Achieve real growth professionally through steady progression.
We hear a lot of advice that urges us to “break out of our comfort zone” to achieve more. It sounds like solid advice. But taking on a new challenge often means acquiring a new skill to complete that task, which can hinder you—resulting in a vicious cycle. The flip side is slowing down and taking things at a more comfortable pace. Unfortunately that can lead to boredom. So how to find a happy medium between boredom and burnout?
Boredom or burnout—What’s your issue?
Believe it or not, feeling overwhelmed can manifest in a similar way as boredom. Determining which is the problem you are facing is the first step.
Do you find yourself stuck in a rut of doing the same thing (ala the “Time to Make the Donuts” guy)? If so, you’re most likely bored. Try to mix up your workday, change locations, whatever it takes, and see if that makes a difference.
Maybe you harbor secret thoughts of blowing everyone off and telling them to forget you exist? Well, then you’re most likely suffering from burn out. Take a step back and try to determine why things have become too much at work. And then you can move forward to make sure you don’t find yourself overwhelmed in the future.
If your issue is boredom, and switching up your regular routine hasn’t solved the issue, try setting yourself some new challenges. Pick a couple of goals, in work areas where you know you need to improve, and focus on them for a 30-day period. Or you can try to learn a new task at work to broaden your area of expertise. Spend some time thinking about what used to excite you about your job and brainstorm an activity to recapture that feeling.
Coming back from burnout (without finding a new job) may be a bit harder, but it’s still doable. Reconnect with how your work impacts or benefits others to help reenergize you. Another idea to try is this three-step process: prioritize, delegate and set aside time for yourself. Prioritizing tasks makes a to-do list more manageable. Delegating keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and reminds you that you don’t have to do it all. Finally, blocking out time for yourself to think and decompress provides a buffer to protect you from feeling swamped on the job.