With constant pressure from work, family, and friends, concern about world events, and all the pressures we put on ourselves, we’re all at risk of burning out.
As these things build up, it can have a massive impact on relationships, your work, and most importantly, your mental health. Some people can crack under the strain – something I know about first hand.
Early in 2021, I was working full-time as a web tester, studying for a writing diploma in my spare time, and had barely left the house for nearly a year because of a worldwide pandemic (that’s still making the rounds).
There were constant pressures at work, as we pushed to release a new product. And when I finished for the day, I’d pile even more pressure on myself to get through my coursework.
Slowly but surely it became more and more of a struggle to do anything — I couldn’t focus at work, I had no motivation to do my coursework, and I had no energy for any of my hobbies.
Day after day, things grew worse and worse. Until the one day I just couldn’t cope. The thought of doing anything at all crippled me with anxiety, and I hit the breaking point.
I’d burned out.
At the time, I felt weak and my self-esteem was sub zero. But slowly but surely, I found some footholds that helped me climb out.
This was actually how I first came to use Vivaldi. I was looking for a browser that gave me more control over what was in front of me at any one time, to help avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Below are a few strategies that have helped me keep burnout at bay. Hopefully they can help you, too.
Take regular breaks
It probably won’t come as a massive surprise to hear that taking breaks can heavily reduce the risk of burnout.
Whether it’s 20 minutes here or there to grab a coffee, or following the Pomodoro technique by taking a 5-minute break every 25 minutes, breaks are a great way to stay fresh while working.
It’s not always easy to remember to take these breaks though, so a timer can come in handy.
With Vivaldi’s built-in Pomodoro timer you can configure and save your own custom timers, then use them to manage your time and make sure you take frequent breaks.
Vivaldi’s break mode is also a really useful tool, as it pauses all media and hides the browser content, while you’re taking your break. This removes that temptation to go straight back to your work – or find something else to worry about – and reminds you that you’re supposed to be looking after yourself.
Tidy up those tabs
Have you ever reached that point where you’ve got so many tabs open that you’re left with nothing but tiny favicons, with no page titles to be seen?
It’s easy to get in that situation — you have pages that are too important to close, but not important enough to bookmark.
It’s the digital equivalent of that drawer full of mail you never get around to sorting through, so it just sits there, getting bigger and bigger, making it impossible to access the batteries that are trapped beneath.
Ok, there’s a chance that this analogy might be a little specific to me, but hopefully, you get the point. Without proper tools, all the information you want to keep at hand can quickly become overwhelming.
Our newest way to address this scenario is Scrollable Tabs, which let you scroll your tabs horizontally. And it leaves your tabs full size, instead of shrinking them to fit in your screen.
Another effective way to manage your tab collection is by organizing them into Tab Stacks – a simple way to group your tabs that makes it easier to not only find what you need, but also hide what you don’t. You can choose from Compact, Two Level Tabs, and Accordion Tabs, to group and manage your stacks.
Once you’ve done this, you can either keep the groups open in your browser, or if you don’t need them in the near future, you can save a group as a session.
This will allow you to close the group for now, without losing those tabs completely. All you need to do is select ‘Open Saved Session’ from the menu, and they’re back!
This can be particularly useful if you want to keep separate work and private sessions, for example. Or if you are working on a project that calls for a lot of tabs, you can save that separately and return to browsing in a different session, so it isn’t looming in your tab bar, metaphorically tapping its watch and looking at you expectantly.
Hide the distractions
One of the advantages of using Vivaldi is that you can have everything you need right inside your browser. But sometimes, if there are too many things vying for your attention at the same time, it can become difficult to focus on the task at hand.
This is easy to solve though — Vivaldi was built to be as customizable as possible, which means it’s really easy to play around with what is or isn’t displayed.
If there are features that you don’t use as much, or don’t want to see constantly, you can easily turn them off, or hide them.
I’ve also found that Web Panels give me the perfect middle ground, where certain tools and websites are easily accessible, but I’m able to hide them from view by enabling the panel toggle setting.
This allows me to have my email, notes, frequently used websites, etc available when I need them, without overcrowding my Tab Bar. And when I want to focus, I can just hide the panel with a single click, and the distractions disappear.
Use the X in the top corner
Especially with the mass adoption of remote work during the pandemic, it can be harder than ever to switch off from work during your down time. Often we work and live in the same space, and many of us are even using the same devices for both.
But that little X in the top browser corner can be your friend.
As mentioned earlier, it’s really easy to save your session to come back to when your work day resumes, so why not make that effort to create a clear divide between work and life? Then, click that X to close your browser once you’re done for the day or week. A simple, but effective way to redraw those lines between your work-life balance.
And … exhale.
It’s been a tough couple of years, and this year is bringing its own challenges, but by being mindful of how you’re feeling and trying techniques like these, hopefully burnout won’t be one of them. And remember we’re all in this together.
What are your go-to strategies for keeping your work-life balance in check? Let us know in the comments!