How to recognise burnout and protect ourselves against it

Burnout is a word we’re hearing more and more. It is usually associated with being under pressure at work, but it can be brought on by any area of your life where you’re under pressure, like being a carer. Burnout is more than just a bad day, and it’s more than getting a bit stressed because of a deadline. It’s important to remember that burnout is a physical and/or mental breakdown which can cause permanent damage.


What are the signs that we are heading towards burnout?
We all have bad days from time to time, but in general, we should enjoy our jobs. Even if we’re not in our dream role, we can still feel fulfilled knowing we’re playing our part in the world, or providing for our families.
But when work turns sour, we always feel under pressure and it’s affecting our self-esteem, we might be on the road to burnout. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Doubting ourselves and feeling the need to prove that we’re the best
  • Working harder because we think we’re not doing enough, but actually being unproductive
  • Neglecting ourselves, our relationships and our interests
  • Imagining problems have been created by us because we’re not working hard enough
  • Losing perspective and feeling helpless
  • Behaving uncharacteristically
  • Not feeling fulfilled by work, and feeling empty, detached and isolated instead
  • Developing depression

How can we protect ourselves against burnout?

Fortunately, there are ways we can progress in a fulfilling career without burning out. At Get Ahead, we’ve seen for ourselves how working flexibly has created career opportunities balanced with fulfilling family life, and how this turns into high productivity and achievement of business goals.


Here are some pro-productivity, anti-burnout mindsets we’ve learned:

  • Make time for your physical and mental health
  • Taking breaks increases productivity
  • Enjoying life outside work helps you maintain perspective and build resilience
  • Making time for relationships, with yourself, your partner, family and friends helps you look outwards while also maintaining your support network.

Let Get Ahead help!
If you’re worried you’re heading towards burnout because you’ve got too much on your plate, Get Ahead can help. Your local regional director can meet you and do a time audit, working out how much time you’re spending on different responsibilities and helping you manage your time more effectively. Our diary management service means you can concentrate on the task in hand, confident that the others are not forgotten. And if you’ve got a list of tasks that you could delegate, our virtual experts are ready and waiting.

Find a life or business coach
Get Ahead has many life coaches and business coaches in our network of clients – many of them support us too! If you think you might benefit from talking to a coach about the problems you’re experiencing, we’d love to put you in touch with the right person.
However overwhelmed you’re feeling, Get Ahead can help you get things under control. Get in touch today – we’re here for you.

5 tips to beat procrastination

Procrastination is the thief of time. So many of us sit down at our desks with the best of intentions, then put off doing the important jobs that will drive our businesses forward.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can beat procrastination and spend our working time productively. For this blog, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite tips for beating procrastination.

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Are you really being productive? Three ways to work smarter, not harder.

One of the biggest working trends during the pandemic was the 50-hour week, with homeworkers not knowing when to stop, or not feeling confident that they’d “done enough.”

But working a fifty-hour week should be a warning sign. No matter how determined you are, you cannot be productive for fifty hours of your week. It’s not good for you, and it puts pressure on your colleagues and family too.

Another lesson to come out of the pandemic is that life is precious. Flexibility is important to us at Get Ahead – most of the team have families, interests, pets and more and we don’t inefficient working to rob us of our time with them.

It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

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Five ideas to make your business more sustainable

Climate change impacts all of us, and we all share the responsibility for slowing it down. Operating individually, we can easily feel overwhelmed – how will a fabric-wrapped shampoo bar make any difference to such a huge problem? Fortunately, as business owners, we have more power. When we adopt sustainable practices on a business-wide scale, we can set an example to others and have a wider positive impact.  

Here are five ideas to help businesses lower their carbon footprints and operate more sustainably.

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Long term remote working – five ways to make it work for your business

We’re all starting to acknowledge that Lockdown 3.0 is different from the other two. Last year, we were winging it; now, we’re accepting a new normal. Many workers are finding working from home has improved their quality of life, saving them a commute and allowing them to see more of their families. And as we’ve spent nearly a year in and out of covid-19 restrictions, homeworking seems to be the solution to a number of different problems.

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How to manage work/life balance when you work from home

Maintaining some kind of balance between work and life is hard enough when you’re going out to work, but when you’re working from home, the challenge is even greater. Fortunately, by identifying the problem and really addressing it, you can get your life back without your work suffering.

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Top tips for commuting by bike

Many of us are now going back to work and the morning commute, but with a difference – lots of people are starting to commute by bike. You might be considering this if you want to avoid public transport, get some exercise, or take advantage of the government’s new plans to boost cycle travel in the UK.  

Whatever your reasons, this is the perfect time to try out commuting by bike. National Cycle to Work Day is happening this week, on Thursday 6th August, so if you’ve always wanted to try it, why not make this the week you start? Here are our top tips to help you get into this great new habit. 

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Digital detox for business owners

The idea of doing a digital detox – i.e. stepping away from technology to focus on real-life hobbies and in-person interactions – can seem challenging at the best of times, and especially so now, when we have even fewer opportunities for face-to-face quality time. But taking a digital detox could be even more important right now: since we’re being forced to spend so much time online, to do our work and stay in touch with our loved ones, the time we spend offline has become even more precious.

If you’re a business owner, you might be finding it particularly difficult to cut down on your screen time, as this may be the only way for you to communicate with your employees, network with others in your field, and promote your business to customers. After all, you can’t just put your phone in a box and stop checking your emails when you have a business to run! The good news is that a digital detox is still possible for you – here are some things you can do to give yourself a break from the screens, and to use them more mindfully when you need to.

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Doing a 50-hour week from home? It’s time to change your working

Since lockdown turned us all into homeworkers, some of us are putting in longer hours at home than when we worked in an office. This is an interesting phenomenon, but not a healthy one. In the long run, productivity and work/life balance are more important than how many hours you spend at your desk. In this blog, we look at why working crazy hours is bad news, and what we can do to keep work under control.

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