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10 tips to simplify your work day to avoid burnout

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Avoiding burnout

As business pros, it’s our nature to overload our schedules with tasks, goals, and responsibilities. We want to make the most of our time, which is understandable as we are nearly always busy and our time is valuable. However, because of this, we can easily become overwhelmed, burned out, and over-stressed. When we feel this way, we are increasingly unproductive, which causes us to be even more stressed and overwhelmed. But this vicious cycle doesn’t have to continue. Here are ten easy ways to avoid burning out in your professional life:

10. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify – We, as humans, tend to complicate things. Find easy ways to simplify your work processes or routines. If you can cut down a process of three steps down to one, do it. Cut out the unnecessary and streamline how you work.

9. Organization is Key – A disorganized office, email inbox, or calendar can cause undue stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Take some time to get organized once and for all. Once you’re organized, take some time each week to maintain it.

8. Change Your Environment – Being stuck in the same office, cubicle, or workspace can really take its toll. Things become tedious, mundane, and boring. Add some excitement in your workday by changing your work environment. This means you can redecorate and rearrange your office or go to a local library, coffee shop, or café and work there for a day or two.

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7. Small, Manageable Goals – Don’t get overwhelmed with all the tasks on your to-do list. Focus on each goal separately rather than on the collective. And make sure your goals are small and manageable. Be realistic about your tasks and how long it will take to accomplish them.

6. Prioritize Your Responsibilities – The truth is that you will have a lot of things to do each day. And there isn’t enough time in the workday to get everything done. So, prioritize. Rank your tasks in order of importance and deadlines. And start from there.

5. Give Yourself Much-Needed Personal Days – We’re all workaholics, but it’s crucial for your mental and emotional health to take a few personal days when you need them. On these days, do nothing work-related. Read a book, go for a walk, and relax. Then you can attack your work when you return with renewed vigor and energy.

4. Get Away From Your Desk – Take a break. You deserve it. Go get a cup of coffee or even just step outside for some fresh air. Take a walk around the office or just sit in your car for a few moments of silence. This will allow you to refocus.

3. Rediscover Enjoyment, Passion, and Excitement – Remember what it felt like to enjoy your work? It’s time to get that back. One way to do that is to research and test out new industry advancements. Take a class and put it to use. This can help you rediscover your passion for your industry and your chosen line of work.

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2. Slow Down – Picking up the speed during your workday doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive. What it means is that it wears you out faster. Don’t take this to mean that you can’t work quickly. It means take a few moments to slow your pace and truly concentrate on the task in front of you.

1. Learn to Delegate – Again, you have a lot on your plate. Learn to delegate some of your tasks to reliable coworkers and assistants. Trust them and give them a chance to prove themselves and their capabilities. Delegating will free up some of you time to focus on other tasks or to even take a break so you can return to work refreshed and motivated.

Burning out on your professional life is avoidable; you just have to know how to do it. The above ten points will guide you to refreshing your physical, mental, and emotional faculties so you can be as productive as possible. Remember the goal is based on keeping you focused and rejuvenated long-term, not just short-term. It’s about creating, maintaining, and progressing your professional career into something you enjoy and continue to enjoy for many years to come.

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Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.



  1. Sheila Rasak

    February 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Quite often I get tired first thing in the morning if I haven't prepared myself for my day the night before. If I make a list my time seems so well-managed at at the end of the day and not nearly as overwhelming. My "to do" list is number one!

    • Charlene Jimenez

      February 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      I completely understand, Sheila! I create to-do lists, too. It helps keep me focused on my tasks and my top priorities for the day or week.

  2. Pingback: How to handle secondhand stress at work (it's a real thing!) - The American Genius

  3. Pingback: Burnout is so real, but so are these solutions to combat it - The American Genius

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