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Hot tips from hell 
Thoughts about burnouts - Part 2

Inna Huttunen

In my previous post, I spoke about burnouts and slippery slope that might take us there. I’m continuing here those thoughts with some tips and tricks that might help. Consider them all in your individual context, and listen to your mind and body, when deciding to apply them!


We often hear things like “Know and communicate your boundaries! Communicate openly! Listen to your feelings”, but one-liners are sometimes hard to put to practice. So I’ve been on a search and started listing some practical things that have helped me or someone that I know navigating out of a burnout cycle and closer to the intuition. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start. And a start is good enough.


  • Learning to say no - If you tend to say yes, here’s a practical tip: wait 24 hours before answering, listen to your gut feeling, and then answer a yes or no

  • Start thinking that if it’s not a hell yes, maybe it actually is a no

  • Learning to prioritise - try for example the “Eisenhower matrix” !

  • Cutting the instant messaging on several platforms and apps - move all project's communication to one, max mediums channels - f.ex Slack and Gmail

  • Saving Whatsapp (or whatever you want to have as a sanctuary) for private things

  • Stopping working on weekends as a default - only adapt when needed

  • Talking to someone, ask if someone else has similar experiences, what led them there - what led them out

  • Cancelling something that doesn’t make a card house fall apart

  • Starting therapy

  • Realizing that my productivity increases when I do less

  • Quitting

  • Realizing that almost every unpaid hour benefits someone else, often also economically, at the cost of my wellbeing

  • Not doing a little bit of work all the time - but scheduling clear sessions for different topics

  • Making a list on Monday of things you need to do this week --> then throughout the week listing all the things you actually do → Comparing the list you’ve created by Friday and the list you made on Monday - is there a lot of small things that end up on your desk, are they something you could delegate or just drop off?

  • Communicating expectations, your work rhythm and the wanted results with whom you’re doing a project or a collaboration with.

  • Talk about this with your team, define your values and processes on paper when you start a new production - who to reach out when it gets too much? How not to end up there? What to do then?

  • Starting meetings with a check-in of feelings (f.ex Informal, In a form of a question - for example: share a nice moment from the weekend, Structured - f.ex everybody has 3 minutes of uninterrupted time to go through feelings)

  • Reaching out to ask for a help with a small or big thing - people are often amazing 

  • Doing stuff you enjoy


What would your list look like?

Inna, resting in peace #2

Photo: Inna Huttunen

Published on 26.04.2021

NHLP has been made possible with the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministers, and Lund Municipality


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