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13 lesser-known techniques for battling burnout

Battling burnout isn’t easy, but it is possible.
By Sujan Patel |

Whether you run a business, work a tough job or struggle to manage the competing demands of friends, family and work, you’ve probably already heard a lot about battling burnout. Now, I want to move beyond the well-worn advice you’ve seen before and share with you 13 lesser-known methods that might actually help you kick burnout’s butt for good.


watching tv


1. Watch cartoons.

Is this silly or what? I know you’re not 10 years old anymore, but watching cartoons was actually instrumental in my own journey battling burnout. When I turned on the TV, I was able to access my childhood excitement about specific cartoons, which helped me relax and find a better outlook. Maybe cartoons aren’t your thing. But tap into a childhood pastime—you’ll be amazed how much it helps.



2. Ask yourself “how.”

Another amazing way to get over a mean case of burnout is to stop saying “I can’t,” and say “How?” instead. Don’t say, “I can’t handle this.” Rather, say, “How can I handle this?” This simple little twist puts you in a much more creative, problem-solving space, and helps you move forward—no matter how stuck you’ve been feeling.


Related: The 4 simplest ways to avoid entrepreneur burnout in your first year



3. Use habits.

Habits are an awesome tool for beating burnout, because they remove the conscious decision-making from the process. When you’re already feeling stressed, things such as healthy eating and regular exercise are among the first to go—unless they’re habits that are already so ingrained in your daily routine that you do them practically mindlessly.



4. Break your achievements into increments.

Sometimes, burnout strikes when the goal you’re trying to tackle is too big. Instead of letting yourself get stressed out in this way, take time to step back and break your goals down into smaller increments.


Bonus tip: Celebrate these small wins when each of your incremental tasks is finished. Give yourself a small treat, such as a trip to the movies or a beer with friends, and you’ll have your larger overall project finished before you know it.


working outdoors


5. Change your work environment.

If you can, try working from a different place. If the weather is nice, find a spot outside, or spend a day working from a coffee shop or library. Sometimes a simple change in scenery can be refreshing enough to help you recover from burnout.



6. Redefine success.

While many ideas for battling burnout involve getting yourself back onto the treadmill to continue doing more and more, take a different tack instead. What if you redefined success? What if you looked at the process of completing your work as being just as important as the end result you’re trying to achieve?



7. Only do three things.

One of the biggest causes of burnout is a stuffed to-do list. To combat this, force yourself to plan on doing just three things a day for the next two weeks. You can always do more if you want, but don’t push yourself too hard. This allows you to prioritize and gives you an easy reason to say “no” when needed.




8. Get an outside opinion.

Sometimes, you’re too deep in your problems to be able to see a way out. An outside influence, whether it’s a trusted friend, counselor or family member, can be instrumental to helping you fashion a healthy plan to move forward.


Related: 5 ways to overcome entrepreneurship burnout


9. Find creative outlets.

If you don’t have a hobby, now’s a great time to take up an activity you’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t think you had time for. Chances are you’ll find that the time you spend on your hobby will give you more energy when it comes to your work.




10. Consider changing jobs.

Sometimes your company or work environment is the reason for your burnout. If you feel that your position has turned into something you don’t like anymore, or that your manager or co-workers create a toxic work environment, it may be time to move on.



11. Take a period of working less.

Whatever this means for you, it’s a great tactic to battle burnout. Take a part-time schedule if you can, or take vacation days in a way that reduces how much you work for a couple of weeks. This slow-down time is a great way to regroup and refocus.



12. Know when to push through.

Being aware of your particular weaknesses is extremely important when it comes to battling burnout. In fact, it may be that the best thing for you to do is to simply push through the sticking point, knowing that you’ll feel better on the other side. This is not for everyone, but it can help those whose burnout usually stems from procrastination.




13. Don’t give up.

The thing about battling burnout is that everybody is different. What worked for somebody else might not work for you, but the bottom line is to never give up. There is a healthy, manageable, productive life available to you—it just might take some time to find it. So keep looking, and keep trying new methods. You never know where or when you’ll find the solution to your productivity issues.


With the methods listed above, I know you can get through burnout. Just remember to go easy on yourself. Everyone struggles with it at some point. There’s no shame in admitting it and taking steps to start heading in a better direction, towards the life and career you’ve always dreamed of.


Related: Using your entrepreneurial values to avoid burnout



Copyright 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.



Photos from (winnond, anankkml and Franky242)

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