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How To Avoid Burnout While Handling Overtime

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Are long hours at work dragging you down? Working overtime is never ideal, but it’s more common than you think. A recent study by the ADP Research Institute revealed that one in ten employees have dedicated over 20 hours of unpaid work every week! Worse yet,  studies show that 79% of workers have admitted to feeling burnt out at some point in their careers. Because of this, learning how to avoid burnout can seem difficult, if not impossible.

However, the truth is that you can learn how to avoid burnout! While it’s recommended to avoid overtime, there are ways you can handle those extra hours. To help you understand how to avoid burnout, let’s look at what overtime is and how you can use it to your advantage!

What is overtime?

Overtime is basically when you work beyond the required hours of your contract. If a person works from 9-5 every weekday, overtime is any additional work time past that. Typically, overtime is compensated by pay or by benefits. However, as mentioned before, it’s hard to learn how to avoid burnout when you work time that you aren’t paid for.

how to avoid burnout digital clock

To help companies learn how to avoid burnout in their workers, federal laws have updated their overtime rules. It’s now legally required that those who work over 40 hours get paid about time and a half for their extra work. So, if you make $30 an hour, your overtime pay should be $45 for each extra hour.

You get more money

All work should be properly compensated, especially when you should be off the clock. That’s why it’s important to always check your company’s rules about overtime pay and benefits. Ideally, you should be paid more for the extra effort. Not only can it help you understand how to avoid burnout, but it also motivates you when times get tough.

It can lead to promising opportunities in your career.

Working beyond your promised hours should never be a standard. However, it does show your boss and company that you are willing to go the extra mile. Nothing in life comes easy, but it’s when you get through the most demanding challenges that your merit shows. Learning how to avoid burnout sometimes includes knowing when to go the extra mile.

how to avoid burnout agreement

Thankfully, there are companies that do value the workers who stay overtime. They understand how to avoid burnout by rewarding their workers for the additional effort. When the time is right, they may reward you with a great opportunity at work, such as a promotion!

The extra time allows you to be more productive and experienced.

Sometimes, the only way to know how to avoid burnout is to look at the positives. If you think about it, overtime is a great way to hone your skills. Again, it shouldn’t be a standard that tires you out constantly. However, choosing to do additional work can give you more time to practice your craft. Whether you’re a digital artist or a manager, this extra time could sharpen your skills.

How can I deal with overtime?

Now that you know what positives you can gain from overtime work, it’s important to learn how to avoid burnout. Overtime should be a means to an end, not a mindless part of your time. The only way to do so is to make overtime work for you, not the other way around. Here are some secrets to help you learn how to avoid burnout and manage overtime carefully!

how to avoid burnout tired

1. Manage your workload.

You can start learning how to avoid burnout by managing your workload. It’s important to know how much you can do. No man is an island, so you shouldn’t try to carry all the weight. If possible, delegate your tasks to those you trust. Otherwise, take it one step at a time. Remember, knowing how to avoid burnout means knowing what you can manage.

2. Understand your limits, both professionally and personally.

Answering the call of duty sounds noble, but overtime isn’t an ideal choice. If you must work longer than usual, always know where to draw the line. There are times when you must choose to sleep or rest over work. Not only does this help you understand how to avoid burnout, but it also teaches you prioritization. 

how to avoid burnout hour glass

3. Plan and schedule your tasks ahead of time.

Time blocking is a great way to learn how to avoid burnout and manage all your tasks. Even if you have to work beyond your regular hours, planning can save you from trouble. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed by the different assignments you face.

To make this easier, make your most important tasks the first thing you do. Experts on how to avoid burnout often look to Brian Tracy’s “eat the frog” principle. By doing your toughest and most demanding tasks first, you can get through the rest of the day easily. Plus, it can help you reduce the amount of overtime you spend.

4. Avoid making it a habit.

Overtime is a necessary evil at times, but it shouldn’t be a daily routine. Imagine working 20 hours a week beyond your shift, all without pay. You’d feel unappreciated and exhausted! To know how to avoid burnout, you should limit how much overtime you spend. Remember, overtime shouldn’t be normal. It should only be taken when necessary.

how to avoid burnout meet someone else

5. Avoid distractions to finish work faster.

Sometimes, the reason why you struggle to get work done is because of distractions. You might be too focused on your social media or on your snacks to get the tasks started. If you want to know how to avoid burnout, you should know when to make work a priority. That way, it’ll be easy to cut down your overtime hours and maintain proper work-life balance.

6. Eat and sleep enough.

Eat and sleep are the keys to keeping your energy strong during overtime. Getting enough can help you understand how to avoid burnout and get work done. That’s why you should ensure that you get enough rest and fuel throughout your work, especially during overtime.

how to avoid burnout

To make things easier, learn how to avoid burnout by choosing the right kind of sleep and snacks. For sleep, you should aim to get 8-9 hours of uninterrupted rest per night. If you need a nap for longer work hours, keep it within 90 minutes for better productivity. For snacks, always look for brain foods like fruits and nuts. These can give you a surge of energy and help you focus better!


  • Overtime is when you work beyond your regular hours. While it can be exhausting, it can also offer advantages if managed well.
  • Laws now require those who work over 40 hours to be paid time and a half, so make sure you’re compensated fairly for overtime.
  • Overtime can provide benefits like extra money, potential career opportunities, and a chance to improve your skills. By learning how to avoid burnout, overtime work can be meaningful!
  • To understand how to avoid burnout during overtime, learn to manage your workload; don’t bite off more than you can chew!
  • Recognize your professional and personal limits; it’s important to know when to hit the brakes and prioritize rest.
  • Planning and scheduling tasks can help avoid last-minute work surges and the accompanying stress.
  • Brian Tracy’s “eat the frog” principle suggests doing the hardest tasks first to get them out of the way. This can help you learn how to avoid burnout and get overtime done quickly.
  • Don’t let overtime become a habit; remember, it should be an exception, not a rule.
  • Ditch the distractions, focus on your work, and you’ll find you get things done quicker, reducing the need for overtime.
  • Eat well and get enough sleep; you can’t run a marathon (or pull an all-nighter) without fueling up!

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