What do you do when you hit burnout in your work? It can be almost impossible to to recover from a state of extreme burnout in the same role. It may require moving to a new role or to another company. The problem is that if it is the job you are currently is causing the burnout, you are expending all your energy just getting through the days and weeks. What you need is a break in the monotony and a fresh start.
Since quitting or taking off for a couple weeks is usually not an option, let’s brainstorm on what you can do…
List the things about your current reality that are draining to you. Highlight the ones that you actually have some control over. Note any steps you can take here. Commit to taking action on the highlighted items.
List as many things as possible that bring you joy or energize you. Watch a movie, take a nap, read a book. Pick one thing from your list each week and put it on the calendar. It can be the same thing every week. Seeing it on your calendar allows you to look forward to it, and this is very important for the recovery process. Looking forward to something brings you as much or more happiness as doing the actual activity. Then do the thing! No matter what.
Give yourself the gift of time to do some soul searching. This is the most important part. It is time to get really honest with yourself about where you are and what you want for your future. There are two questions you need to ponder. Are you at the right organization? Are you in the right role? Plot twist: You may be at the right organization but in the wrong role. In this case, your focus needs to shift to redesigning your role. If you can redesign your role where you are, great! If not, you may have to look for your role at another organization. On the other hand, if you are at the wrong organization but in the right role, good news. You know what you want and you can begin your search.
Commit to caring about yourself by doing the above. If you will do this it will become easier and a more natural part of your life to expect others to respect your boundaries and not take advantage of you. These practices build your self respect muscle and help safeguard against burnout in the future.
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