The conclusion of a year brings festivities and fun with holiday and New Year’s celebrations outside of the workplace and even with the work family, but in and amongst the joy and laughter lies a looming deadline to complete many projects before the year is through. No matter the work you do, there are deadlines and end dates to goals and projects needing completion, and oftentimes those dates land at the end of a calendar year. The stress that accompanies these deadlines tends to compound and grow as the deadline date inches closer and closer, and this excessive stress can cause emotional, mental, and even physical exhaustion – burnout. But, there are ways to avoid this very situation and make it through the end of the year and tight deadlines without extreme exhaustion and ultimately end-of-the-year burnout.
First of all, the best way to combat burnout is to not inch towards it in the first place. Take care of yourself throughout the whole year and be mindful of your mental, emotional, and physical state as work and career goals and projects start and finish. Make sure you are not allowing yourself to fall into a state of burnout.
One good tip is to use your vacation days. There are many statistics and studies that show a large percentage of employees never use their vacation days for a variety of reasons. Some consider taking vacation days to be a mark against their work ethic, and some people feel like taking time off is not encouraged by their superiors. However, vacation time is offered and is meant to be used by employees to recharge their batteries and combat burnout at work. No matter how stimulating or boring a job may be, a break from the work is always needed to keep brains functioning at the highest level.
If your vacation days for the year are already spent, then just take some time for yourself. This could mean going out for a pedicure or massage to pamper yourself and relax. This could also mean taking some time to read a book or watch a TV show that you get to choose. Whatever relaxes you and helps you to enjoy life is what you should take the time to do. Everyone recharges and re-energizes differently, so it is important to find out what that means to you and you alone and just do it for your own sanity and the sanity of your coworkers too.
A final suggestion for avoiding burnout is to unplug. Oftentimes it is easy to feel productive when plugged into a device checking emails, messages, and calls, but this can also be very counterproductive to the to-do list. Dedicate a set amount of time each day to turn off the devices and their notifications and actually get stuff done. Removing the disruptions can actually help the brain complete thoughts and move forward in a streamlined way that will help you feel productive and accomplish some of those looming tasks needing to be completed.
Though there are a lot of things going on at the end of the year, it is possible to accomplish everything and keep peace of mind at the same time. One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to take care of yourself and not allow the monotony of work to impact the way you function. Make it a New Year’s Resolution to take those vacation days next year or add some me time into that new 2019 planner and make sure you are taking the time to recharge and rejuvenate yourself. You’ll be happier and healthier for it.