In preventing and reducing the effects of burnout, a leader can implement some guidelines to reduce the problem. The sharing of responsibilities is key for reducing burnout. As G. R. Collins notes, 'The belief that no one else can help is a sure road to burnout.”1 Support and close contact with others are needed to prevent burnout.
Organizations themselves can also implement remedies to prevent tedium and burnout among their members. A reduction in the number of people for whom one person has responsibilities is advisable and healthy, as well as a standard for making time available for oneself and others to have downtime. The amount of stress-related work should also be monitored and organized. Stress and burnout can be prevented with adequate training for the tasks at hand. Any organization would do its employees a favor by making the working conditions positive and making the work significant. Attention to these factors can reduce stress and burnout before they take place.
On a personal basis, workers can utilize several healthy techniques to prevent burnout. Self management techniques can begin with
- good nutritional habits
- good exercise habits
- letting-go techniques
- personal planning.2
People can do a great deal toward their personal health and avoid burnout if they will work smarter instead of harder. The setting of realistic goals is a must to survive in a busy world. In addition, doing the same old things in a different way will often stimulate the brain. But one of the greatest coping mechanisms that any worker can use in preventing burnout is the avoidance of taking things too seriously.3
- G. R. Collins, "How to Handle Burnout," Christian Herald, December 1979, 17-20.
- J. D. Adams, “Guidelines for Stress Management and Lifestyle Changes” The Personnel Administrator, June 1979, 35-8, 44.
- Christina Maslach, Burnout: The Cost of Caring (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1982), 89-94.