Ask for tiny noticeable things
“Look at the balance between job demands and job resources,” burnout expert Paula Davis-Laack says. A job demand is “anything in your work that takes consistent effort or energy,” she says, such as meetings, emails or finding new clients. Job resources are “motivational, energy-giving aspect of your work.” That list includes high-quality relationships with colleagues, autonomy, the opportunity to work on new things, having a mentor and receiving clear feedback. If your job demands are high and job resources are low, ask your boss for small changes to shift the balance. Davis-Laack calls these small shifts TNT: tiny noticeable things.
Create a corporate culture
Employers influence burnout, too. “Organizations should enforce reasonable work hours,” says Dan Schawbel, author of “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.” Companies can prevent employee burnout by developing a culture that encourages vacations and breaks. In France, for example, the Right to Disconnect law gives employees time away from email and phone calls after work hours. Promoting flexibility programs also helps prevent burnout because it allows employees control over when, where and how they work, Schawbel says. Think 30-hour workweeks, telecommuting or job sharing.
Care for your body, mind — and soul
In our mobile society with families often far apart, and in a day and age where religion is on the downturn, many don’t have a community to turn to for help. “When bad things happen, who do you go to?” psychologist Sheryl Ziegler asks. “It used to be the leader of the church. I’m not saying you must go to the church you went to when you grew up, but that spirituality piece is valuable, no matter your beliefs. If you don’t have a community, make one. It’s that important.”
— Jenny Rough