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I’m a Burnout Expert, and These 4 Questions Help Me Gauge Whether I’m Overworking

Can anyone else relate? I’m pretty sure we have all been there one way or another. How do you deal with it, and how do you react? What changes do you make? Personally, there are a few things I do when I feel the water slowly start to creep over my head, as the stress and overwhelming guilt of skipping out on family time and “me-time” start to take over.

Something I’ve done since elementary school is make lists. When my head is jumbled and my blood pressure starts to rise when faced with certain situations or when I’m really overwhelmed, making a to-do list or a priority list really helps me to calm down. It’s almost like when I take all of the “huge, overwhelming” tasks out of my head, and put them on paper, they aren’t the big, scary monsters they appeared to be in my head anymore. I am more likely to tackle the tasks one by one, plus I get the satisfaction of checking them off as I complete them.

At the beginning of the week, I write out my schedule for each day, combining my work schedule with my personal schedule. This may change throughout the week as meetings come up or cancelations, but it’s important for me to visually see my week in advance so I can prepare accordingly. Living day to day and not staying on top of my schedule is not an option for me, and can lead to more stress than necessary.

Another thing I do is set timers on my phone. Each task I do whether it be for work or house chores, I allow myself a certain amount of time to complete it. Once the timer is up, I force myself to go to the next task, and, if needed, schedule time later if I didn’t complete the task. This really helps me to stay focused and move towards completing my tasks, therefore achieving my daily goals. If I don’t set these boundaries, I may find myself going down unnecessary “rabbit holes” and veering off task. Setting these timers throughout the day also ensures that I will be able to get to that family time, and much needed “me-time.”

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