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5 Tips to Prevent Burnout

By: Tori Lyn Hoke

Have you ever felt abnormally unmotivated? Do you feel extremely drained that you can't do anything? Well, you could be experiencing burnout.

Burnout is a relatively new concept that the World Health Organization recognized as a medical diagnosis in 2019. However, people still misconstrue burnout as a form of laziness. According to the American Psychology Association (2018), burnout is defined as "the physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others." It is the body's natural response to overexertion for a prolonged period, and people across the world experience it everyday. Burnout is especially prevalent among students, but it is easily preventable.

Here are 5 tips to prevent burnout:

1. Designate Time for Yourself

There is a fine line between working hard and pushing yourself too far. Blocking out time in your calendar can ensure you don't overwork yourself. Most of the time, burnout occurs when people have an unsustainable work-life balance. According to the APA, work-life balance is achieving a good level of involvement between multiple roles in a person's life to increase life satisfaction (American Psychology Association, 2018). Without a healthy work-life balance, people tend to fall into a damaging cycle of overexertion, ultimately leading to burnout.

2. Create a Calendar of Planner

Visually writing out tasks and deadlines helps with time management. Being able to plan also helps to prevent procrastination. According to a study from Forbes, "52% of Planners reported having time for a social life, and 44% had enough time for themselves, compared with 39% and 31% of Procrastinators, respectively." Procrastination often leads to stress, which directly correlates to burnout.

3. Delegate Tasks

Knowing how to delegate tasks responsibly is a skill developed with time. Advocating for yourself when you feel overwhelmed is very important when working with a team. Consistently overextending yourself is unsustainable and makes managing the tasks you agree to complete hard. Effectively delegating tasks ensures an equal distribution of work. It is important to know how to delegate tasks when it's appropriate and necessary.

4. Ask for Help

No one expects you to know everything. Life offers many learning opportunities, so it is okay to ask for help when things get confusing. Knowing when to ask for help shows strength and self-awareness. Remember, people are always willing to help, especially when you are genuinely eager to learn.

5. Have Fun!

Similar to designating time for yourself, find things you enjoy and can do in your downtime. Whether staying in to read a book or watch a movie, find things that make you feel genuinely fulfilled. You can also make the work fun. Changing your perspective from "things I have to do" to "things I get to do" will help make your tasks more enjoyable and less taxing.

Burnout is common, but it is avoidable. By implementing one or all of these tips, you will be helping yourself avoid burnout.


About the Author:

Tori Lyn Hoke is a third-year student at Boston University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Business Administration. She is currently an Account Supervisor at Boston University’s PRLab where she oversees and supports her team in producing tangible deliverables for her client, BUPD. She is also a volunteer at Science Club for Girls where she supports the non-profit's marketing and communications by creating media assets and carrying out any tasks delegated to her. Tori was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and she intends to take the education she’s been blessed with, and give back to her local communities by supporting their communication systems.

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