How to Burnout-Proof Your Work-Life Balance Plan
Burnout has become such a considerable problem in the workplace, that many companies have developed
various surveys to track it. A Deloitte workplace burnout
of 1,000 full-time U.S. professionals found that 77 percent of respondents have experienced employee
burnout at their current job.
Regardless of your industry, burnout is a real thing. However, before we delve too deep, it's
important to examine the definition of this concept.
So, what is burnout? Helpguide.org
burnout as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged
For many of us, our jobs have contributed to this feeling. Maybe it's the increase in task
responsibility, the need to make larger efforts to please changing consumer preferences, or an
uptick in work hours. Nevertheless, as a project manager, you and your team have likely had to
face this issue many times. So, what can you do to overcome it?
There are many ways that you can burnout-proof your work life so that you can enjoy balance in your schedule.
Take a breather from your workload and take a look at our burnout-proof plan and tips:
Be Mindful Of Your Workplace Culture
Yes, we can talk about how employees don't take all their vacation days, or how people are working
too much overtime. Nevertheless, we have to get to the root of what is causing this. The survey
mentioned above by Deloitte found that one major thing that significantly contributed to burnout
was a lack of support or recognition from leadership.
Consequently, the examples that are being shown to workers by managers and leadership are essential.
For example, even if you offer unlimited vacation days, if no one in leadership makes a project manager's
work-life balance a priority, it is unlikely to be something that workers embrace. Ultimately, if your
company displays a culture of overwork, it will be challenging for employees to feel like they can take a
step back to take care of their lives outside of work.
Get Clear About Workplace Roles and Boundaries
unmanageable workload and a lack of role clarity are among the top three reasons workers are
experiencing burnout. A lack of clarity is a huge problem, mainly because it does two things:
it causes confusion among your workers, which wastes time, and it can lead to an increase in
workload as some employees may take on additional workloads that they shouldn't.
It is crucial that you look at your project's needs, and see how every position—including your
own—fits into the system. It's essential that you are clear with what you need from your team
members, and that their roles are organized to allow them to do what they are equipped to handle.
The more employees stray into other territories regarding roles, then overwork can become an issue.
Acknowledge That There is Life Outside of Work
This step may seem counterintuitive, but one of the ways you can better handle work is to forget
about it for a minute. There is life outside of work, and yourself and your team members will
continuously have to handle other tasks that are not related to work.
The more you are worried about scheduling that doctor's appointment, making sure the kids get
off to school or getting the plumber out for a repair, the more stress you will experience as
you try to reach your project goals. Therefore, it is important that you ensure your team and
yourself bring flexibility into the work schedule. Empower your team to schedule their workweek
in a manner that suits their personal lives and allows them to get their work done.
Take a Break…From Everything
Contrary to popular belief, even work productivity can be subject to the principle of
This reason is why many of us receive our best ideas during times of rest
(like in the shower.)
Your mind is allowed to be creative when you take a break from the things that continuously
Your next awesome idea for your project may be trying to get through, but working until 8:00 pm
can stifle that creativity. Therefore, it is vital that you and your team members schedule
vacations. This step means uninterrupted time away from the office. Doing this allows your mind
to refresh and be open to creative thoughts.
Develop Relationships with Colleagues
One of the most challenging aspects of working is the feeling of being alone. Isolation can
which can, in turn, lead to more burnout. A great way to combat that is to increase socialization
with colleagues. Surveymonkey found that among employees who didn't feel they have someone at
work who cares about them,
It is crucial that you work to develop relationships with your team members as this can increase
your level of satisfaction, and even the trust you feel with other co-workers. Feeling like you
can relate to those around you can diminish feelings of isolation and allow you and everyone else
to truly feel they are a part of a team.
Find Ways to Make Work More Enjoyable
A lack of satisfaction can also lead to feelings that can transform into burnout. You and your
colleagues spend most of the day working. Therefore, you want to make sure you are creating an
environment that you all can enjoy.
For example, maybe you want to have a 15-minute coffee catch-up with colleagues (virtual or in-person)
in the mornings before work, or you may even want to work in a different area or location to switch
things up. Additionally, another great way to make work enjoyable is to change the types of projects
you work on to add some variety to your day. Find the settings and processes that make you enjoy what
you do. The more you like what you do, the better.
Burnout Doesn't Have to Be a Way of Life
Unfortunately, burnout is a reality of today's work culture. In a time when more people are working
all hours of the day, and now have the opportunity to work from home, it is easy for professionals
to experience times of extreme work stress. However, things don't have to be that way. Developing
a strategy to solve burnout requires an examination of the factors that are contributing to it.
Start looking at your workday and see when periods of burnout are rising. If so, it is time to
switch things up. It may mean cutting back on work hours or having an in-depth conversation with
leadership about workload and responsibilities. Ultimately, burnout contributes to dips in
productivity, high turnover, and a lack of job satisfaction.
You and your team need to identify the problems and work to develop solutions to manage your
unique stressful situations. Project management burnout doesn't have to derail your work-life balance.
It is possible to ensure you feel good about the work you do and feel that you have control over
how much it plays a part in your life.
5 ways to reduce job burnout among your employees,
Burnout Prevention and Treatment,
Employee Burnout, Part 1: The 5 Main Causes,
The risks of social isolation,
What Is The Law Of Diminishing Returns and Why Does It Matter?,
Why We Have Our Best Ideas in the Shower: The Science of Creativity,
Workplace Burnout Survey,