"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
If you find it hard to step away from work, you're not alone. For many professionals and business owners, the work never stops. While you might think buckling down and working to get ahead is good for business, it can also lead to burnout. When you're burned out, you can't deliver 100 percent. You might see yourself making mistakes or working slower than usual. Beyond work, burnout can impact your overall health. You might lose sight of good habits such as eating right, exercising and getting enough rest.
David Rodeck, a Delaware-based copywriter, says it's important to watch for signs of burnout, such as being overly critical or feeling less excited to work. You also might find yourself reworking the same task or losing focus, which are signs that you need a break. If you see yourself heading down the path of burnout, don't despair. There are some ways to turn it around so you can get back to enjoying all aspects of your life.
1. Take care of your body. Remember to exercise and eat right. Your body is your most valuable piece of equipment, so make sure to maintain it properly. Rodeck says that even when he's slammed with work, he always makes time for a nightly walk. Otherwise, he runs into serious writer's block.
2. Rethink your work goals. Could your work goals be too ambitious? Maybe you're taking on too many projects or over-promising on the delivery schedule. Personal time should be a set part of your calendar and built into project expectations.
3. Get enough sleep. Those quiet hours late at night or early morning are a tempting opportunity to catch up on work, but this time shouldn't be at expense of your sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for the typical adult.
4. Learn to delegate. Whether it's passing work to employees, bringing on a contractor/freelancer or outsourcing an entire project to another firm, delegating will free up your time so you can relax and concentrate only on your most important priorities and on those to which you can bring the most value.
5. Focus on a positive future. When you're buried under deadlines and other work problems, it can feel like a never-ending slog. But Rodeck wants to remind leaders and sales professionals that they will get through this and better days are coming soon. When something goes wrong, ask, "Will I still be upset about this a year from now?" That can put things in perspective. Practicing yoga and mindfulness can also help your mindset.
6. Take time off. Above all, prioritize taking time off. You need those moments to recharge and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.
Commit to taking some time off to rest and recharge. You'll do yourself—and your clients—a lot of good.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: David Rodeck is a financial copywriter based in Delaware. Before writing full time, he was a financial advisor.