How to avoid burn-out when you’re overloaded

“Breathe in, breathe out, in, out, in”… I keep saying in my mind after glancing at my to-do list. I’m not in the Hunger Games, but suddenly I feel like the paper in front of me did put me into the middle of the game. The list’s not as long as The China Wall, but it’s getting there. Ambition isn’t short list-friendly, is it?

“You have as many hours a day as Beyonce, so sorry, no excuses” I remind myself, but my anxiety doesn’t like logic, so it ignores the hour part and replies with “she just woke up like this”.


I keep doing everything I can to… focus on something that is not on my list. Suddenly, all that is left of my beautiful productive plans in the evil list that burned me down. All jokes aside, the list could say “It’s not me. It’s you.” and that would be truth. Everything lies in the mind, and mine wants to defeat me.

Some people are more prone to burn-out than others, but it can probably happen to anyone at any stage of life. It has happened to me before, and believe me, it wasn’t pretty. The more ambitious you are the more burn-out can hurt you, but generally, it’s like a furious, betrayed woman – up to no good.

Since I had to learn how to avoid burn-out and make my life a bit easier here are my tips on how to avoid burn-out when you’re overloaded!

blog graphic - howtoavoidburnout

  1. Decide what’s important for you

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, from my experience, it is not. We are bombed with tons of different content and possibilities, and sometimes it gets difficult to choose what we want to focus on when everything looks interesting. As you might know, I love podcasts, and I subscribe to many of them. The problem is that each and every of them is interesting, so I end up wanting to listen to every episode. Is it realistic, smart and achievable? Absolutely not, because I have an actual  life to live.

How I solved my little problem? I chose what was the most important for me, and decided to listen to other podcasts if I have free time.


       2. Step back from your work when you feel overwhelmed

A 20-minute walk, a few minutes of break to have your cup of tea or a quick yoga session can make wonders for your well-being and ease the tension within you that keeps building up, up, up with every extra thing to work on. It’s better to spend half an hour relaxing than hours fighting with anxiety that’s likely to appear if you don’t let yourself breathe. As they say: a stitch in time saves nine.

   3. Take breaks

Even if you don’t feel overwhelmed, it’s good to take breaks at least every hour. The highly recommended Pomodoro technique includes 25 minutes of work, and then 5 minutes of a break, but I know people who like an hour of work + a 10-minute break system more. Do whatever works for you, but don’t ignore the importance of breaks, because you risk that your brain will ignore you later.

    4. Prioritize

Let’s say you have already decided what’s important for you. Good job, but let’s not stop here! Important things probably also have their own hierarchy of importance. Choose the ultimate queen of your “very-important” list and prioritise everything accordingly to boost your productivity.

   5. Think long-term

When you get overloaded with work and want to give it all up think about your ultimate, long-term goal rather than the emotions you experience in the given moment. It will help you to get some perspective on the situation. Also, if you push yourself too hard when you know you’re on the edge of meltdown think of consequences. Will one day of work make a big difference to your long-term goal or can you afford to unwind for a moment? Weight pros and cons and make your decision carefully.

6. Motivate yourself

It’s easy to get burn-out when the goal we work towards seems too distant, almost impossible. It’s worth to ask yourself  these questions: why did I start in the first place? How will I feel when I have accomplished the goal? It may remind us about the ultimate reason behind it all and work as a motivator. Youtube motivational videos or Instagram quotes could also do the job, even though personal motivational will always beat them, since it’s… ours.

7. Reward yourself for your hard work from time to time

A little reward for your hard work might reduce the stress connected to your workload. Allow yourself to go out with your friends, buy that dress or see this place you saw on the map only. It will give your life more colors, and probably inspire you to keep going.  Balance’s everything.

8. Leave some space for mistakes

Perfection’s a good friend of burn-out since they’re closely connected. The need to be always 100% perfect drains your energy like a professional energy vampire. It’s nearly impossible, or at least extremely hard, to always be 100% productive. Luckily here comes 80/20 rule. It’s very popular all over the internet and applies to different areas of life. I remember the model Miranda Kerr saying that she uses 80/20 rule in keeping fit, so it’s universal. The rule is simple: for 80% of times you’ll stay on track, the remaining 20% is your space for mistakes. This way you won’t beat yourself up every time you aren’t less than 100% efficient.


Here are all my tips for avoiding burn-out, but I thought you might like to see my ultimate 12 ways to unwind. Let me know if they work for you too, and feel free to write  your own suggestions in the comment section, since sharing (your knowledge) is caring. 🙂 


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May productivity be with You,




39 thoughts on “How to avoid burn-out when you’re overloaded

  1. Elizabeth O.

    That’s why it’s important to have a work-life balance, to avoid the feeling of being burned out. These are very good tips though! I always make sure I give myself time to breathe and just relax especially after working.


  2. SofarsoSabine

    Great ways to step back and take a moment for yourself. Getting burned out is horrible so it’s good to try to avoid that.


    1. It happens to me too, so I am trying to manage it as well as I can. No one’s perfect, but effort to be better’s already a lot. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, too!


  3. I always feel burnt out because my own brain overloads. I have 10 new ideas per minute about everything and deciding on those that are actually valuable is close to impossible. Also, I avoid thinking long-term because I overthink everything and I usually end up overcomplicating stuff….

    But those are really useful tips that can be applied for most people XD


    1. I can see where you are coming from because over-thinking is also my sin, but long-term approach with goals has one important pro: it reminds us to handle the pain of discipline rather than the pain of regret. 🙂 Of course, different things work for different people, though! Thanks for your insight and for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SO many great tips! my favourite thought from this whole post is that we all have the same number of hours – some people do amazing things with theirs.. and some of us do almost nothing. Time to step it up!


    1. Definitely, it’s motivating to think about it how they don’t get extra time, just make a better use of what they have… 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Burn out might be where I am headed! So thank you for this. Karaoke sounds nice. Singing your heart out has a certain stress-relieving appeal 🙂


  6. We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves. It’s really important for people to remember to reward themselves and it’s okay something to go wrong, you can’t have control over anything.


  7. I burn out regularly and I definitely need to learn to assess my priorities. I am always too hard on myself and need to take a step back .


  8. I do agree with you, making a list and prioritize the things that need to get done first it’s very important. And when you leave the office, you need to shut the door and forget about work until the next morning. Home should be where you relax and let your mind unwind.


  9. Rodanthi

    “Burn-out”…well, unfortunatelly, I’ve been there! Your post is great. All good and valuable advises. I wish I had read this years ago, when I needed it. I also love the ways you suggest for unwinding. Thank you!


  10. Rashmi & Chalukya

    Agree some of these work so best in corporate life, taking breaks, going for a walk and having some fun moments. Also helps in work life balance


  11. Such good advice. Working in pharmacy and also being freelance, having a blog and all of the other stuff you have to do every day… I’ve definitely been subject to burnout. It’s not fun. Need to remember work isn’t everything.


    1. Hi there – can you advise on the space we would need relating to the different boxes-to-grow? I am considering which one to go for, and trying to balance with the other things I wish to grow this year!! Many thanks, Kirsti


  12. It’s so easy to let a busy schedule wear you out…but you can totally avoid burnout by making sure you blend the crazy schedule with brief moments of downtime and relaxation…the key is to make time for it!


  13. These are some great tips! I find that realistic lists are the best. Like make a list but limit yourself to only writing down 7 things. In the past when I’ve written everything down, that stressed me out too, lol.



  14. I know a feeling a little overwhelmed right now! I think sometimes I make things bigger than what they really are. I realize that is I should not worry about something that has not happened and may not happen. Worrying doesnt really solve problems but it does create them! So I am going to relax and think postively!


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