beneficial. Keep a pair of sneakers handy, and then look for opportunities to get your heart rate up. A 10-minute walk during your lunch hour is one of the easiest and fastest ways to boost your ability to concentrate. When you can concentrate, you can get things done more efficiently, which can keep you from logging in to work once you get home. The result is a clear line between your personal and professional lives, which can make a big difference to your overall happiness levels in both.
Take a look at how much you actually work. You might find that you’re logging more than the 40 hours your pay structure was built to compensate. Then, pay attention to when you are most productive. For some, this is early in the morning. Others work best at closer to the midnight hour. Once you identify how much you work and when you’re best at it, consider changing your hours. While this won’t be practical for some jobs, the tech-centered world we live in makes it possible for many. Changing from a rigid schedule to a flexible one can make you a better worker, and even reduce the number of days you miss each year.
Job burnout can hurt your professional reputation and ability to provide for your family. By finding ways to redirect your focus, boost your brain, and work when you’re most productive, you can keep the flames you once felt for your profession alive and well.