How to Avoid Burnout in the Age of Remote Work

How To Avoid Burnout In The Age Of Remote Work

Are you experiencing burnout today? Are there too many demands at work you don’t and can’t handle by yourself?

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss how to set yourself up to avoid possible burnout in the age of remote work.

Burnout is normal. It is something we all experience.

There are reasons we experience it more today than before, a few of these reasons are:

  • Remote work is here today. That means that you have to seriously know how to juggle work and your personal life, including your family time.
  • Negativity and toxicity of media cause mental fatigue. You think of many unnecessary things, un noble, distractions that you should manage in your mind.
  • Too much work, as businesses are eager to stay afloat and to thrive in this new normal. This pushes employees to work harder than before. And knowing that you’re working at home, managers and superiors would easily interrupt you with any additional work.

There are a lot more factors that lead to burnout. And so we’d like to address it today, I’ll be using A-V-O-I-D acronym for some tips on how to avoid burnout.

How to Avoid Burnout in the Age of Remote Work

Accept the changes in the new normal

Denying the realities of brutal facts of what’s happening right now leads to burnout.

People want control. But the reality of life is that there are certain things we can’t control.
And if human beings can’t control things, we tend always to find solutions as much as we can for problems we don’t have any resources to solve.

Accept the changes means you know what you’re in right now. What’s your new schedule? What are your new ways of work? How do you now communicate with your team members?

Either the situation changes you, or you decide to change to cope up with the situation.

Value margins and boundaries in your life

Margins and boundaries help us solve things that lead us to burnout.

Any extreme thing is dangerous. And it causes more harm than good.

So know when to start and when to stop your remote work. If it’s a fixed schedule, have a proper conversation with your superiors and let them know of your current standing.

Know when to work and when to take a rest. Even machines have what we call, “maintenance”. Your body needs some rest to get ready for another week’s work.

If that means you have to sacrifice some activities that consume most of your time, then do so, to have enough sleep for the next day.

For managers listening right now, take some time to get to know your people, understand what they’re going through. Instead of bombarding them with instructions, why not lead them through the crisis. You may not need to motivate them at all times, but provide means and ways to help them set up a good remote work schedule.

Operate in routines and flexibility

Many people stress themselves out because you want to achieve so many things all at the same time. They have rigid plans, goals. Don’t get me wrong goals are good. Visions are good.

But you have to know how to achieve your vision.

“You don’t rise to the level of your vision, you fall to the level of your habits.” - James Clear

Know what habits you want to establish in this new normal.

Don’t be afraid of the word, “habits” Habits don’t restrict freedom, it actually gives you more flexibility on other things. Because once you’re done with the most important things in your day attach to your habits, you now have more times to do other things.

Identify your stress triggers

What stresses you? Do you what stresses you?

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Is it because of the lack of focus that leads to less than average productivity? Do we have to balance work and life?

When you know your stress triggers, you can have ways to manage it. That’s when we learn our own coping mechanisms. Different people have different coping mechanisms when it comes to negative stress. So know what’s yours and apply that.

Develop yourself

Burnout caused by the demands of life can be avoided if you continuously grow yourself.

Develop your skills and your character to handle more responsibilities. You get stressed and burnout because you can’t handle tasks at work and in your personal life — probably because of a negative attitude.

Daily you check your attitude. Daily you increase your knowledge. Be a lifelong learner so you can increase your abilities to manage the demands of life.

 

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How To Start A Habit

You achieve your goals by starting and sustaining healthy habits. 

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about “how to start a habit”, even if you thought to yourself, “it’s too difficult to start a habit.., even if you’re no an athlete, or simply as “you’re too busy..”

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

-James Clear.

You and I have goals. You may not be aware of it, but you know to yourself, you want to achieve great things in life. It may not be written down as it should be, but you’re looking forward that someday you’re gonna achieve it.

You cannot achieve goals by staring at your list. You need to have a system. Click To Tweet

If you want to drive a car, there is a system to follow. If you’re looking to start a business, there is a registration process you have to follow. Almost anything in life has systems. 

The same is true with you, as a human being. You need to have a system. That system is called your habits. 

So let’s dive into four things on how you can start a habit. These are tips from the book, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which I believe is one of the best books on habit formation. 

Make your habits obvious

First is to make your habits, obvious.

Make it obvious. To make a habit obvious means that your senses should quickly identify the habit. This is what we call exposure. 

For instance, you wanna start reading books. You are not a reader. But you want to become one.

So to make the habit of book reading, you can place a book on one area where you can see it after you wake up, or after working -- either on a desk, beside your bed.. Wherever it is, the idea is to make it easy for you to see the book.

Another thing is to allow your environment to push you to start a habit. Your influence, your place of work at home are some examples of an environment you can change if you want to make a habit obvious. 

Making it obvious leaves you no room for excuses. Once you see it, feel it, or even taste it, you overcome the challenges of starting the habit that you want. You may want to check out my first episode on overcoming the challenges of starting anything.

So let’s proceed to the second tip to make your habits work.

Make your habits attractive

Second is to make it attractive. This is where the craving part comes in. The desire to start a habit. 

For every habit that you want to start, ask the question, “what are the benefits of starting it in the first place?”

By knowing how it benefits you, you start to crave the habit. So whether it learning a new skill, joining a group or developing more connections with people, there are benefits and desires attached to a habit. 

By knowing these things, you get to add flavor to your habits from time to time. Yes, habit is boring. But you can make it fun to start with if you make a habit attractive. 

Make your habits easy

Next is to make your habit easy.

Often times, people have this idea that a habit is too difficult. 

Which is true, especially if a habit is a great challenge to start in the first place. 

What you can do now is to make it easy. If you’ve got a big project, break it down to small tasks, even to smaller tasks.

The easier it is for you to jump into the boat, the faster you can start the ride. Click To Tweet

I say it again, The easier it is for you to jump into the boat, the faster you can start the ride.

Want to start reading a book? Don’t read 5 chapters if you’re an absolute beginner. Start with one chapter. Start with one page. Want to become a writer? Don’t start with a 5000-word ebook. Start writing 100 words a day. Want to build a habit of exercise? Don’t push yourself to 500 push-ups. Start with 10 then 20, then 30. 

You don’t have to be an athlete to start a habit. You can start now. Remove any excuses that you’re too busy. Start an easy habit. 

Make your habits satisfying

Lastly, you want to make your habit satisfying.

A habit must have a reward. What is the reward for you doing your habit today?

If it’s reading a book, the reward is gaining more knowledge and adding more value to people through informative conversations.

If it’s conducting weekly meetings with your team, the reward is developing deeper relationships with each of your team members. They gain more inspiration from each one of you and get things done as a team.

What makes your habit satisfying?

Here you go, we’ve covered four tips on how to start a habit.

  1. Obvious
  2. Attractive
  3. Easy
  4. Satisfying