10 Ways to Keep from Burning Out at Work


1. Don’t give yourself unreasonable deadlines.

Of course, there are some deadlines that are given to you, which you have no control over, but you can minimize unneeded pressure on yourself if the deadlines you set to complete work are reasonable.

People will usually be fine with waiting a little longer for you to complete work, as long as you deliver when you say you’ll deliver; however, they will be far less understanding when you promise fast delivery and blow your deadline.

Closeup calendar page with drawing-pins

2. If all of your projects are coming due on the same day, that’s a fast-track to burnout.

Again, this is where your schedule becomes vitally important. Every business owner has a schedule, but how many of them really adhere to it?

Get on your Google Calendar every day, look at your deadlines, and make sure that they’re staggered. You will thank yourself.

google calender

3. Stay on top of tasks.

The quickest way to burn yourself out is to let tasks get away from you. We all make mistakes, and it is easy to mismanage your schedule and end up completing tasks at the last minute.

Scheduling software like Google Calendar or Fantastical are great tools to keep yourself organized, or you can use the ones made out of paper, if you must.

project whiteboard

4. Keep it interesting by breaking up your day.

So, if you have a few projects going on at the same time, then you might try breaking it up a little. Many times, it will help you to stay interested and engaged when you work on one project for a couple hours, then switch to another project, then back, and so on.

This is also a matter of preference; some people are much more productive when they stick it out and focus on one thing at a time.

Two men in office space playing ping pong

5. Do whatever is necessary to keep your spirits high and your mood elevated while at work.

The better the mood you’re in while dealing with the tasks of the day, the less likely you are to become burnt out by them.

Sometimes you’re going to be in a bad mood, and there is just nothing you can do about it. The trick is to find things that give you that little boost of energy and optimism.

Does your office feel like a hospital room? Maybe spruce it up a little bit, or even go work in a coffee shop for a while, if possible. There is no one way to do it, and we’ve all got those things that will help us get through the day.


6. People get burnt out when they feel like they’re just spinning their wheels—so don’t do that.

If you’re putting a huge amount of time and energy into something, and it’s not paying off—it may be time to let it go. Sometimes a project looks promising in the beginning but ends up being a huge time-waster.

7. Set your working hours, and do your best not to overshoot these hours.

Our bodies and minds work best with structure—not under insane, unpredictable pressure.

So, if you can manage to stick to your hours every day, whether you’re on duty for 6 hours or 10 hours a day, you’ll find that you can be much more effective.


8. The 5-day work week vs. the 7-day work week.

No one wants to work weekends (or Mondays), but it may actually be an advantage to you. This all depends on how you function, and it’s different for everyone.

You may experience burnout faster by working 10-12 hours for 5 days, as opposed to working 6-8 hours for 7 days. The difference is huge.


9. Trust your team to do what you hired them to do; don’t micromanage them.

Always ducking your head in and worrying about whether a job is done right will do nothing but put more gray hairs on your head. If you hired these people, then chances are, they are more than competent to complete the task.

say no

10. Learn how to say, “No”.

Saying yes to every person that asks you for help with a project, and consequently adding to the pile of chores, will burn you out faster than you can say, “nervous breakdown”.

The people-pleaser type is especially vulnerable to this condition because their desire to make everyone like them motivates them to accept every request.

Summing Up

Burnout happens to all of us, and everyone has their own way of coping with it. The point is that you have to stay interested.

We get burnt out when the work starts to feel hopeless, boring, or overwhelming, and if you don’t find ways to keep yourself energetic and productive, then you may end up hating your job.

There is no reason that you can’t keep the magic alive, as long as you deliberately organize your day so that you’re not dreading every minute of it.


Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

Stephanie10 Ways to Keep from Burning Out at Work