Burnout leads to problems like lack of concentration and poor performance at work. Here are productivity tips on ways to handle burnout and exhaustion

Feeling Burned Out? Tired? Exhausted?

“I feel unmotivated”

“The stress and overwhelm is over the top”

“It’s like, I just don’t have the energy for it”

I’ve been hearing comments like this from clients for months now. It’s not a complaint, it is more of a frustration. The new term is’ Covid Burnout’. Burnout can lead to problems with lack of concentration and poor performance at work. At a time when some of us worry about losing our jobs and businesses, it’s critical to continue to manage our workload, stress and feelings of burnout.

What is causing this type of burnout? Decision fatigue, information overload, doomsday scrolling and conflict fatigue. We are working during a crisis while taking care of children and parents along with the day to day stress of our own health, the health of our loved ones, and the vigilance to stay safe. We continually have to make smaller decisions and choices:

“Should I touch that?”

“Am I standing too close?”

“Can I go there-to the restaurant, grocery store, gym?”

“Is it safe?”

Choice overload or decision fatigue make it more difficult to make bigger decisions. We are making so many small ones that by the time we get to the larger issues we just don’t have the energy. When we want to focus in on growing business, we are depleted. Our larger tasks and projects get put on the back burner because we don’t have the power to push through.

What does burnout feel like?

  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Using sugar and caffeine to get you through the day
  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Anxiousness
  • No energy to do the things you enjoy
  • Withdrawing from people, places and the things you love
  • Being on edge
  • Feeling angry
  • Loss of sleep
  • Being overwhelmed by even the smallest of tasks
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Feeling numb

Know that many of these symptoms are similar to depression, if they persist you may want to seek medical or mental health care.

Why we are we feeling so exhausted and unmotivated now? Why the burnout?

  • Many of us are forgoing vacations as it may not be safe to travel
  • There is no time to decompress, work has permeated our home
  • We have financial anxiety
  • There is an unnamed pressure to work hard as we may lose our jobs
  • Uncertainty of when Covid, wildfires and other issues will end
  • We are juggling childcare in ways we didn’t expect and eldercare from afar
  • We are concerned for our health and the health of family and friends

To find out if you are experiencing burnout. You can take this assessment called the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

Here are some ways to decrease Covid burnout and increase your focus and productivity.

Get your priorities straight-Each day the Get On Track Together Accountability Group chooses three tasks, just three to focus on. Narrowing down the next actions that you need to take are key to prioritizing your work and having a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You can do that too, choose three actions to work on each day.

Define your workspace-Having a dedicated workspace allows you to compartmentalize your work in your home. It’s great to have the freedom to move around when we are confined but it may make us feel scattered. Choosing one place to work will help in keeping you focused and organized.

Self care-Sleep as much as you need to if you are feeling tired. Sleep is the cornerstone of productivity and having a great workday. If you lack sleep there are a variety of issues that arise in terms of work performance like loss of concentration, lack of focus and an increase in mistakes. Making sure you have your self care under control with sleep, healthy eating, mindfulness, and exercise. Self care is one of the most important factors in decreasing burnout.

Do Something New-Try a new hobby. A colleague of mine is learning French. It has become her reward at the end of a days work. It’s something new and exciting. Tres Bien!

Be Gentle With Yourself-If trying a new hobby is overwhelming. It’s ok to just unplug and watch Netflix. Give yourself some permission for downtime. Be gentle with yourself. If your negative self talk is beating you down, find ways to relax. Get out in nature, watch the sunset.

You’re not alone in feeling burned out. It’s been a frustrating few months and there are probably many more to come. If you feel you are on the brink of burnout, now is the time to reach out. Schedule a consultation. Use some of these techniques to minimize those feelings of overwhelm. As I say to the Get On Track accountability group and to my clients—You Got This! 

Margo Crawford is a Productivity Expert and Certified Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. If you want to be more focused, organized and productive at work schedule a consultation.  call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected].