Do you want to be productive and at the same time avoid burnout? In this article, Simone Green shares 7 practical tips to be the most productive without the work overwhelm.

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The struggle of avoiding burnout as a highly sensitive person requires motivation and dedication every day. Frustration and anxiety come easy, while determination to keep up with responsibilities does not.

It is difficult for highly sensitive people to not feel overwhelmed by sticking to a daily routine full of things that must get done. In order to defeat this problem of burning out, the highly sensitive person can adopt new habits and techniques to accomplish their goals. 

#1 Use Organization To Avoid Burnout

The first technique to avoid burnout is to construct a plan for what you need to get done. Create a daily plan where you set out an outline of what you want to get done by the end of the day. By sticking to this routine, you only have to do what is on this list and nothing more unless you choose to. 

Recognize that anything extra you complete is an added bonus and only provides you with an advantage for the next day. Most people understand that you shouldn’t try to do everything at once. On the other hand, highly sensitive people might overestimate what they can actually accomplish on a given day. 

To avoid overwhelming emotions such as burnout, you may want to start with an organized list in the best way for you to understand and follow it. Maybe you want to balance work, school, and home life. In this case, it is most beneficial and effective for you to complete a few tasks a day towards each respective goal.  

#2 Break Everything Down to Not Overwhelm Yourself

When highly sensitive people are faced with large tasks, they often get overwhelmed by the magnitude of their goals. If someone feels like their responsibilities are difficult to complete or time-consuming, they will likely feel the need to procrastinate.

This resistance stems from an inner need to take things slow and a prominent fear of failure. The notion is that you can’t fail something you don’t even try. Instead, you can choose to change your feelings of exhaustion before you even start.

Break your goals down into easier-to-complete tasks by oversimplifying each one. Rather than saying you have to clean the house, you can simplify your chore list. This includes things like “take out the kitchen trash,” and “vacuum the living room carpet.”

Each accomplished item on the list is now more manageable to complete. Before you begin with a negative attitude, this technique will help you to feel more motivated as you get more things done while avoiding burnout.

#3 Avoid Burnout By Working Less

It is no secret that doing excessive amounts of work can weigh heavily on the mind of a highly sensitive person. The fear of burnout may temporarily subside when compared to the feeling of accomplishment. However, this can lead to both short and long-term exhaustion.

Working for shorter periods of time allows you to step away from the work. Meanwhile, you can focus on another less stress-inducing part of your life. This technique is all about taking breaks in an effective and productive manner.

Highly sensitive people can try the 50/10 rule that integrates breaks where you do essentially nothing productive in between productive bursts. The concept can change to your specific needs. However, in this tip for avoiding burnout, you work for 50 minutes and take a mental break for 10 minutes. 

During this time you can choose whether to read an interesting book, watch a short YouTube video, and listen to a podcast or music. After taking intermittent breaks, you will in turn want to be more productive.

#4 Let Go Of Frustration To Avoid Burnout 

The stress of work whether occupational, school-related, or chore-associated, can make you feel very anxious and tense. After a while, highly sensitive people might tend to bottle their emotions until one day they let it all out. This tip for avoiding burnout will help you control your emotions and learn how to let go of this negativity. 

You could opt for getting your body moving through some sort of physical exercise. Going on a walk, going to the gym, or even singing and dancing are just a few of the fun ways to actually channel that stress or anxiety. 

Another positive way to let go of your frustration is to leave your space or environment entirely. Instead, you can exert this energy by going to make a snack or leaving your house to go run an errand. 

One way or another, this release of negative emotions will help you to focus on the positive ones that remain. Let go and feel more determined than ever to avoid burnout as a highly sensitive person. Feeling calm or at least comfortable in your space will aid to reach the goals you set out for yourself.

#5 Prioritize Your Mental Health As A Highly Sensitive Person

In order to prevent and avoid burnout, the average highly sensitive person has to prioritize their mental health. The first step to prioritizing yourself is knowing your own limits and accepting them. 

Understand that it is impossible to get everything done in one day, and that is okay. As one person, you simply can not support yourself mentally nor physically and continue to work endlessly. When it gets too much, it’s okay to accept that and step away from the work for the time being. 

It is relevant to note that everyone gets overwhelmed at different points. Some people may handle more than others, but comparing yourself will only add to the frustration and turmoil. The only person you can or should try to do better than is yourself. 

Take the time to consider your limits, and respect the notion that whatever you need to get done will be there tomorrow. With a new day, comes a new opportunity to work at your own pace to avoid burnout as much as possible. Mental health can affect your long-term livelihood so it is important to prioritize your needs when given the chance.

#6 Take A Moment And Ground Yourself to Avoid Burnout

Sometimes we can find ourselves finally focusing on our work and delving completely into it. We may lose track of time or may not want to interrupt a steady workflow. It is important to bring yourself back down to earth. Take your mind off of the need to constantly feel productive.

To avoid burnout as a highly sensitive person, you should realize and accept the idea that completing tasks is not your only purpose. You are a person who is connected to the world and the people around you. You have relationships with loved ones, nature, and yourself to uphold regardless of whatever obligations you have to your career or work life. 

Some activities you can put into practice include training yourself how to breathe, meditate, reflect, and journal. By working on your mental health, you allow yourself to prioritize what is most important. You can use these techniques to also prevent burnout before it happens and hopefully bring about a sense of peace. 

#7 Have Someone To Keep You Accountable For Moral Support

Highly sensitive adults often struggle with responsibility by taking too much on or dealing with the responsibility they already have.  Sometimes it can get a little bit lonely and overwhelming to feel like you have to do everything by yourself. 

Getting through daily tasks can feel close to impossible when you isolate yourself from the people around you. Having someone there with you on the journey can provide you with the strength and support needed to get through these overwhelming moments of burnout. They act as a physical reminder that you are not alone in your goals.

It can be a friend, a significant other, or a close family member. This person can give you motivation, keep up with your endeavors, and help to relieve stress. One of the best techniques to avoid burnout is by allowing someone else to help you through the tough times. 

Not only is it beneficial to keep you on task, but it can also help you take your mind off things. It is not always easy to tell when enough is enough when dealing with things on your own. Highly sensitive people will ultimately thrive when they feel cared for and avoiding burnout will come a lot easier to them. 


In the end, avoiding burnout as a highly sensitive person is possible! By applying the above mentioned tips, you can learn how to take good care of yourself, set healthy boundaries and be the most productive.

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