Stress and burnout rates continue to rise in the U.S. and their three major symptoms are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced performance. According to a survey of the American Psychological Association, money, workplace and economy issues are the three major sources of stress among U.S. adults.
Here are five tips to banish burnout:
- Follow the 80/20 rule which was proven by a man named Pareto using statistical analysis. Essentially, it means that there are certain activities you do (20%) which account for the majority of your life’s outputs (80%). To apply the rule, evaluate your daily activities and respective outcomes. If you are a sales professional that spends a third of your day prospecting, however only a handful of new customer acquisitions refine, reduce, delegate or automate prospecting activities.
- Avoid ‘Tyranny of the Urgent’ which was developed by Charles E. Hummel and is showcased in the best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There are two factors—level of importance and urgency that comprise four quadrants and ultimately reveal which tasks to address first. Those that are important and urgent, such as deadline-driven projects and medical emergencies, warrant immediate attention. Everything else can be prioritized and dealt with later.
- Minimize menial tasks by unsubscribing from email newsletters that you either don’t have time to read or that yield insignificant value. Consider removing email from your Smart Phone because the temptation to check it prevents your ability to be present both in your professional and personal experiences. If someone has an urgent request, rest assured that you will be called or texted. Determine to whom you can delegate tasks that do not require your direct attention, or consider which ones can be automated such as reporting and weekly customer correspondence.
- ‘Stop and smell the roses’ sounds cliché, but it is so true. Taking a few minutes to switch gears refreshes the mind and rejuvenates the soul. When you stop solving business problems or break from digital demands, your brain recalibrates and sharpens its focus. Even walking around for a few minutes and/or reading an article unrelated to work can help recharge your batteries and enable you to resume hyper-focus. Dale Carnegie said, “You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.”
- Take more vitamin Zzzzzzzzz because Americans sleep less now than they did a few decades ago. A Huffington Post article revealed that one extra hour of sleep per night helps to reactivate helpful genes; improve a person’s competitive edge and memory. Most importantly, the article cites the results of a study proving that adults who slept for seven hours a night had a 33% lower chance of having calcium deposits build up in their arteries compared toadults who slept for only six hours a night.
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