As I write this, I’m mentally ticking off all of the tasks I’ve done and I’m dreading the many I have left to do. It’s all too easy to let the assignments pile up and no matter how productive you are, eventually it all gets to be a bit too much, and you burn out. I’m no stranger to this phenomenon. In fact, you might call me the Queen of Burnout.
I spent last summer completing two internships, writing for three online magazines, and working two jobs. I’d start most of those summer days waking up at 5 a.m. and getting home after my second job around 1 a.m. It was exhausting. But, I’m a go-getter. I thrive off of busyness, which often causes me to overcommit. It seems to work at first, but then I get tired, burn out and wallow in my inability to do a million things and be a million places at once. I’m clearly no expert on how to keep burnout from happening, but after going through it so many times, these are the things I know I need to start doing. Learn from my mistakes. Here are three ways to deal with burnout:
1. Start Saying “No.”
No opportunity is worth your sanity and well-being. Think about it this way, will you perform well at that activity, job, or internship if you’re just trying to squeeze it into your schedule. The chances are you won’t perform as well as you would if you had more time to commit to it. If that’s the case, then it isn’t really worth halfheartedly doing just for a tiny line on your resume. If you can’t perform at a level you’re proud of, then give it time and maybe that opportunity or perhaps an even better one will come around again. Learn to say no to things you don’t have the time or energy to do.
2. Give Yourself Time To Rest.
Seasons of busyness are normal. But we need time to rest in between those seasons. Take a summer off between semesters. Give yourself a weekend off from homework, studying, and work. Add little breaks to your schedule, whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly.
3. Know When To Quit
Sometimes, you need to say goodbye to opportunities if they’re getting to be too much. Now, I’m not saying that you should become a quitter. You should stick it out if you and your schedule can handle it. But if it’s hurting you more than helping you and you don’t have time to breathe, it’s better to quit before it gets even more hectic. It’s easier said than done, but try not to take on more than you can handle. Because, when we take on more than we can handle, we end up facing this decision of whether we should quit or suffer through.
Burnout is a tough place to be, but by improving our time management and learning to say no when necessary, we can get through it. What are some ways you deal with burnout?