Five Tips to Avoid Digital Burnout

As the end of the year approaches, it’s only natural to want to ease up on the gas, take a rest, and enjoy the holiday break. At the same time, the holiday season is simply too important to take for granted. After 18 months of overreliance on digitalization, it’s only natural to feel the strain of digital burnout. However, part of staying vigilant and productive means finding ways to ward off burnout. How can you stay focused and avoid letting your work become laborious?

1.) Acknowledge Digital Burnout Exists

a cartoon image of a person with a low battery which is a metaphor for digital burnoutJob burnout exists in every part of the workforce. In fact, the Mayo Clinic even has a web page dedicated to listing the signs, symptoms, and treatments for it! That means the first step to overcoming digital burnout is to acknowledge its existence. Understanding the signs of out will help you know when it’s time to take a break, change up your strategy, or ask for help. 

A recent Indeed survey found an alarmingly high percentage of respondents admitted experiencing significant job-related burnout. Importantly, it wasn’t just Millennials, Boomers, or Gen-Xers; folks of all ages were feeling the stress. The important factor is tracing the burnout to the source-is it COVID-related, job-related, or life-related? 

In other words, if you start to feel the symptoms of job burnout, try to figure out precisely what it is that’s causing the discomfort. Once you’ve identified the root of the problem, you can start implementing strategies to overcome it. For instance, if you’re spending too much time in front of screens, look for an opportunity for a screenless day or two! 

2.) Organization is Key

a cartoon image of a to-do listA common theme of burnout is feeling overwhelmed. If you regularly feel like there’s too much on your plate, it may be simply because your plate isn’t well-organized. Keeping tabs on your to-do list, including set time schedules for each task, can help make things more manageable. Remember, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

It’s also important to remember to keep your work life separate from your personal life. If you’re taking your work home every night-and on weekends-that divide will start to thin. While you might not morph into Jack Torrance overnight, before long the short-term rewards will lose their luster and you’ll feel drained and uninspired. 

Plan time to rest and recharge just as you would plan time for your marketing tasks. If you have to turn your work phone or computer off at night to unplug authentically, do it! Finding the perfect balance between work and play can be difficult, but it can also pay dividends-both for your work performance and your overall health!

3.) More Human Interactions = Less Digital Burnout

two people sitting face to face over a table having a conversationPart of digital burnout is the isolation from working digitally. A lack of face-to-face interaction can exacerbate the symptoms of digital burnout, so it’s important to find ways to interact with people-even if they’re not your co-workers. If you can’t make it into the office a few days a week, look for other ways to get human interaction, like spending time with friends, shopping, or volunteering in the community. 

Over one-third of workers agree that their organizations don’t do enough to combat digital burnout in the workplace. That means part of the problem lies in communication. Look to keep open channels of communication in your workplace. A good organization is one in which every member of the team feels comfortable and compelled towards a common goal. A more comfortable team means more open communication-and more open communication means problems get solved more quickly and efficiently!

4.) Avoid Making Comparisons

Lack of organization and human interaction can compound digital burnout, but nothing exacerbates digital burnout like making comparisons to your competition. If you’re too concerned with comparing yourself to your competitors, you’ll always feel like there’s more to do. Instead of pitting yourself against other businesses, compare your business today with your business of yesterday. 

Not only will comparing yourself to competitors make you more stressed, it typically involves spending more time in front of a screen! Focus on more important matters on the home front and let your customers do the comparing. 

5.) Ask For Help

Most importantly, if you’re feeling the stresses of digital burnout, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that means reaching out to a member of your support team, talking to your team, or taking a break, it’s okay to need a hand. Reports of anxiety and depression are up over 11% from last year, so it’s clear that the effects of digital burnout run far and wide. Burnout costs the worldwide economy over $350 Billion annually-which amounts to over three lost hours of productivity every day. Instead of trying to handle every task yourself, delineate, delegate, and ask for help. Chances are, both the job in question and your overall health will thank you for it!

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