Burnout is a severe stress condition that leads to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion (Ferudenberger, 1970). This condition makes stress unbearable for the person and will lead to losing their ability to handle their responsibilities. 

Many people misjudged busyness as a productive thing. While in fact, being productive is about working smarter.  Being busy is also frantic, fueled by perfectionism, and being good at everything while being productive is focused, fueled by purpose, and being great at a few things that are important. 

Here are some tips you can do to be more productive and manage your energy efficiently:

1. Know the difference between urgent and important tasks.

You can be more focus on getting what matters done instead of dividing your hours into trying to finish various different urgent tasks. Because in every workplace, many things can be tagged as urgent, but these are usually established by your colleague or your boss who expects an answer as soon as possible. You are the one who must decide which one is important.


2. Cut your to-do-list thoughtfully by fifty percent.

Busy people tend to think that getting more things done in the sanctioned eight or nine hours at work is the way to go so they fit in too many tasks in their to-do-list only to end up moving most of their tasks the next day. What you need to do is pick the important one and focus on getting it done. After all, it is all about the quality not the quantity.

3. Create your own system by reserve a short and specific time to do a specific task.

Don’t do multitask and make sure to focus to one particular thing until it has finished. If needed, you can multitask efficiently by choosing to pair less important task with a complementary important task. For example, you can write notes about ideas on a potential project while waiting for a meeting to start.


4. Know your limit and when learn how to say no.

It is understandable to quit strategically and give up on plans that are not exactly feasible and practical at the moment. You have to be thoughtful about what things to focus on. Set your goal and learn to say no to something that is not in accordance with the goals you have set.

5. Know when to take a break to refresh your mind and recharge your energy.

Don’t need to hate taking breaks and think that breaks are only for procrastinators. Give yourself a moment to refresh your mind and recharge your energy. For example, you can meditate, go for a walk as you listen to your favorite songs, watch a short comedy sketch, get a snack, and so on. It is good for your brain to rest for a while.


In short, you can simply prevent burnout by managing your energy efficiently. Try to focus on one thing only and be wise in accepting responsibilities. You don't need to be great at everything, but choose some things that you are good at and be number one at it.


Energy Management: Why Productivity is All About Energy. (2019, March 13). Retrieved from Work


Schwartz, T., & McCarthy, C. (2007, October). Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. Retrieved from

Harvard Business Review:

The Secret To Better Work: Manage Your Time, Not Your Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Muse: