How setting goals can help combat job fatigue

It can be difficult to recognise when you have job fatigue, because you’re working so hard trying to get through your daily tasks that it simply doesn’t register that things aren’t right.

But take a moment now and ask yourself these questions:

  • Does work seem like a hard slog at the moment, like you’re on a treadmill repeating actions day after day without really getting anywhere?
  • Do you feel physically and mentally exhausted at the end of your working day?
  • Do you feel you’re seeing no rewards for your hard work, in financial terms or through job satisfaction?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, I can pretty much guarantee you’re suffering from job fatigue.

Unfortunately, this can be a downward spiral that leads to stress, anxiety, and even depression. But, although it may seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel at the moment, there is a way to get yourself out of this rut – and it might be simpler than you think.


One of the biggest issues I face as a business mentor is getting people to recognise the benefits of setting big goals for themselves – but it is actually a great way of combating job fatigue.

Think about it – if you have nothing to strive for, no direction or aim, wouldn’t you feel like a hamster on a wheel, running but at the same time standing still?

If you can’t say to yourself at the end of the day, I’ve achieved this and I’m now closer to my goal – wouldn’t you feel drained and despondent?

If you don’t feel you’re working to a bigger plan that will bring amazing rewards, there’s nothing to motivate you each day. Wouldn’t that be soul destroying, if the hours you’re putting in feel worthless?

Yet so many people in business still go through the motions without setting goals.

I’ve written at length on how to set goals, and how to work towards achieving them, so I’m not going to expand on that here. What I want to point out is that you need to recognise the importance of having a vision, of dreaming a little of what the future could hold.

Having something to work towards, and a plan of action in place to make it happen, is a hugely constructive thing to do. It will give you a framework for your working day and keep everyone in the office upbeat, knowing that all of their hard work is leading somewhere.

Ticking things off an action plan each day as you work towards a big goal will promote optimism and positivity. No room for job fatigue there! You will be amazed at how differently you can feel about your business and the work you do within it.

So, jump off the treadmill! Get out of the hamster wheel! Set yourself something to strive for and go get ‘em!

For more guidance on how to set goals – and work towards achieving them, here’s some further reading:

Do you know what your goal is?
Targets & Goals: Can You Spot the Difference?
Setting your Goal: The Know How
Goals set, but how can I achieve them effectively?
Help yourself to achieve your goals – Masterminding
Short term goals and long term goals
Business goals and personal goals

Why your business won’t benefit from you burning the midnight oil

This may sound strange to all you workaholics out there, beavering away ‘til the early hours to get a project completed or write up that important report, but you’re not doing you or your business any favours putting in all those extra hours!

We can soon get into the pattern of starting that extra hour earlier, taking work home to finish in the evening, coming in to the office at the weekend. I know, I’ve been there and done that! At the time, it seems like the only way of fitting everything in and getting the job done, there are never enough hours in the normal working day, but this is the road to ruin!

You are damaging your body, your personal life, and your business by not allowing yourself down time.

Working 24/7 is the fastest way to feeling jaded and fatigued in your job – and far from increasing productivity, it will leave you tired, distracted and demoralised.

If you work on getting the balance right, however, you will suddenly find that eight hours in a day is enough to get everything done – because you’re rested, fresh and focused – and you’ll be a happier, more positive employee/employer by enjoying life outside of work!

Here’s my checklist to combating midnight oil syndrome, to redress the balance and ensure your working days are productive, not prolonged!


Set yourself a cut-off point for finishing your working day – and stick to it! This isn’t a deadline to complete your work, it’s a time when you stop working, regardless of whether a task is completely finished. Whether it’s 5pm, 6pm or 7pm – set a definite time when the working day will end and your personal time will start. Having this end-time in mind has two main benefits.

It helps you stay focused and can stop you procrastinating over tasks and just get stuck in! If you’re always thinking to yourself ‘I can finish it at home later’, or ‘I’ll stay an extra hour to finish it’, it gives you an excuse to drag your feet or put things off. Second, it gives you something to look forward to. If all you can see ahead of you is more work, work, work – you’ll feel disheartened and de-motivated. This is why taking your weekends and holidays off are important too!


Your body needs sleep – and it probably needs more than you’re giving it at the moment! How much better would you feel if you allowed yourself the luxury of a good, eight hours sleep before the next working day? Starting the day tired is not a great recipe for success. Sleep deprivation crushes creativity, and positivity.

You’ll feel sapped of energy before you even start, meaning you won’t operate effectively, mentally or physically. It can also heighten anxiety and stress. Small issues that would, under normal circumstances, be dealt with quickly and without fuss, suddenly become mountainous, insurmountable problems. It’s impossible to think clearly with a fuzzy head. Get sleep, and get enough to feel refreshed and ready for anything!


Remember the old adage – do we live to work, or work to live? It’s essential to have interests, and a life, outside of work! You need something that will distract you and take your mind off of work. Something that you enjoy and makes all that hard work worthwhile! Whether it’s spending time with the family, or finding a hobby you love, make the most of your free time.

Whatever it is you decide to do, immerse yourself in it completely. Don’t allow yourself to think about work. You will find that clearing your mind will give you new energy and focus on returning to a task. It may even open up new avenues of thought that, had you not spent time away, just wouldn’t have occurred to you. Re-invigorate your passion for life because if you lose that, you’ll very quickly lose passion for everything else – including your job.

I cover time management and work/life balance in my free advice sheets. Sign up here to receive more helpful information and support that will help you, and your business, grow and succeed.