If you are exhausted, overwhelmed and burnt out from doing too much for too long, it’s time to step back from your stress and “unhustle.” Executive coach Judy Janse van Rensburg presented an interactive workshop in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) on how to avoid this ever-increasing condition.
|The signs of burnout
Burnout, she said, was characterised by three main symptoms:
· Lack of energy or exhaustion;
· Increased mental distance from your work, or feeling negative or cynical about it;
· Reduced efficiency.
Safrea organised the event, which was open to members and non-members who worked on their own. The workshop was designed to help freelancers recognise the signs of this pervasive condition – now a diagnosable occupational phenomenon – in their lives and take steps to prevent it.
“People are really tired, someone told me ‘my tired is tired’,” Janse van Rensburg said, adding that this level of exhaustion was not normal. “Human beings were not made for this. You can’t do it all on your own but high achievers often do not like to ask for help.”
|Six steps to preventing burnout
She outlined six strategies to tackle the feeling of being totally overwhelmed:
1. Calm your nervous system
2. Review, reflect and reset
3. Understand and recognise the signs of burnout
4. Align your mind, body, soul and environment to support your health
5. Listen to your inner wisdom, because you know yourself best
6. Move to powerful living through better decision making, leadership and improved work practices.
Janse van Rensburg, who has a Master’s degree in Industrial Psychology, has more than 25 years’ experience in the personal development space, including many in deadline-driven environments.
Both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, she said she had seen an increase in burnout in the workplace. However, being under constant pressure had serious negative effects such as potentially increasing the risk for a fatal heart attack.
Janse van Rensburg offered other strategies to shrink an over-long to-do list such as asking:
- Should this be on my to-do list?
If you answer “yes”, then ask:
- Do I personally need to do it or can someone else do it instead?
In addition, she advised, “not everything that could be done, should be done.” If you are facing burnout, it may be time to consider having a “not-to-do” list.