It is tempting to push yourself well beyond your limits at work, particularly if you are passionate about your career.
The cost of burning out, though, is spectacularly high. In fact, burning out at your job hurts you two ways: The unproductivity during your burnout period and the unproductive time it takes to get back your momentum.
To stave off burnout, consider building in very short breaks between chunks of intense focus.
For instance, one strategy, called the Pomodoro technique, recommends working heavily for 25 minutes, then taking a break for a few minutes. The repeated cycle of work and break gives your brain the opportunity to rest and refocus, making your work time more effective than just pushing yourself non-stop for several hours straight.
If you have an indoor, meeting-heavy culture, then try doing a walking meeting instead. Moving helps the blood flow, which not only pushes the body to find its natural balance, but also stimulates your brain to come up with better ideas. Mobile meetings may not always be realistic, so turn your lunch hour into a walking lunch and use it to shake up your routine.
It is also crucial to have another professional you can trust. Sharing your stresses and concerns with someone who can listen will help keep you objective and calm. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone in the same business, either – in fact, it may be better to bond with someone outside of your professional circle, as they are less likely to share the same viewpoint and more likely to create a fresh point of view.