10 Free Ways to Motivate Yourself While Feeling Burned Out
Even if you love your job, there may come that time where you just feel burnt out. Whether it’s a bigger project stressing you out or maybe your personal life is draining your energy, burning out is only natural and millions of us experience it every day.
Thankfully, there are ways to recharge, bringing back that spark you had once before.
#1 Take breaks throughout the day
Burnout often comes from the feeling that we must work harder than others, which may often perform short-term results. To perform you best, experts recommend you restock your mental energy throughout the day by taking a walk, going for a run or having a lunch away from your desk. Stepping away from your workplace throughout the day can help you refocus, gather your thoughts and regain your energy.
#2 Put away the digital devices
Before the cellphone and social media era, when we left work, it often meant that. However, with our smartphones, we bring our work with us everywhere we go, essentially carrying an office inside our pocket. Psychologically, this still means we’re still attached to our work, often wanting to check out phone throughout the night when we don’t even need to. When you come home, make it a habit to place your phone in a drawer and forget about it for the rest of the day. Doing so can allow you to focus on your personal life and detach yourself form the office altogether.
#3 Do something pleasurable
Instead of thinking about work in your off hours, consider setting pleasurable goals throughout the week. Whether it’s playing golf with a friend on Friday evening or attending a painting class with your spouse, setting a pleasurable goal allows you to focus on something fun that you can look forward to and achieve. Even if you’re strapped with cash, there are a lot of free activities you can consider as well.
#4 Truly enjoy the weekend
If you’re feeling mentally drained, it may mean you need some time off, but according to research, it shouldn’t be a week-long vacation; instead, it should be a simple three or four-day weekend. When it comes to stress reduction, you will find you will benefit more from regularly taking longer weekends and ignoring the workplace while taking this time off.
#5 Focus on your meaning
Take a minute to sit back and think about why your work matters to you. If you connect your current work to your personal goals, then completing this project may be able to help fight the temptation to slack off. Let me explain this. For example, let’s say if you finish this project, you may be up for a promotion; however, if it isn’t sent in on time, your chances diminish. Know the rewards and hopefully it motivates you to keep going.
#6 It’s time to start organizing
One reason many burn out is due to simply being unorganized. If you feel you have too much work, you may be handling your tasks wrong. Because of this, you may find that if you create a daily to-do list, it may help you figure out your priorities and attack what needs to be done. By visually seeing your tasks and writing them down, it can help you feel less overwhelmed and increase your productivity.
#7 Don’t procrastinate
Have you ever had a deadline looming and you felt it was a great time to start watching your favorite television show? If so, you’re not alone. A study done by Dr. John Bargh found that before we start on a larger project, our brain tends to focus on small, meaningless tasks. This means we won’t get started on the tasks that mean something, essentially pausing the tasks that need to be done. The closer you get to the deadline, the more anxious you can feel.
#8 Hold yourself accountable
Accountability works; there’s no doubt about it. If you publicly create a goal, you more than likely will stick to it. That’s why, today, so many people create a blog or even post on Facebook, talking about what they want to do and accomplish for the upcoming weeks. While you don’t have to create a blog post or talk about it on Facebook, you can always talk with co-workers or friends to let them know what you need to get done. Holding yourself accountable is a great way to focus and make sure the job gets done.
#9 Change your location
Your physical environment is one of the most powerful drivers of our behaviors. By changing your environment, it could potentially affect your motivation levels. Whenever you enter a comfortable workplace, according to this study, our minds will automatically assign bad behaviors, habits and routines. So, if you can, consider going to the local library, park or coffee shop to change things up.
#10 Is it really burnout?
If you’re reading these strategies and saying, “Hey! These won’t work for me,” then it could be safe to say you’re not really experiencing burnout. Instead, what you could be dealing with something more serious. If you feel that your work doesn’t matter anymore or you’re just tired when you enter the door, then it may be best to find a different position or another career altogether.