Feeling “burnt out” is a pretty common phrase in daily parlance, but we’re starting to learn more about its longer-term destructive effects. Sufferers of 'burnout' often describe feeling exhausted and disconnected, and as though they’re “going through the motions” without motivation or meaning. So what can we do about it?
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Fatigue is usually a problem we associate with jobs like truck driving or nursing, where physical demands and 24-hour rosters must be tightly monitored. In the corporate world, fatigue gets swept under the rug; it’s just part of the game.
But left unaddressed over a prolonged period, and combined with other stress factors, this can lead to burnout - a more serious problem that can cause long term psychological damage. Here are five warning signs that employers and workers need to watch out for - and how to fix existing problems.
Work hard enough for long enough and eventually, you'll hit burnout. It happens, but it's never convenient for your boss. So, how do you let your employer know that you need a break before you break?
It's Sunday morning and you're relaxing at home. Have you checked your work email today? If so, you're probably contributing to your own burnout.
Anyone who's ever worked more than 50 hours a week knows what burnout feels like. To add insult to injury, you're probably not even getting any more work done by staying late.
The signs are all there: you feel depressed, anxious, and detached; you keep getting head and back aches; your job performance and relationships are suffering; and your weight continues to fluctuate. If this sounds like you, odds are you’re burned out. Here are 11 online TED talks that can help.
Once you recognise you're burned out, you can pull yourself back from the ledge, but it'd be best to never get there in the first place. Luckily, the signs are usually right in front of you: you just don't want to see them, or you're too busy actually working to recognise them. If you keep an eye out, you'll be able to cut off burnout before it takes hold so hard you can barely get up for work.
Feeling overworked is a really common problem. You can't always change your work environment, but there are steps you can take to deal with many of the issues associated with an overloaded work life.
Burnout is a serious problem with many possible causes, but Googler Marissa Mayer's theory: Burnout is caused by resentment.
If you're on the brink of being burned out creatively, the simplest solution could just be to change your environment in some way. Tech blogger Scott Berkun has more: What do you do at work when you feel stuck (not burnt out, but just stuck on a problem)? Are there things you can do to your cube or office to help you deal with those times? Posters of work that inspires you? Things that make you laugh? Music that helps you think through a problem? You spend 8 hours a day in that space: it's worth taking a couple of hours to improve it by even 5 or 10%. What is your coping mechanism for getting through burnout? Let's hear in the comments.