Avoiding Burnout: 7 Ideas for Happier Workdays

Operation Happiness is an incredible quick read written by Kristi Ling that everyone should pick up. She outlines some amazingly simple life changes that help you learn to choose happiness and cultivate it as you would a skill.  What changes does she recommend? Change your view, change your mornings, create new habits. That’s it! READ IT! This book is amazing. Operation Happiness, Kristi Ling I’ve chosen to highlight an article from the end of the book (her 30 days of positive life lessons) on avoiding work burnout.  I think work fatigue is an issue for everyone from time to time and this advice is inspiring. I happened to read this on just the right day and it was exactly what I needed! ….

“We’ve all been there: that feeling of being overwhelmed and mentally exhausted from ever-growing lists of tasks, messages, and e-mails demanding our energy and attention.

The drive for fifty-hour-plus workweeks, combined with technological advances that keep our mental gears constantly turning, has resulted in millions of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, burned-out employees and business owners who dream about moving to an island to work at a seaside mai tai bar. Many of us can also add several hours a week sitting in traffic to our work schedules. Through the years of working for myself, I’ve learned that I’m much stronger and more successful with projects when I’m taking excellent care of my body, mind, and spirit.

Finding this sense of harmony took much practice, and I find myself revisiting priorities on a regular basis to keep it up. All it takes to bring more bliss and success into our professional and personal lives is to tweak our way of thinking and change a few of our own rules.

After all, it’s usually our own made-up rules that hold us back, not the rules created by others. It’s a given that working less and slowing down to a more peaceful pace at the office can lead you to a happier work life. If you feel like this isn’t an option, consider this: Slowing down, taking better care of yourself, and taking regular time off will result in more focus, extra organization, and a significant increase in mental energy. As a result, more productive days and higher-quality work will emerge.

So it’s a win-win. Easier said than done? It may seem that way, but even making a few tiny changes can make a huge difference and provide the momentum you need for permanent positive change. Here are a few suggestions:  


Resist the temptation to work late unless it’s absolutely necessary. This may take practice, but it’s well worth it. Downtime must be a priority so you can be at your best for you, for your career, and for those you work with.


Keep an inspiration box in your office filled with special notes from friends and loved ones, as well as a few trinkets that remind you of good times. Take a break now and then when you need a pick-me-up and go through the box for instant motivation.


Make a conscious effort to schedule evenings out after work every few weeks with friendly colleagues or people who inspire you. Laughter is always the best medicine, and brainstorming in a nonwork environment can be motivating as well as valuable.”


Change the setting on your e-mail program so it only checks for new messages every thirty minutes. Your sense of peace will increase dramatically, and you’ll get more done without the constant interruptions. While you’re at it, turn off the sound notification as well. Who needs extra noise?


Schedule e-mail- and phone-free days on weekends. Sink into the joys of being unreachable for a few hours. Indulge in news-free days now and then, too.


Check in with yourself on a regular basis for self-care tuneups. It can take practice to keep priorities in line.


Take a little time for soul-searching. If you are truly unhappy with your job and feel this can’t be transformed, even if you shake things up a bit, then consider a change. If you feel trapped and a change doesn’t seem feasible, sit down and see if you can map out a six-month plan to make it happen. What you come up with might surprise you.”  


One of the most important secrets to a successful career and happier life overall is whole, balanced living. If your self “scale” is tipped heavily on the side of work, take a big step back and see where you can shave off some of the weight. The payoff will be worth it.”

Excerpt From: Kristi Ling. “Operation Happiness.”


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