Whether you are at university or in a full-time job, or juggling both study and work, you are bound to hit ‘the wall’. The wall of pushing yourself too far that you are surrounded by things to do with little motivation. We are all susceptible to burnout, but this guide can help put you back in control.
The physical and emotional exhaustion is caused by a lack of interest and prolonged stress. It may be because you have too much to do or you set your expectations too high. But remember, you will get through it. Even right now you are motivated enough to read this article when you are burnt out!
Remember to Give Yourself a Break
Make sure you don’t work through your breaks! Lunch breaks are there for a reason and it is a great time to shut down your computer screen. Go for a walk, take a mini shopping spree, window shopping is also fun, or go to a nearby coffee shop with friends. The mini-break will stop your brain from overworking and give yourself something else to think about.
Studies indicate that we should work in intervals to be the most productive and motivated. Work for an hour, then take a 15-minute break. You want to use your energy when it is at its highest to maximize your productivity. Exhausting yourself with work will instead demotivate you and reduce your productivity. So, take that break tomorrow!
Maybe you could even set up a relaxation period such as yoga sessions in your workplace, or set up a society at your university to help calm yourself and others during busy periods. It is things like this that employers love and can be used on your CV. Setting up relaxation sessions shows your initiative to come up with solutions and builds skills such as leadership and organisation.
Whether it is at work or with uni deadlines, talking to your mentor about deadlines is a possibility. If you have multiple uni deadlines at the same time, then most often, the uni will be lenient about spreading them out more. Or if you are experiencing personal issues then talk to your school support team for this, it often only requires a few forms. This will take some of the pressure off and will give you extra time to plan your deadlines.
Talk to your Employer
Whilst jobs are amazing for skills, income and networking, sometimes it all gets too much. The extra cash is great if you are doing it on the sideline of studying but you need to remember to balance your time so that you can relax too.
Talk to your employers. Once they know how you are feeling they will do their best to help you. Talking will help start to eliminate your pressure and give your employer the ability to help motivate you. Maybe they could give you new opportunities with extra training or new roles to make your day more interesting. This is also a great chance to learn new skills too.
Another option may be cutting down your hours to work fewer days or use some of your holiday time to refresh.
Take a Break Away
Yes, that’s right, we are advising you to take a break! Whether it is a few days off at home or a weekend getaway, both will help you to recharge. Spend time with your family and friends to help reduce your stress levels and get motivated again so you turn up fresh-eyed and ready to work.
It could also be a break away from technology. When working and studying we are addicted to our phones and laptops. It is the hub of our activity, however, at home sometimes it isn’t needed when you could be spending your time with friends or family. This is also a must if you get work notifications constantly reminding what you have pending and not allowing yourself to refresh.
Life Outside of Work
Did you previously have a hobby you loved? Or could you do something new? Whether it is working out, reading, or learning a language, as long as the activity is not work or study-based then go for it! This is the perfect way to retain or learn skills and it will help focus yourself when you do work. Or have you not met up with a friend since secondary school? Could you have a quick catch-up? Do more of what you love and make time to do small things that will brighten up your day.
Ditch the Bad Habits, Reorganise and Plan
If you are noticing you have bad habits then replace them with motivating factors. Maybe you check your phone too much, eat poorly or hit snooze every morning. It may be that you could switch up your routine, see what we recommend doing every morning before work – it highlights some of the simplest ways to spark motivation.
Reorganising is a great way to see what issues are reducing your motivation. Even if your reorganisation means de-cluttering your pencil pot, if that was bothering you, then don’t ignore it! You could pick up some cheap desk organisers as they do say a tidy desk makes a tidy mind. Buying a diary is also a good idea to help plan your week.
Work out when you should be working or studying and stick by this! Then you can see all of your free time. Also, you could write out a list of tasks for that week and choose a day for each one to be completed. Understand it can be flexible so if you don’t get it done then do not worry, there will be another day! Figure out the priorities and whether they can be delegated to colleagues or whether anyone else can help out.
Whatever the situation make sure to use the resources available to you. Take a step back and work strategically to find why you are becoming overwhelmed. Hopefully, you can then build back your motivation. Sometimes you may find there are bigger issues such as changing your goal or changing jobs but there are plenty of opportunities out there!
Written by Rebecca Hart, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. If you are looking for a job but not sure where to start then check out StudentJob! Our application tips will help you create an effective cv, cover letter and help you smash interviews!