How To Overcome Burnout And Stay Motivated

By Meggie Nelson

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how do you overcome burnout

Even if you love your job, it’s normal to feel burned out from time to time. Statistics show that almost two-thirds of employees deal with burnout once in a while.

Even if you’re working from home (which is the setup of most people during the pandemic), you’re still not exempt from stress and exhaustion. In fact, 40% of those who reported feeling burned out experienced it during the pandemic specifically.


But just because it’s “part of life” doesn’t mean you just have to let it linger.

There are several ways to cope with work-related burnout and stay motivated.

Here’s how.

Find The Source

Just like a health condition, if you only keep on treating the symptoms, you’re not going to recover.

It takes determining the root cause of the problem so you will have a clear treatment plan – one that specifically targets your illness.

Job burnout can be caused by different things. Among the most common reasons are:

  • Unclear job expectations. Have you always struggled with unclear instructions from your boss? Are you unsure about what your role really is? Then that could be fueling your burnout. When you’re not sure about your degree of authority or what your manager wants from you, you can be uncomfortable at work.
  • Life-work imbalance. If you’re getting more tasks that you can handle, and it’s taking away your personal and family time, you’re most likely to feel burned out.
  • Lack of control. When things go out of our control, we become extremely anxious and exhausted. The inability to make decisions affecting your workload leads to stress and eventually, burnout.
  • Lack of support. Do you feel alone at work? Does it seem like you don’t have anyone to turn to when you need help? Workplace isolation is a real thing and leads to other problems, including depression.
  • Unchallenging work/job extremes. Maybe you’ve gotten so familiar with your job that you no longer find it challenging. Or, it could also be the other way around – it’s too overwhelming and your skills and knowledge don’t match. Both of these scenarios can cause burnout.

Set Boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries at work can greatly keep you from experiencing job burnout.

Yes, saying “no” to your co-workers, especially your superiors, is hard. But sometimes, you have to. Ideally, you want to establish your boundaries by the time you start working for a company by giving them clear expectations during the interview.

But if you haven’t done that, it’s fine. Start as soon as you can. For example, do you work on weekends? Do you check your email beyond office hours or when you’re on vacation? Know what works for you to stay productive and avoid burnout. Then, let them know.

Rearrange Your Working Environment

how do you overcome burnout by rearranging work environment

Sometimes, it’s not the people who are toxic. It could be your environment!

Many studies suggest that our physical environment impacts our mental health. That is why many companies these days are investing in designing office interiors that look less of a traditional office but more like a cozy, inviting coffee shop.

Here’s how you can rearrange your working environment to boost your mood and fight burnout:

  • Keep it clean. A filthy desk will only leave you feeling stressed.
  • Add some greens. Research shows it can boost employee’s morale, which positively affects their productivity.
  • Make it “personal”. Make your desk an extension of yourself by adding a few decors that increase your mood, such as your family photo or souvenirs from your recent travels.
  • If you’re working from home, the more freedom you get when it comes to re-arranging your desk. Choose a spot in your home where it’s most peaceful and decorate it as you please. Turn it into something that will make you look forward to entering each day.

Improve Your Time Management Skills

Most often, burnout is the result of poor time management.

Imagine spending more time on less stimulating tasks, getting distracted with emails and social media, and spending more time on activities that would have rather taken less time to complete.

Learning time management skills is one of the best things you can do to become more productive and fight stress and burnout.

Here are some tips that help you take control of your time at work:

  • Use time management solutions like time-tracking apps, to-do lists, and software that allow you to prioritize important tasks and get more organized.
  • Know your limits. As much as you want to finish it all in one day, you’re not superhuman. You get tired and emptied. Let’s face that. So instead of fretting over the work you haven’t completed, celebrate those that you successfully did.
  • Learn to delegate. Instead of trying to squeeze in some tasks in your daily schedule, assign them to someone else.
  • Schedule social media. You may be unknowingly spending more time on social media than you thought you are. Be mindful of how you spend your breaks.
  • Take a rest and blow off some steam. Even the simplest tasks can get tremendously dragging when you’re tired and stressed. So whenever you feel like you’ve been squeezed of all your juices, take time off and blow off some steam. Relax, take a breath. Recharge your batteries.

Create Healthily Routines

how do you overcome burnout by being healthy

A healthy body is a healthy mind.

Establishing healthy routines is equally important to the other tips mentioned above. When you’re not physically healthy, your mental state is affected.

So sleep well, eat healthy, work out, practice mindfulness through yoga and meditation, etc. All these habits incredibly boost your mood and help you ward off symptoms of fatigue, stress, and burnout.

Easier said than done, right? Well, it is. Note that it takes a few weeks to establish a habit. The first few days might be the hardest. But once you get into the tune, everything becomes smooth and easy.

Overcoming job burnout can be done in many ways. By applying these tips, you will feel a lot more energetic, motivated, and most of all – happier at work!

Meggie Nelson

Meggie is a Freelance Writer and HR Manager at AMGtime . She is deeply convinced that communication is key to business success and it’s a crucial part of our lives. Meggie believes in a win-win formula and utilizes it on a daily basis in staff management

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