Advice for how to combat burnout abounds and a quick google search returns almost 6 million articles. Research in burnout shows three factors that contribute to burnout: exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy (Maslach et. al., 2018). When exhaustion and cynicism are high and professional efficacy is low — the result is burnout. Most articles will tell you how to reduce exhaustion and cynicism but few focus on increasing professional efficacy. Professional efficacy comes from feeling successful at work. If you or your team members are feeling burned out, focusing on increasing professional efficacy is a way to start turning things around. Here are 4 tips:
- 1. Do an audit of your growth and accomplishments in the last year. Don’t just look for big signs (promotions, awards) but also smaller accomplishments like creating a good home work space, learning more about video conferencing or spending more quality time with your immediate family.
- 2. Focus on what gives you energy at work. We all have things we do not like to do at work and in the throws of burnout, we tend to spend time dreading those tasks. Find ways to spend more time working on the things that bring you energy.
- 3. Learn something new – as humans we are hard-wired for learning. This should not be a task that adds to burnout. Learning a new word in Spanish a day, reading an article about your profession, or starting a new work-out routine are some examples of things you could learn.
- 4. Find out more about who you are as a professional. Join a professional association, participate in career enhancing webinars or further your education through degrees and certificates.