Avoiding Burnout: Tips for a Fulfilling Retirement

September 8, 2023

Burnout isn’t exclusive to the corporate world; it’s a pervasive issue that can be felt in all aspects of professional life. With the increasing demands of our jobs, paired with the challenges of modern life, burnout is becoming a widespread phenomenon. As an estate planning firm, we understand that many of our clients, whether retired or close to it, have faced the experience of burnout in their careers. Here’s how you can protect your well-being and ensure a more fulfilling life as move towards retirement.

Understanding Burnout
The term "burnout" was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, fifty years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the pandemic did play a role in highlighting its relevance. According to peer-reviewed medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the burnout rate among the US workforce which was 28% in 2018 increased alarmingly to 53% by 2022.

This surge can be attributed to the changing dynamics of work. Industry leaders like Elon Musk have endorsed longer working hours, adding even more pressure to employees facing difficult personal issues, leading to a mounting crisis. As we prepare for a future with more and unforeseen crises, burnout prevention strategies are more vital than ever.

Key Causes of Burnout Researchers have identified six main culprits:

  1. Workload: Constant information inflow and never-ending responsibilities can lead to burnout. If you consistently work more than 50 hours a week, you’re at a higher risk.
  2. Control: Feeling that you have no power over your tasks or decisions can be draining.
  3. Reward: It’s not always about money; sometimes, it’s about feeling recognized for your efforts.
  4. Community: Lack of support in the workplace can make one feel isolated.
  5. Fairness: Feeling unfairly treated can demotivate and induce burnout.
  6. Values: A conflict between personal and organizational values can be taxing.

Protecting Yourself from Burnout To grow as a leader and enjoy a fulfilling life as you approach retirement, consider these proactive measures:

  1. Manage Your Workload: Be aware of your limits. Prioritize tasks and adjust as needed.
  2. Regain Control: Use the urgent vs. important principle to schedule tasks and make decisions.
  3. Seek Rewards Beyond Salary: Understand what truly makes you happy and successful.
  4. Build a Supportive Community: Engage in professional networks and prioritize therapeutic relationships.
  5. Seek Fairness: Look at unfair events as learning opportunities and move towards your goals.
  6. Align Your Values: Reflect on your contributions to the greater good and understand your role in the bigger picture.

In conclusion, while burnout has become a growing concern in recent years, it's not an insurmountable challenge. By recognizing its signs and implementing preventive measures, we can all aim for a more rewarding professional journey and a peaceful retirement.

For more insights and guidance, especially as you plan for retirement, reach out to us at Stouffer Legal by clicking here to view our online Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Elder Law workshop. Our commitment is to ensure you enjoy the fruits of your hard work without the shadow of burnout looming over you.

Photo credit: Healthline.com

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