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19/07/2018
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how to recover from burnout

You may not be aware that you are suffering from burnout, or you just may not know how to handle it. Emotional and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged periods of stress and frustration may lead to unprofessional behaviour, lower productivity at work or simply not giving a damn. If you spot these signs in yourself, or your colleagues, then you must look for solutions.

 

Can accounting cause burnout?

Accounting like any job is best suited to certain personality types. If you are in the wrong job or even the wrong organisation the stress will mount up. The role of the accountant is evolving rapidly. Nowadays, more than ever before, an accountant will need strategic thinking to move with the times.

If you are launching a start-up you are going to be busy. Getting everything in place requires a lot of time and effort. Automating your basic tasks with business software is a good first step to reducing labour intensive work. Take the hard work out of basic task with accounting software and payroll software and let them do the job for you.

 

Position yourself

“When a person’s self-worth is tied to his or her work performance, he or she is more likely to suffer from job-related stress,” says Dr Fong Yuke Tien at ​Singapore General Hospital. Life is not all about work, even if you are an ambitious SME owner. So take some time to reflect and position yourself where you want to be, whether that’s in your comfort zone or out of the box. If you are mis-positioned then you may experience burnout.

 

Warning signs

If you or a colleague is experiencing burnout it may involve the following:

  • You having trouble sleeping or eating
  • You have lost interest in activities that you previously enjoyed a lot
  • You have persistent headaches and other pains
  • You feel exhausted all the time, or fall sick often
  • You feel anxious, irritable or restless most of the time

Managers should be alert to warning signs of burnout and depression in their employees. Burnout leads to absenteeism, habitual lateness, low morale and lack of motivation. Managers can also do their part by not overloading their employees and having realistic expectations of performance. Keeping communication channels open through regular staff dialogue and feedback sessions is key. Don’t forget to have a laugh too.

 

Tips to prevent burnout

  • Start by identifying the sources of stress in your professional and personal life. They may be interlinked. Minimize then eliminate them before they eliminate you. This may involve avoiding negative people and places.
  • Ask yourself if you are being unrealistic in your commitments or expectations. Learning to say ‘No’ is a good first step.
  • Create ‘down time’ to reflect on how you use your time and what helps you to relax mentally and physically.
  • Sleep is nature’s great restorer. If you are over-weight, eat smaller, regular, balanced and healthy meals. Don’t forget to splurge when you feel like it, even on fast food. Life should not be boring.
  • Take regular, gentle exercise, even if for just a few minutes every day. Playing squash or badminton can give you a heart attack but a leisurely stroll in clean air will not.
  • Don’t hesitate to talk it over with family, friends and colleagues that you trust. A final resort is to consult a health care provider.

 

Recovering from burnout

Even if you saw the warning signs and tried to prevent burnout but didn’t succeed then you must go in to recovery mode as soon as possible. If you don’t recover from burnout you are likely to slip in to depression or even worse. This can become chronic.

Discuss the situation with your manager, then go on a short holiday. Decide whether to take more time off, or even a complete break. If you feel that you can’t discuss this with your manager then resign immediately. You will then release yourself to be open to a more suitable opportunity. Making decisions, and then taking decisions.

Mental health is a significant issue everywhere these days. Burnout is likely to affect not just you but also influence your colleagues, friends and family. As an SME owner burnout in you or your staff can have a significant impact on your business.

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