Practical Tips To Avoid Burnout That Can Help You Achieve Work-Life Balance

Striking the perfect work-life balance is crucial to avoid burnout, so we’ve gathered fifteen practical tips from CEOs, founders, and other top professionals. From scheduling regular digital detoxes to embracing new challenges regularly, these insights aim to help you find harmony between your professional and personal life.

  • Schedule Regular Digital Detoxes
  • Adopt a “Work Smarter” Philosophy
  • Establish Clear Professional Boundaries
  • Define Specific Working Hours
  • Find Your Purposeful Career
  • Keep Work Items Out of Sight
  • Learn to Prioritize Effectively
  • Take Intentional Micro-Breaks
  • Set Personal and Professional Goals
  • Enforce Mandatory Rest Days
  • Create a Designated Workspace
  • Prioritize Self-Care Routinely
  • Block Off Personal Time
  • Embrace New Challenges Regularly

Schedule Regular Digital Detoxes

Tom Molnar, Operation & Content Manager, Fit Design

Tom Molnar, Operation & Content Manager, Fit Design

I personally like to schedule regular “digital detox” times where I completely unplug from work emails and notifications one to two days a week. This helps me to recharge and focus on other aspects of my life, like my family and friends, reducing feelings of burnout and improving my work-life balance. 

Another tip I would suggest is to set boundaries and learn to say no when necessary, as it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and not over-commit yourself, which can lead to burnout.

Adopt a “Work Smarter” Philosophy

Amar Ghose, CEO, ZenMaid

Amar Ghose, CEO, ZenMaid

Embracing the “Work Smarter, Not Harder” philosophy has been pure gold for me. It’s about efficiently using technology, delegating tasks, and learning to say no to avoid over-committing.

This strategy has helped me save precious time and significantly reduce stress, creating room for creativity and thoughtful work. It taught me that being constantly busy isn’t the goal; living each day with purpose is. 

This mindset is incredibly valuable for anyone aiming to enhance their work-life balance and avoid burnout. At ZenMaid, adopting this approach means we prioritize meaningful work, ensuring we all have time for life outside of work.

Establish Clear Professional Boundaries

Elisha Peterson MD MEd FAAP FASA, Anesthesiologist and Pain Medicine Physician, Elisha Peterson MD PLLC

Elisha Peterson MD MEd FAAP FASA, Anesthesiologist and Pain Medicine Physician, Elisha Peterson MD PLLC

A practical tip for improving work-life balance and reducing burnout, especially in demanding fields like medicine, is the establishment of clear boundaries. While the healthcare industry often operates 24/7, acknowledging the importance of personal limits and negotiating how time is spent can be crucial for well-being.

Initiating discussions with colleagues, administrators, or superiors about workload and call responsibilities is a proactive step. For instance, if overnight calls become overwhelming, negotiating a reduction in their frequency or exploring alternatives like home call may be possible. Additionally, considering a part-time work arrangement can free up time and energy, allowing individuals to pursue activities outside of work that bring joy and energy.

Creating and communicating clear boundaries on when one is available for work-related matters is essential. This involves setting specific times for responding to emails, patient messages, and attending meetings.

Even if you take vacations, without clear boundaries, it can feel like you are always on call, contributing to burnout. Establishing limits on work-related communication during personal time helps create a more defined work-life balance.

In summary, the practical tip of establishing boundaries involves proactive communication and negotiation to tailor work commitments to a manageable level.

This strategy not only helps prevent burnout but also allows individuals in high-stress professions like medicine to pursue activities that recharge and rejuvenate them outside of work.

Define Specific Working Hours

Yogesh Kumar, Digital Marketing Manager, Technource

Yogesh Kumar, Digital Marketing Manager, Technource

A practical tip for improving work-life balance and reducing burnout is to establish clear boundaries between work and personal time. Decide on the specific working hours and stick to them as closely as possible. Be clear about your availability and communicate the same to your colleagues, clients, and team members, so that they know when you will be working.

For this, you will need to decide on the particular time frame during which you intend to be actively engaged in work-related activities. For example, you might decide to work from 9 AM to 5 PM, creating a clear and defined schedule. Once you have set your working hours, it’s crucial to adhere to them as closely as possible.

This means avoiding work-related tasks outside the designated timeframe and respecting the boundaries you have established. By defining your work hours, you can allow for a healthier balance between work and personal life, which helps to improve productivity.

Find Your Purposeful Career

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions

The best way to reduce burnout is to pursue a career that feels purposeful. We all go through periods where our work starts to lose its meaning. For me, it happened several years ago. I took time off to figure out my next move, recalibrated, and improved my overall happiness. 

I then wrote the Amazon bestseller, Back After Burnout, and included a number of exercises to help readers find purpose in their own lives. One tool I enjoy immensely is Ikigai. This is a Venn diagram with four sections that you populate as follows: what you’re good at, what you love to do, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. The intersection is your Ikigai. Find your Ikigai and consider a career shift if you’re not already doing it.

Keep Work Items Out of Sight

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

My practical tip for improving work-life balance, as somebody who works in a remote environment, is making sure that you leave everything out of sight when you finish your workday.

For some, this will be easier because you will have an office in your house, and it will be as simple as closing the door to a room. For others who don’t have the luxury of space, I recommend having a specified area in the cabinet where you can put all your work belongings each evening.

This one simple trick aligns with the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” and ensures that nothing in your eyeline can subconsciously keep your mind on work. Just having something visible can be a massive distraction, and if we want to achieve a good work-life balance, we need to make sure that when we switch off, there is nothing there that can pull us right back in.

Learn to Prioritize Effectively

Lauren Carlstrom, COO, Oxygen Plus

Lauren Carlstrom, COO, Oxygen Plus

The best advice that I have for those looking to improve work-life balance is that you need to learn to effectively prioritize. The problem that I find most people have when it comes to burnout is they don’t know how to properly prioritize different aspects of their lives. I used to be guilty of this, too.

You may know how to sort of prioritize different things based on deadlines, etc., but if you don’t understand when something isn’t absolutely necessary, you’re going to end up just working a whole lot more than you need to. Or, on the other end of the scale, you’ll end up spending way too much time avoiding work and doing ‘life’ things. 

Learn to prioritize effectively by taking more into consideration. Deadlines still matter, but the impact of a task/event/etc. also matters. Once you start taking impact into account, you’ll be able to more accurately determine when you can move on from a task and relax, and when it needs more of your attention.

Take Intentional Micro-Breaks

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

In the pursuit of a healthier work-life balance, I think many of us can gain a lot from the simple act of establishing micro-boundaries throughout the day. Our brains aren’t built for constant, uninterrupted focus; they crave short breaks to stay sharp.

And, as the name suggests, micro-breaks are small, intentional breaks strategically placed throughout your day. A brief walk, a moment of meditation, or a simple stretch—these micro-boundaries offer a mental refresh without derailing your workflow. 

To really get the most out of this approach, you must accept that these breaks are non-negotiable. It basically signals to your brain that you value its well-being. When you’re back at your desk after a micro-boundary, you’ll find that your focus is sharper, and your energy is revitalized.

They’re not disruptive; rather, they’re restorative. You’re not stepping away for hours; it’s just a moment to reset, recharge, and refocus.

Set Personal and Professional Goals

Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

As the head of a fast-paced recruiting firm, work-life balance is a constant struggle. It doesn’t help that I’m a workaholic; I cannot sit idle.

I’ve recently discovered that having one goal each for fitness, relationships, work, and hobbies has helped me disengage my mind from work after office hours. For instance, my week’s goals might look like accomplishing five handstand push-ups at the gym for fitness, meeting my parents over the weekend as a relationship goal, getting a new client on board at the office, and reading at least one book.

In order to ensure I follow through with my personal goals, I try committing to them beforehand. For example, I share my fitness goals with my personal trainer at the gym to stay motivated, and call anyone I want to meet ahead of time to finalize my weekend plans.

Enforce Mandatory Rest Days

Jon Torres, CEO, Jon Torres

Jon Torres, CEO, Jon Torres

As a business owner, I encourage my team to take a dedicated day off every few weeks, completely disengaging from work. This intentional break allows employees to recharge and pursue personal interests or hobbies. 

For example, someone might use their mandatory rest day to indulge in a creative endeavor, spend quality time with family, or simply relax. This not only prevents burnout but also promotes a healthier work-life balance by ensuring everyone takes regular, guilt-free breaks.

By prioritizing rest and rejuvenation, this strategy contributes to a more energized and motivated team in the long run.

Create a Designated Workspace

Peter Sanders, Director, Prince William Pottery

Peter Sanders, Director, Prince William Pottery

Having a dedicated workspace, whether at home or in an office space, has always helped me to have a healthier work-life balance. Having your own designated workspace creates a clear physical boundary between professional responsibilities and personal life, helping to maintain this healthy work-life balance.

When you have a designated area for work, you can mentally “clock out” and disengage when you leave that space. This separation is vital for preventing the constant feeling of being “on the clock,” reducing the risk of burnout.

And for me, a dedicated workspace provides a sense of routine and structure, mimicking the structure of a traditional office environment. So, when working from home, you can establish a work routine, and it signals to your brain that it’s time to focus on work-related tasks when you enter that space.

This routine can contribute to a relationship with your work, and there aren’t any blurred lines as to your living and workspace.

Prioritize Self-Care Routinely

Shaun Martin, Founder & CEO, Sell My House Fast

Shaun Martin, Founder & CEO, Sell My House Fast

As cliché as it may sound, prioritizing self-care is crucial for achieving a healthy work-life balance and preventing burnout. This means taking the time to exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation outside of work. 

It’s important to remember that your health and well-being should always come first, and taking care of yourself will ultimately make you more productive and effective in the long run. Make sure to schedule self-care activities into your daily routine and stick to them, just as you would any other important task or meeting.

Block Off Personal Time

Paul Eidner, Chief Operating Officer, CarnoGel®

Paul Eidner, Chief Operating Officer, CarnoGel®

One practical tip I’ve found that makes the biggest difference in improving work-life balance and reducing burnout is to set clear boundaries and stick to them. Block off time in your calendar for important personal activities—family time, exercise, hobbies—just like you would for work meetings. And when those personal blocks of time come up, protect them fiercely and don’t allow work to infringe.

It’s easy for work to bleed into all areas of life with the always-connected nature of modern technology. But setting those boundaries and being disciplined about maintaining them is key.

Embrace New Challenges Regularly

Michael Hurwitz, CEO and Co-Founder, Careers in Government

Michael Hurwitz, CEO and Co-Founder, Careers in Government

One practical tip for improving work-life balance and reducing burnout is to challenge yourself regularly. When motivation wanes, it’s easy to fall into a routine of coasting, leading to cognitive dissonance and diminished self-worth.

To combat this, seek out opportunities that push your skills and abilities, whether through seeking promotions, lateral shifts, or taking on new projects. 

By embracing challenges, you can enter a state of “flow,” where work becomes inherently rewarding, fostering a sense of fulfillment and preventing burnout before it takes hold. Remember, challenging oneself is essential for both personal growth and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

It encourages continuous learning, creativity, and resilience, all of which contribute to long-term well-being and satisfaction in both professional and personal spheres.

Last Updated on by kalidaspandian

Author

Mehar Jolly

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