It's easier for field reps to experience burnout simply because they can't just blow off steam at the water cooler with their peers each day. It is up to them to motivate themselves every single day when they get up for work, especially if their managers aren't the greatest at communication, and it can become downright tiring to consistently be your own cheerleader.
Burnout is bad news because it attacks your productivity - even if you want to do your very best, you just can't. Here are four tips to help mitigate the potential for burnout or, if you're already there, these tips might be able to help bring you back:
1. Take a Break
In every field there is at least one employee or manager that just doesn't take a break. Working on vacations, weekends, after-hours during the week - all of the above - and not stopping even for a quick bite to eat (maybe a bathroom run, but that's about it). It's recommended that you take a 15 to 20-minute break every hour to hour and a half.
And during that break, you should be doing anything but work. Watch a short video on your phone, write an email back to a friend, pen a quick chapter of your latest novel - whatever it is, make sure it has nothing to do with work so that you can recharge your batteries accordingly and be better able to jump back into the task at hand once your break is up.
2. Work Reasonably
In addition to taking regular breaks, you also have to take it easy. Nothing is worth giving yourself a heart attack over, and it's not a competition (unless you make it into one). Take your time and work at a consistent pace (that's not breakneck speed) on the tasks that you need to accomplish each day. Not rushing through what you have to do will also prevent you from making careless mistakes that you might have otherwise been able to avoid had you slowed down and taken your time to dot your i's and cross your t's.
If you find yourself falling behind, or even if you find that you have more time available than the tasks you have planned for yourself, then you can adjust your schedule accordingly. Even if you have one day where you work incredibly hard, make sure the next day is easier on you to balance things out.
3. Use Your Off-Hours to Get Back in Touch with Reality
If your company is ahead of the curve, then you are probably attached to a smartphone or tablet during the entire time that you are on the clock. If you're staring at a device all day for your job, then you should be limiting the time that you stare at a device when you're off the clock. If you use your phone to check Facebook or watch videos, allot an hour or so each night for these activities and then put your phone away when the hour is up. Staring at your phone all night will make the next day that much harder when you are forced to stare at it again all day as part of your job.
4. Take Care of Yourself
The age-old adage is age-old because it's true: you have nothing if you don't have your health. Make sure you're eating right and getting an adequate amount of sleep (it is typically recommended that you get about seven hours of sleep every night). Not sleeping right in particular can do some crazy things to your body, like messing with your concentration and making you more anxious, which can lead to your making careless mistakes. You might also want to consider what is called "active relaxation," like meditation, going for a walk or bike ride, or even settling down with an adult coloring book.
Hopefully these tips will help you if you're already feeling burnt out, but the key is not to let it get that far. Keeping yourself on a schedule, not regularly pushing yourself to the limit, and getting the right amount of sleep and proper food can do wonders for your mental state. See how your peers are handling their burnout periods by clicking below to receive our free Field Force Productivity Assessment.