Do you feel so fed-up with work? Do you feel that dragging feeling every day? You should watch out. This chronic tiredness might already be symptoms of getting burn out.
Is Burnout Real?
It very much is. According to a study, burnout is hailed as the number one cause of employee turnover leaving companies with retention problems.
This is a state where our health is ruined due to overwork. But this does not only encompass our physical health, it also comes with emotional and mental exhaustion from long-term involvement in a certain cause.
After so much time and commitment invested, the frustration builds up when no significant result has been produced. You not only question your existence but also question “why the h*ck am I still working here in the first place”.
Symptoms of Burnout
How do you know if you are burning out? According to mindtools.com, you might experience the following symptoms.
Having a negative and critical attitude at work.
Dreading going to work and wanting to leave once you’re there.
Having low energy, and little interest at work.
Having trouble sleeping.
Being absent from work a lot.
Having feelings of emptiness.
Experiencing physical complaints such as headaches, illness, or a backache.
Being irritated easily by team members or clients.
Having thoughts that your work doesn’t have meaning or make a difference.
Pulling away emotionally from your colleagues or clients.
Feeling that your work and contribution goes unrecognized.
Blaming others for your mistakes.
Thinking of quitting work, or changing roles.
If you find yourself experiencing the following, you need not panic. The first step is to find what’s causing your burnout.
Going to the Root Cause
Knowing the root of your burnout is a good place to start. According to psychologicalscience.org, there are three kinds of burnout: Overload, Lack of Development, and Neglect.
Overload burnout is characterized by an employee who works non-stop to the point of exhaustion.
To cope up, the person usually vents out by complaining. S/he complains about management, the corporate structure, and basically anything related to work. This short-term complaining allows relief. But for the long-term, it builds up frustration. And might lead to the person quitting the job.
The next one is lack of development. The monotonous workload frustrates us especially if we aim for career advancement. We distance ourselves from this unrewarding work. Without work satisfaction, we cognitively avoid everything all together and inevitably quit.
Lastly, employees with “neglect-type burnout” are those who struggle with the daily stresses of their workload. With so much stress to cope up to, why not just drop the source of your problems? Even if they “want” to achieve these goals, these people neglect the work because they lack the motivation to get it.
Rediscovering Purpose, One Bite-size Step at A Time
Now that you know what causes your burnout. It’s time to put a remedy. The ultimate way to fix burnout is rediscovering your purpose. Is your job fueling your passion while providing finances? Find what makes you happy.
If the answer is no, do not quit your job yet. Set a long-term goal you really want and align your career decisions based on it. If you are can’t leave your job, you can look for a compromise first. Find a side hustle (without getting fired) that can fuel your passion.
If you’re willing to work for it, and if you have proper bite-size personal metrics, working for long hours wouldn’t be a problem.
We now have our redefined our goals. The next step is managing our stressors. And this entails recalibration. If cars would break down without scheduled maintenance, how much more our bodies?
With this, it is fine to take scheduled breaks. Do not be guilty. I, for one, schedule 20-minute nap time breaks for myself. It helps me work more throughout the day. And surprisingly, it’s more helpful than coffee.
If you’re in a high-stress environment, we can put it up a notch by scheduling free time. If you can schedule meetings, you can definitely schedule blocks of time for yourself.
In this time, you can’t be doing work. It’s your chance to be alone and reflect on what is happening in your life. You can even schedule a downtime ritual during this free time. Examples are meditation or deep work shutdown session. It will help you feel refreshed stress-free.
Learn to Say No
At the start of your career, you are open to so many options to invest your time in. When opportunity strikes, just grab a hold of it. An important attitude that led you to where you are at present.
Today is a different case. You have so much on your plate right now. You can’t say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes by you. You have to learn to say “No” for the sake of your health.
As a rule, the default answer should be a “No” unless the proposal convinces you to a “Yes”. How do you know if its worth it? Check your purpose. If it aligns with it, and if you can commit to the endeavor, go for it.
Exercise and Healthy Living
Most underestimate the power of exercise and healthy living. Multiple studies have been made. Exercise can relieve you from stress. It also improves your overall energy and productivity.
This healthy living prevents you from burning out. So better have enough sleep (around 7-9 hours) and eat healthy meals. Try to find time for it.
Know that You Are Not Alone. Ask for Help
Most think they carry the weight of the world. Remember, you are not alone. Seek help for your problems. If you’re in the position to, learn to delegate tasks to your subordinates. You don’t have to do everything by yourself.
You can also use technology to your advantage. Check the processes for your job or business. Are there things that can be automated? If you overhaul your workflow to provide pockets of time, it may be the answer to ease your impending burning out.
To end, we can all defend ourselves from burning out. We should just know why we’re doing things in the first place. With that, I wish you a lifetime of success! Good Luck!