One lockdown was enough – we got through believing there was an end in sight and that our normal world – of a home life separated from our work life – would soon resume. However, many of us have had to either go back into lockdown or we’ve been living with the threat of more lockdowns to come. So now that the novelty of starting the day in your PJs over a bowl of muesli and the keyboard on your dining room table has worn off, what can you do to maintain motivation (not to mention sanity)… how can you avoid burnout? First up, it’s important to be aware that you’re not alone. The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress. Feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion, negative or cynical feelings related to a job, and reduced professional efficacy are part and parcel. According to one survey conducted in the United States,1 37% of employed respondents said they were working longer hours since the pandemic and 42% of said their stress levels were currently high or very high. 75% had experienced burnout at work, 40% said they’d experienced burnout during the pandemic. Top stressors cited were: COVID-19, personal finances, current events, concern over their family’s health, the economy and job responsibilities. A survey of over 34,000 workers in Australia and New Zealand also found employees have become increasingly concerned about job security, mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19. 2 A survey by software giant SAP ANZ found 26% of respondents did not have a computer desk, 25% had connectivity issues at home, 23% had limited private space, and 20% didn’t have an external monitor. 2 Experts recommend taking the following steps to avoid burnout during the pandemic and beyond: 1. Set Boundaries Create a dedicated work-space in your home that you can leave at the end of the day. Then, set yourself a routine that involves a clear start and end to the day, so your brain knows it’s time to move from your professional world into your personal, family life. 2. Check Out Once you’ve finished work for the day, get out to do some exercise, hang out with the kids or pursue a hobby – anything to reduce the temptation to log back into your office and continue on with work. 3. Switch Off Turn your email and mobile phone off when you stop work for the day. If possible, maintain a regular routine and ensure your colleagues are aware of it, so they don’t bother you in your downtime. 4. Find Your Balance If working at home comes with additional responsibilities and distractions, like kids coming home from school etc, work out a manageable routine that enables you to spend some time with them on arrival, then get back to your working day. 5. Avoid Distractions Some distractions, like kids coming home from school, are unavoidable. Others… like putting the washing out, weeding the garden, or picking up a great book, can be left until after work. Maximise your workday by being as efficient as you can so that when it’s knock off time you can do just that knowing you’ve been your most productive. 6. Take a Breath When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that you’ve got to do at home and work, sit back, take a breath and ask yourself, “what’s most important right now?” In doing so, you’ll quickly remind yourself of your values and adjust your priorities and activities accordingly. Talk to the Ayers Group Working as a contractor can be incredibly rewarding, but in challenging times it can bring about feelings of insecurity and stress. At the Ayers Group we can assist you to focus on the job at hand by managing your administration and compliance. We can also introduce you to experts who can help you grow your wealth. Talk to an expert at the Ayers Group today.