Avoiding Burnout

Kate presentingWhite and Lime made another appearance at a Marie Claire@WorkLive event last weekend, talking about “How to Avoid Burnout” to a mixed audience of professionals: lawyers, doctors, event organisers, personal assistants, small business owners and more.

We were struck by the number of freelancers and independents choosing to attend this talk and ask for tips on managing overwhelm, confirming to us that stress is not just something that employers or bosses ‘do’ to us, but often something that we do to ourselves.

Kate, co-founder of White & Lime, shared her own story of overcoming a decade of stress: Not by giving up the job that she loved, but by engaging with it very differently.  She revealed that when she reduced her excessive working hours by 25% and prioritised fitness, fun and sleep for the first time in her life, her results at work improved dramatically.

Kate’s tips for avoiding burnout included:

Sketch by Beck Pitt

Sketch by Beck Pitt

  • Focus on the activity that will have the greatest impact. Be ruthless about sacrificing the rest.
  • Pay attention to how you’re feeling.  Ask yourself how stressed you are on a scale of 1-10.  Whenever that number goes above 7, you need a break.
  • Take short breaks every hour or so. Get up and walk, take 10 deep breaths, drink water, clear your head.
  • Prioritise sleep, nutrition, and exercise. If you don’t, the quality of your work is compromised.
  • Be kinder to yourself. Pay attention to what you have already achieved, rather than just beating yourself up about what you haven’t yet done.

 

You probably already know exactly what you need to become more effective at work. Those new year’s resolutions that are half formed in your head.  Start small, write them down, make them measurable, ask someone to hold you to account.  Good Luck!