In order to avoid the dreaded career burnout, it’s important to do little things to make your days easier and a bit more enjoyable. After all, if you enjoy what you’re doing and do it well, that opens up your prospects for career advancement and for less stressful days. Thankfully, there are many small and simple changes you can make to your workday to instantly perk you up and put you back on track. Try some of these suggestions today.
1. Tackle Tough Tasks First
If you have a dreaded or difficult task facing you, it’s best to get it out of the way first thing in the morning. This way, you won’t have it hanging over your head all day and you can get on with more enjoyable things. Brian Tracy goes over this in his famous book, Eat That Frog. Morning is the best and most productive time of day to jump on challenging projects, not the after-lunch slump.
2. Quit Multitasking
No, doing more than one thing at a time does not make you more productive. Your brain simply can’t handle it, even though you often think it can. Multitasking pulls you in a million different directions at once, to the point where nothing you are doing gets the full attention it deserves. Instead of multitasking, try “singletasking,” a movement started by this hilarious video from The Atlantic. By sticking to one task at a time, it will be much easier to cross those to-dos off your list.
3. Get Enough Sleep
A better work day begins the night before, with a good night’s sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll end up feeling groggy and irritable, and you’ll be more prone to making careless mistakes. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. There are plenty of reasons for not sleeping well, including stress, sleep apnea, and just staying up too late. Make it a habit of going to sleep at the same time each night, and wind down with a quiet activity such as reading. If that’s not enough, there are sleep apps that can track your sleep and even wake you up during the best part of your REM cycle.
4. Make Time for Breaks
You are not a machine, and you should take little breaks throughout your day to recharge your batteries. Don’t eat lunch at your desk; visit the cafeteria and socialize with coworkers, or get out and take a walk. Take mini-breaks at other times as well. Step outside the office for a minute, or get up for a cup of coffee or water. Don’t be a slave to your desk.
5. Record Your Accomplishments
When you’re working day in and day out, you may begin to feel like Sisyphus, that character in Greek mythology who was condemned to push a boulder uphill, day after day, for eternity. It sure is easy to feel frustrated if you don’t pause to look at your accomplishments and see how far you’ve actually come. That’s why you should track your progress and feel good about all those things you have accomplished, outside of the big picture.
6. Plan Something Fun
In order to avoid feeling trapped in a rut, you should be sure to schedule some enjoyable activities to look forward to. Plan a lunch date with a friend, happy hour with your coworkers or a weekend away with your spouse or family. There is so much more to you than just being a worker, and by nurturing other aspects of your life you will appreciate and enjoy your career even more.
Put some of these tips to work for you today, and you should see an immediate improvement in your outlook. It’s little things like this that can make a big difference in your career.
(About the Author: Scott Huntington is a career specialist, writer, and blogger from Central Pennsylvania. Check out his blog, blogspike.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.)