Three Methods to Beat Work-From-House Burnout
Now that we’ve been in the pandemic for more than eight months, the data doesn’t suggest remote working is as enjoyable as most people probably thought it would be. Data shows that more than two thirds of home workers suffer from burnout.
I’ve seen the bad results of burnout while scaling my startup. I worked so many hours that I eventually collapsed and suffered a concussion. It was weeks before I could work normally again. The effects of burnout are real and can affect your productivity and life.
To solve my problems with burnout, I found new solutions and routines that have helped me increase my efficiency and feel healthier at the same time. I was able to gain more time for the “life” part of the work-life balance.
Here are three proven solutions I’ve found to fix burnout – for you and your team.
1. Start a weekly “check-in” meeting
A weekly “check-in” is one of the most important routines that I have ever taken on personally or professionally. Creating a weekly meeting focused on emotional wellbeing can be a cure for anxiety – and the burnout that comes with it.
The goal of the “check-in” meeting is to connect each person to the present moment and experience by observing their physical sensations and emotional state.
The first step is to give each person a minute to describe the physical sensations in their body without explaining why. Some examples include the description: I feel pain in my knees, my heart is racing, or my chest is tight.
The next step is to give each person a minute to describe how they are feeling emotionally. Examples are: I feel overwhelmed, I am angry, or I feel trapped. Keep the descriptions simple and do not give reasons for why you feel a particular emotion.
The goal is for everyone to accept their human experience in the moment – not judge their situation or try to solve their problems. It is an exercise in acceptance and awareness. You can also easily add this to a regular team meeting.
2. Automate as much as possible
There’s a reason I write so much about productivity and efficiency: they’re important if you want to avoid burnout. By increasing your efficiency, you can do the same amount in less time and gain valuable hours for your wellbeing and happiness. Automation is the fastest tool to work more efficiently.
The first priority is automating the two areas where you likely spend the most time: the inbox and calendar. A service like Mixmax provides access to a number of email productivity tools and is quickly saving me hours every week by integrating my planning process with my email and calendar.
The next step is to examine other parts of your company or job functions to see what else you can automate. Another likely candidate is your marketing funnel. With a platform like Zapier, you can automate your entire marketing process. There are also tools to automate HR, billing, and collaboration in the cloud.
Remember: you don’t want to replace the hours saved with more work. This won’t help you fix your burnout problem.
3. Plan the mandatory meditation time
Meditation is a beneficial mindfulness practice that helps with stress, anxiety and burnout. The only difficult part of meditation is sitting down to do this.
As a leader, you can’t expect your team to add a meditation practice on top of a schedule that’s already leading to burnout. As a leader, it’s up to you to sacrifice your team’s time to meditate. It is imperative to include this in the schedule as if it were another weekly meeting.
Some of these solutions are based on emotions and wellbeing, others on increasing productivity. No matter where you start, each one requires you to really make an effort. If your experience is mine, you will enjoy a new relationship with work and life that feels healthy and fulfilling.
The opinions expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not those of Inc.com.