“If you can’t control your mind, everything and everyone else will.”
Dr. Joe Dispenza
Burnout is a modern term we hear more and more every day. According to medical professionals, it is a form of exhaustion and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s the result of emotional, physical, and mental stress accumulated in the system over a long period. In many cases, it is related to work. That’s why they call “Burnout syndrome” the disease of modern society. When you feel that you have to constantly race with time for your scheduled tasks or you can’t meet the constant demands at work and fail to show up for your commitments in your personal life, you suddenly start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. In the Digital age we live today, it is only natural to sometimes feel a bit behind because there is so much going on, and everybody is excited. When we reach a creative block or stress has accumulated, we have to find an outlet for it, like exercise or a hobby, but often we can’t find the time for it.
We have read many studies and articles about this modern-day problem. Our team is highly creative, and our job is to find and implement out-of-the-box, innovative digital solutions and techniques. We also know that neglecting our human needs can lead to problems down the road that can harm our productivity and creativity. That’s why we have gathered information regarding Burnout in the Digital Age and extracted the essence of information about fighting this problem. We have also come up with our own formulas and solutions. That’s why we’d like to share with you our top five tips on overcoming Burnout and creative block in the digital age.
Our Top Five Tips On How To Combat Burnout
- Limit Screen Time
Not having any regulation or discipline regarding your screen time (the time you spend on the screen without resting) can seriously impact your health, mood, and productivity. We have found that one of the techniques widely shared on the internet – the 20-20-20 rule is highly effective. It prevents eye strain and allows you to increase your productivity further down the line. If you do this every day, you will notice quite an improvement almost right away. The rule is simple: Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes away from the screen and look at an object approximately 20 feet away. Look at that object for 20 seconds. To form a habit, you’d need to repeat the same behavior in the same situation.
Another thing that you can do to increase your creativity and productivity at work is to limit your screen time before bed. If possible, don’t look at a screen at least one hour before bedtime. Focus your mind on your ideas and write them down on a piece of paper. The next day you would feel much more rested, creative, and productive.
- Set Boundaries
Social media feeds are funny or informative, but if they take up too much time and energy, ultimately keeping you away from your work. It stimulates procrastination, decreases creativity, and if it becomes excessive, something needs to change. Of course, we need an outlet that will keep us away from work for a bit, so we can return to the problems we need to solve and look at them from a different perspective, but balance is essential. That’s why you need to monitor the time spent on social media – talking to friends or looking at funny videos. Give yourself a time limit and consider it a break from work for a while. However, when your break is over, focus on what needs to get done.
Keep in mind that Burnout is a serious problem, and it is estimated that employees are nearly three times as likely to leave their current employer due to Burnout, putting managers in a tough situation. If the workload is unmanageable, it can result in poor performance, frustration, tension, stress, and lack of motivation and confidence for both sides.
- Talk to Your Manager
If you feel overwhelmed and overworked, we advise you to talk to your manager. Tell them how you feel. However, keep in mind, that the keys in the conversation need to be the intention and the approach. Don’t simply ignore after-work emails and answer with “no” to requests from your manager. Managers are human beings, so they will understand if you approach them with respect. Identify your concerns and communicate them properly. Your manager will understand your boundaries. Show them how you feel and ask them to work with you towards your goal – to achieve a better work-life balance. You can help them understand that you want to keep your personal life healthy and on track with your commitment at work and with your family. Make sure your lifestyle corresponds with the company’s policies and values and vice versa. It is also highly recommended not to make promises that you can’t keep. Every manager will respect your boundaries if you are proactive, meet your deadlines, and show that you are true to your word.
- Work-Life Balance
Working extra hours during the week and taking extra shifts over the weekends happens to all of us. It is hard to stop working, especially for those of us who have creative jobs. We often have ideas, and we need to instantly see if they work or write them down so as not to forget them till the next day, and it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is or where we are. That can often lead to feeling Burnout. In recent years, many things shifted for people who work from home as surveys have found that the invisible line that divided work and leisure time has faded.
The majority of employees want to return to the office and socialize with their co-workers in person. Working from the office allows you to create a better work-life balance. Once you leave the office, you can feel like you are on a break, whereas when you work from home, you may often feel that you are working all the time and that can lead to a creative block.
Your work-life balance can also be boosted by connecting with your loved ones in your free time. Even during your break, throughout the day, you can also decrease your screen time – instead of texting your family members, you can try and call them.
- Exercise and Hobbies
Blowing off steam is essential for keeping your mind focused and promoting a work-life balance. Paradoxically, if you want to feel fresh, rested, and focused, you need exercise. That’s why a hobby, that has nothing to do with your work is vital for your health. For instance, if you are a programmer, a designer, a developer, etc., it is best to have a hobby that can take your mind off your work and your eyes away from the monitor.
Fitness-oriented hobbies are ideal for people who work in an office all day. Running and jogging, swimming, mountain biking and rock climbing are some of the most popular physical outlets for people who spend a lot of time in front of the computer. These types of exercises promote endurance and enhance cardiovascular health.
Here are our three bonus tips for avoiding Burnout and creative blocks and making your work time more comfortable, enjoyable, and healthier.
1. Get yourself an ergonomic chair. If you sit in front of the computer for long hours, make sure you are comfortable. Getting an ergonomic chair is essential for your health.
2. Blink frequently. Many people who look at the monitor all day forget to blink. At first, you may have to remember and force yourself to blink, but remember that this can do wonders for your eyes and overall health.
3. Adjust the lighting. That is essential for the health of your eyes, brain, and mood. The blue, artificial light associated with monitors and other devices causes eyestrain and other more serious conditions. You can wear blue control glasses, reduce the blue light from the computer or adjust the lighting in your room to minimize this effect.
To Sum it Up…
Work overload can often make us feel powerless, and the body logically responds to the mind’s worries with symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, and pain in the neck, back, and chest. Disturbed or light sleep and trouble waking up or falling asleep are other common problems directly related to stress that can disrupt our natural balance.
It is no coincidence that many people start to seek salvation in alcohol, some in drugs. Nightclubs are bursting with people who want to forget the past week at all costs, but this is only a temporary solution and only prolongs the agony. It is not the solution to the real problem. Burnout can be avoided by establishing a better work-life balance, setting your boundaries at work, healthier lifestyle choices, hobbies, and better working conditions. So we suggest not running away from the issue but finding healthy and more creative working solutions to tackle this modern-day problem.