Conventional office workers have this idea that freelancers are full of the joys of spring. Do they seriously think that the crashing waves of the sea wake us up? Do they think that lunch breaks mean happy hours for us? The truth is, most of us do not have that kind of opportunity falling into our laps. A lot of freelancers work in their makeshift office, with their children running around, wreaking havoc in the house. On top of that, remote workers have to deal with their demanding job and power-tripping bosses or clients.
So, yes—freelancers are also prone to experiencing burnout from work. Are you starting to feel like your candle is burning at both ends? Do you wake up each morning feeling drained even when your day hasn’t started yet? Sadly, you may be experiencing work burnout.
Most remote workers are obsessed with the hustle, especially since they want to thrive in a cut-throat environment. It is normal practice to work more than 40 hours per week just to meet the demands of their clients. After all, freelancers are competing against thousands and thousands of people across the globe.
You may have a go-getter outlook, but it’s an attitude that can be difficult to sustain. In reality, when you try to accomplish everything, sooner or later, you will experience the signs of burnout at work.
How to Tell If You’re Experiencing Burnout at Work?
When you’re feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, you may be experiencing burnout. People get in this state due to excessive and prolonged stress. In other cases, people start to feel deeply disillusioned when despite their best efforts, they don’t get the results they expected. Some of the signs of burnout at work include:
- Feeling that everything at work is going wrong.
- Feeling exhausted most of the time.
- Feeling no motivation and joy in your work.
- Feeling overwhelmed with all your tasks.
- Feeling that your career is doomed.
- Feeling distracted with things that let you escape from your troubles.
- Having less patience with other people.
It may be easier for people who experience burnout early in their career to recover. However, whatever stage you’re at in your profession, it is important that you know how to deal with burnout at work effectively. Mental health is also wealth, and we must find ways to save ourselves before we fall into depression. As such, we’re going to give some tips on how to overcome burnout at work.
Tip 1: Take a Break
A lot of remote workers are afraid to disappoint their clients and bosses. After all, most of them are on a project-based or temporary job status. So, they naturally want to be always “available”. The problem with this attitude is it increases the chances of energy crashes and, well, eventually, burnout. A huge percentage of freelancers experience illness due to work-related stress. Some of them end up quitting their jobs to avoid burnout.
There is no ‘career god’ out there who’d judge you into the eternal job abyss if you don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion, helplessness, or depression. It is totally fine if you want to take a break once in a while. In fact, we recommend that you plan for it. If your budget and work conditions permit, take an extended break. Generally, giving yourself time to recuperate is also key to better productivity. Do not beat yourself up for wanting to take a mental health break. You can use the time to reflect and improve on yourself. So, when it’s time to return to work or search for a new position, you’ll have better coping strategies that will allow you to enjoy a full work-life balance.
Tip 2: Identify What Led to Your Work Burnout
One of the keys to learning how to overcome burnout at work is determining the reason/s why you’ve experienced it. What led you to this state may be obvious, but in some cases, you’ll need some introspection to discover the answer. Now, the first thing you need to do is reflect on any resentment you feel towards your job. Most of the time, your hatred will lead you to an important thing that is missing.
Let’s say you’re working in a different time zone than your boss and co-workers. You don’t mind working during unholy hours because you love what you do and you appreciate the camaraderie between your teammates. However, your supervisor tends to send you requests during your personal time, causing you to miss bonding with your family. In this scenario, you’re not experiencing burnout because you hate your work. You didn’t like missing out on family events.
So, we recommend that you take the time to reflect on the negative feelings you have towards your work. After identifying the root cause of the issue, think of ways you can manage—if not eliminate—the source of your unhappiness or distress. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your tasks, learn to delegate responsibilities to other people. This way, you can keep a healthy balance between work and your personal life. Perhaps, you’re getting stressed out with taking care of your family while working from home. In this case, find a relaxing café or a conducive co-working space where you can complete your tasks.
One of the ways to know whether you’ve got too much on your plate is by keeping track of your tasks. There are plenty of apps that can make the process easier, but using a time monitoring program like Traqq is among your best options. What’s great about this tool is it has an online and offline stopwatch. Whether you’re connected to the Internet or not, you can monitor the hours you spend on work.
Tip 3: Go Back to the Basics
Sometimes, you don’t have to look too far just to learn why you’re experiencing burnout. Perhaps, you haven’t been paying enough attention to your body. Poor health and wellbeing can also contribute to stress. So, we encourage you to exercise regularly. Doing so will bring you physical and mental benefits. Aside from reducing stress, exercise can also improve your overall health, boost your mood, and enhance your quality of life.
Of course, don’t forget to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat well. You may think that these tips are quite obvious, but once you get busy, you’ll forget that the basics are necessary for learning how to prevent burnout at work. If you want to take care of others and your job efficiently, you must remember to care for yourself too.
Tip 4: Ask for Professional Help
Stress can lead to burnout, and when you’re left unchecked, you may start experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help from a trained professional. Sometimes, the best way to demonstrate strength is by acknowledging your weakness. Remember that there’s only so much you can do. At some point, you have to get the support necessary to put you on the track towards your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. A trained professional will show you how to avoid burnout at work. Knowing the signs of job burnout is an efficient way to get the resources and help you need. You don’t have to stay in the trenches of despair for so long. If you feel like there are things that can be improved to help you recover from and avoid burnout, don’t be afraid to speak up. Set up a meeting with your manager and respectfully explain to them how you can become more productive when your mental and emotional wellbeing is at its best state.