WORK-LIFE BALANCE / SEP. 18, 2014
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How to Battle Burnout in the Academia Industry

The academia industry plays an important role in keeping other industries going. It produces journalists, medics, engineers, lawyers, pilots… The list is endless. After going through school, most professionals forget about their teachers, instructors and school administrators; the people whose job is not only to impart knowledge, but also mentor their students. Teachers and lecturers are required to attend class lessons, administer assignments and examinations, grade students’ papers and attend staff meetings among other duties.

Looks easy, right? Certainly not when you have to do this all year long! According to a survey conducted by the European Trade Union Confederation in 37 European countries, teachers in the UK were found to be more susceptible to burnout. If you work in this industry, here is how you can prevent burnout.

Work Only at School

The temptation to compete some schoolwork at home is always there. In fact, many teachers mark students’ assignments or examinations at home. Although it is okay to do so occasionally, making it a habit can heighten your chances of burnout. Instead of spending time with your family, you will be busy checking students’ work. With a poor work-life balance, exhaustion can easily kick in. To be on the safe side, do your job at your workplace and leave it there. Go home, rest and face the following day with energy.

Get Your Family Closer

Sometimes we lack the ability to choose our places of work. Can you turn down a dream job simply because it is in a distant city? No way! In the academia industry, you could be promoted to a senior role, but in a school that is miles away from your home and family. So you leave your family behind not knowing you’re running straight into burnout. According to Helpguide.org, staying close to your family while working can help prevent burnout. As such, if you have to accept the promotion, be ready to move along with your family.

Plan Your Time

A lesson plan is a teacher’s best tool of trade. Unlike most professionals in other industries who have the luxury to plan each day at a time, those in the academia industry must plan for a term or semester (usually three months). It is the only way they can cover the academic syllabus within the required time. If you fail to plan, you run the risk of overworking yourself toward the end of the semester, as you might be having many untaught topics. And you know only very well that doing too much work within a short time is a recipe for burnout. At the beginning of each semester, take ample time to draw a comprehensive work schedule.

Have Fun

Most academia professionals tend to take their work too seriously. They forget that having fun at work can make a difference in preventing burnout. You will meet a professor with mammoth-like books strutting to his office before going ahead to read for several hours. Then there is that stern-faced teacher -- the one who doesn’t tolerate laughter during his lessons. By being too hard on yourself, you create a negative environment around your workplace. Enjoy what you do. Teach with passion and laugh with your students.

Academia professionals out there, your work life just got better with these tips. If you practice them effectively, burnout will no longer feature in the list of your worries.

Further Reading

Guardian: Six Teachers on a Typical Workday

 

Photo Credits: Getty Images

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