As founder and CEO of Toronto Air Conditioning & Furnace Repair, it is reasonable for an outsider to think that such a position can’t be all that stressful. Let’s face it, it is not heart surgery. But when you get a call at 11:00 pm and a mother is flipping out because she has a newborn baby and her house feels like it is slowly cooking them alive, someone in customer service could feel the pressure.
Or when a frantic father calls about a furnace that stopped working on the coldest day of the year in Etobicoke and his wife and kids are giving him an earful to get it fixed because they are not into the whole Eskimo/igloo lifestyle, well, that too has a little sense of urgency.
Normally it is not too big of a deal as I would just dispatch a technician. But when there is no one available and it falls on me to get their air conditioning or furnace repaired in the middle of a Toronto night when I have already put in a 16 hour day, well, that could get to be a wee bit too much. Even though it would be nice to be invincible like Superman, unfortunately it’s not always that simple (or life would be so much easier). Your mind and body can only handle so much. However, here are a few tips passed down through the ages that have done wonders for me on how to manage with stress better and prevent burnout overall.
1. Know your limit
Only you know how much you can handle. If you get overwhelmed easily, don’t push yourself to do more than what you can, or you’ll find yourself stressing to no end and you’ll be exhausted even sooner before you’ve even accomplished anything. If multi-tasking doesn’t work for you, work on one task at a time to ensure that each task gets done well without mixing it up with other tasks.
2. Schedule accordingly
To keep yourself organized, coordinate a schedule that works for you. That way, you can keep yourself balanced and you can plan your days accordingly, making sure not to overwhelm yourself with piles of work in one day. Prioritize what’s most important and put that first to get it out of the way before moving onto smaller tasks and projects that don’t require as much critical attention.
At some point, you’ll need to rest and recharge. If you keep pushing yourself past your limit, you’ll find yourself crashing harder. Make free time for yourself to relax until you’re feeling like you’re at your 100% again. One of the many reasons people get sick is because they don’t take care of their bodies and don’t rest enough. Not getting enough rest will only cause you to burn out quicker, so make sure you’re well-rested and get enough hours of sleep at night.
4. Change your environment
Believe it or not, staying in the same environment can cause you to feel more drained and weary over time. Take the opportunity to change your surroundings once in a while to spice it up a bit. Rather than being stuck in the office all day, go for a walk or find a café that you can work at. Staying in the same environment every day can make it boring and you’ll feel less motivated to get things done.
5. Work out
Your health is important, and in order to have a strong mind going, it’s good to stay active. Release stress by doing physical activities. Working out is a great way to relieve stress and you’ll feel a boost of confidence after, which will lead to an overall better performance in your work. Many turn to physical activities as a creative outlet as an efficient way to keep them engaged and motivated in a way that they can’t at work. When you strengthen your body, your mind and energy levels are strengthened as well.
6. Talk to others
When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s good to talk to your peers about how you feel. Chances are, you’re not the only one who feels tired and overworked, and sharing it with someone else who is going through the same thing can make you feel better. Receiving support from others can drastically reduce burnout, and it’s nice to get encouragement from others which keeps you motivated.
Understand that you must always put yourself first, as you are your own priority. Work is important, but in order to have a good performance, you have to take care of yourself and be in top condition. Your work is not in charge of you, YOU are in charge of your work. When you find ways to manage stress and learn how to control situations, your chances of burning out will decrease and your overall attitude and outlook at work will become more positive.