Hello everyone it’s Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog! I can’t believe that it’s already December, I feel like the year has gone so fast – but I love that we’re approaching a festive time of year. This is a time of positivity, where you should solely focus on relaxing and spending time with the people you love. I do know that sometimes this can be very difficult, so today I want to share what’s worked for me when I try to avoid burnout close to the holiday season, so that I can still be somewhat productive and work if I need to, while also using the time off to actually rejuvenate. Let’s jump into it!
I think there’s a large difference between working hard and being in burnout, but surprisingly it’s hard to identify burnout for yourself. The World Health Organisation definition is:
Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managedWHO
This is a very complicated definition, but to me burnout is overworking yourself to the capacity where you lose yourself in the tasks, and you start to experience physical and mental consequences because of this. When I spoke with productivity expert Grace Marshall, she made the very valid point that, ‘you never feel like you’re enough, there’s always more we can be doing.’ This feeling is continuous and this constant cycle is a huge factor when it comes to burnout.
1 – Timeblock Your Tasks
As the definition stated, tine management is a leading cause of burnout for so many people. And it’s completely understandable – because sometimes you can just be so overwhelmed with what you have to do. And simultaneously, during the holiday season, the last thing you want to be doing is planning, because you just want to do everything on your own schedule. But, actively taking the time to plan your days means that you can delegate your tasks between days so that you have less to do daily. And, you can go even more specific and choose when you’ll do each task. You’ll be able to decide whether you should do the large jobs first, or work your way up to them (it’s your preference!)
Timeblocking is also very specific because you’re looking at your break cumulatively meaning that you can account for your other plans, or just add in time where you do nothing! And that’s completely valid because you would have already planned to get everything done on other days. Or, just at another time on the same day. You can choose just to time block days or narrow your focus down to what you’ll do every hour of every day.
Whatever you decide (timeblocking is so versatile) you can ensure that you get all your tasks done while also making sure that you don’t overwork yourself if random days are more saturated with work than others! Your workload will be spread at your comfort.
2 – Assign Yourself Some Absolute Rest Days
Your period of time off is usually always centred around a specific holiday such as Christmas or even New Years. Well, use those dates as guidance as to when you should take 100% of the day off and do absolutely nothing! Don’t get me wrong, in this time you may still need to do work tasks, or homework etc. But, to ensure that you don’t hit a work block or get to burnout, make sure you take a few days off and use the entirety to just switch off your work or school brain.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to celebrate the event – your rest day doesn’t even have to be on an event day! Just pick a random day to switch off and simply enjoy your time relaxing!
3 – Temporarily Remove Any Reminders Of Work You Have
Of course you still may have to work, but on the days where you feel quite tired, or even on one of your absolute rest days, just remove any reminder of the work you have. Honestly, just temporarily storing your work in a cupboard or draw will allow you to focus your attention on something else rather than just thinking about the work sitting on your desk and how you may have to do it. Some people even delete their email app off of their phone if they find they keep thinking about responses!
Remember, your time off from school or work is something to be treasured – even if you still have to be a little bit productive. Hopefully, just changing the location of your work can give your mind the break it deserves.
I hope this proves to be useful to you all as we enter the holiday period, remember you deserve some rest! Thank you so much for reading, let me know in the comments if you have any other advice for avoiding burnout.
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