Updated at October 13, 2022
How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated
Efficient ways to overcome burnout and find motivation in your work/life
8 straight hours of sleep, 3 cups of coffee, and you still feel tired like you've been up all night. Yes, I know you saw yourself in this sentence.
But keep calm because luckily (I mean - unfortunately) you're not the only one to go through a similar situation in your everyday life. I'm writing this article, not only based on research and scientific data but also inspired by situations I've lived through. And I still live it... sometimes.
Burnout syndrome has been talked about for a long time, including, on January 1, 2022, the World Health Organization formalized Burnout Syndrome as a work-related illness.
🧠Burnout is a psychological disorder caused by excessive stress due to overload or overwork.
The origin of Burnout is related to sources of stress inherent to their activities, whether professional or personal. These sources of stress can be greater competitiveness in the workplace, inadequate pressure (overload of tasks or changes in working hours), the practice of intense activities subject to risks, poor work environment among colleagues, as well as personal issues.
That said, it is important to maintain a balance between professional and personal life to prevent burnout from occurring.
How to overcome burnout
There are several ways to overcome Burnout depending on your source of stress, however, I'm going to introduce you to some general changes that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will help you reduce or even eliminate stress from any type of source.
1 - Have effective sleep
Sleep has been scientifically proven to be the main cause of Burnout. This is because most people neglect sleep because they think they can still be “productive” without it. But calm down again, this does not mean that if you sleep more hours, you will wake up full of energy.
An effective sleep depends solely and exclusively on your chronotype (each individual's natural predisposition to feel energy spikes or fatigue, according to the time of day), that is, the effectiveness of your sleep will depend on what time of the day you sleep.
This means that there is no point in going to bed at 9 pm and waking up at 5 am if you are a night person, or going to bed at 8 am and waking up at 4 pm if you are a day person.
Find out your chronotype so you'll know when you'll have energy and when you won't and schedule your bedtimes based on it.
💡Personally, I am more productive at night and, because of that, I delegate my most important tasks to the schedule between 10 pm and 5 am.
2 - Review Your Schedule
I would like to start by saying that productivity is not related to how many tasks you do.
"You will never breathe while your schedule is choked with tasks.” - Believe it or not, I just made up this phrase!
Review all your scheduled tasks and cancel the ones that aren't really important.
💡One of my rules that helps me a lot to maintain productivity is to limit my schedule to just 3 important tasks a day. In extreme cases, I can only add 1 more task. I AM NOT A MACHINE.
3 - Meditate
Several studies have confirmed that meditation has long-term positive effects on our psychological well-being, reduces anxiety, stress, and other mental disorders. So adding meditation, no matter how short, to your routine is a great idea to free your mind from any toxic thoughts and feelings.
💡You don't need to look like a Monk and meditate for 30 minutes, 1 hour, or more. Start small, I would recommend 3 minutes, which is my current meditation time and helps me a lot to stay focused on my tasks and eliminate stress.
4 - Take a break
Breaks are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most efficient ways to relieve stress. Unlike meditation, you can use your break to focus on other tasks like reading a book or listening to a podcast while tidying up your house.
During this break, it is important that you are away from your work area and relax.
💡I use the Pomodoro technique to take periodic breaks from my work and more importantly, to break complicated tasks into smaller easier-to-solve parts.
5 - Make time for yourself
Sometimes, with so much going on and so many tasks to solve in your work, we end up forgetting about ourselves. That's why I only put 3 tasks in my schedule.
Whether it's 30 minutes playing video games, 10 minutes reading a book, 20 minutes chatting with someone you like, or even spending time alone, making time for yourself makes you psychologically disconnect from your work and have control over your physical and mental health.
💡As you may already know, I'm also a Content Creator, and every day I make time to take photos, shoot videos and write articles like this one. This helps me a lot to forget about my work for a few hours and focus on myself and my stuff.
There are many other ways to overcome Burnout such as exercising, talking to a therapist, even changing jobs. As I said before, the ideal way for you to overcome your Burnout will depend on your sources of stress. In this article, I have based myself only on general practices that are sure to help you in any stressful situation.
How to stay motivated
Motivation, I mean, the lack of it, is also one of the major causes of Burnout today because it sucks your willingness to do anything, especially those that require more focus and effort.
Always being motivated is essential because it makes our days more pleasant, improves our performance, we feel more productive, decreases the probability of developing anxiety disorders, work is no longer just an obligation, and reflects on our personal growth.
Staying motivated isn't difficult, you just need to know the most suitable ways to do it. Setting goals and having self-confidence are just the first steps, but in addition, there are a few steps that can help:
1 - Look around you
Seriously, look around! What are you seeing? A structured family? People, who love you? A home? A good job? Health? Sometimes motivational problems arise because we don't know how to assess everything around us. Remember that not everyone has what you have.
You just need to look at everything you have and from there, motivate yourself to move forward.
2 - Work with what you love
“Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work.” - Confucius
Working with what we like has become a great challenge for our generation because we base our choices on futility such as a good salary, status, among others. Many times the choice of a job is not even ours, it is our conservative parents who choose a job based on what they believe is “worthy” for society.
When you choose a profession you love, you find together more motivation and pleasure in carrying out the proposed activities. Although work is our main income and the best way to achieve financial independence, it doesn't have to be exhausting and monotonous, it can be done with passion and a lot of disposition! So choose to work with what you love to do.
3 - Change project, or job
At some point in our lives, more of the same fails to bring enthusiasm, which is quite common. Therefore, new knowledge is never too much. A new course, a graduate degree, training, and specializations or even a new job can take you out of the inertia you live in.
4 - Focus on intrinsic motivations
Intrinsic motivations are when you are driven by internal factors. You do something because you like it, find it fun, meaningful, or interesting, unlike the extrinsic motivations, which is when you work for money or seek approval from others.
The lack of motivation is a problem that can arise at different times in our lives, impacting our daily lives, draining our energies, and putting us in a true state of inertia, causing Burnout.
So it's important to stay focused on yourself, find a purpose, and essentially love your work.
Have a project in mind? Let's work together.
© 2022, Nubelson Fernandes