9 Ways to Prevent Burnout at Work When You’re Feeling Stressed

UPDATED: July 18, 2023
PUBLISHED: October 26, 2016

Are you feeling stressed about your job and overwhelmed by your work? Experiencing continued stressors can cause you to become burned out, leaving you unable to focus on day-to-day tasks or perform them to the best of your ability. But you can take back control of your performance by identifying healthy coping mechanisms for daily stressors. We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for tips on how they prevent burnout at work. Here’s what they said:

1. Stay active throughout the weekend.

Use your time away from the office to refresh and energize yourself. If you spend the entire weekend working from your home office, you’re bound to experience burnout. Try heading outside for a hike or bike ride.

—Chuck Cohn, Nerdy

2. Learn to manage stress to prevent burnout at work.

Stress can easily contribute to burnout if it’s not managed effectively. Adopting simple techniques in your daily schedule—such as meditation, exercise and practicing mindfulness—can help you get mentally and physically fit so your brain is fresh and ready to return to work.

—Anthony Pezzotti, Elevated Media Inc.

3. Change your perspective immediately.

When I realize I’m burned out, I stop everything and change my whole environment. Because I work at home, I might visit a client’s office for a day, attend a conference or go commune with nature. Stepping away from the daily stress and grind and viewing the world from a different perspective, even temporarily, reawakens my curiosity and enthusiasm for work.

—Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

4. Go on a media detox to prevent burnout at work.

Part of the high level of stress and burnout that we currently experience is the intense connectivity and demand for attention placed on us by the supercomputer in our pockets. By checking emails, social media and text messages every few minutes, it’s easy to burn out. Schedule media detox times into your life—entire days or blocks of time when your device stays home, off or both.

—Marcela De Vivo, Gryffin

5. Build downtime into your schedule.

Everyone needs to disconnect and rejuvenate. How you do that is up to you, but build time into your schedule to take a step back and pursue something that feeds your mind, body and spirit. If you build that time into your schedule on a consistent basis, you won’t experience burnout. It’s all about finding balance.

—Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting

6. Get truly quiet sleep to prevent burnout at work.

You get burned out answering late-night emails before you go to bed. And since it is the last thing you end up thinking about, you feel overwhelmed and it can be hard to sleep. Instead, quarantine your computer, phone and TV in another room. Enjoy a good book, then meditate a few minutes so you prepare yourself for a restful night’s sleep without distractions.

—Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

7. Delegate tasks that you can outsource.

We usually don’t get burned out by the entire business. It’s usually a few aspects that cause burnout. Although you can try to soothe burnout by taking occasional breaks, until you identify the tasks that cause you to revolt, you’ll keep running into burnout. Identify a few tasks you can’t stand to do anymore and find a way to outsource some or all of them.

—Mark Daoust, Quiet Light Brokerage Inc.

8. Go for a daily walk to prevent burnout at work.

I enjoy a short walk around the block listening to music to get my focus back. I find that when I walk away from a project for as little as five minutes, I come back refreshed with new ideas and perspectives I might have never thought of if I hadn’t left my desk. Sometimes occupying your mind with other thoughts and senses can bring you right where you need to be.

—Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

9. Help someone else.

Accomplishing something meaningful is a great way to recharge, and switching problems is refreshing. Offer to help people without expecting anything in return. Your fresh perspective can be invaluable to them and the simple act of helping someone else will help you get back on track.

—Douglas Hutchings, Delta Solar

This article was updated July 2023. Photo by Kateryna Onyshchuk/Shutterstock

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.