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11 Tips for Avoiding Burnout

Job burnout—chances are
you’ve heard these words before. You may have heard friends or co-workers
complain of it or it may be something you’re worried about experiencing
yourself.

But what is burnout?

Most people equate job burnout to being
overworked, but that is only one factor that can create this miserable
condition. The truth is that workplace burnout has many causes which, in
combination, serve as agents of destruction, slowly chipping away at an
employee’s energy, morale, happiness and creative spirit.

Job burnout is not stress, not all generic stress management training can prevent it. It takes more. Stress is temporary and can sometimes lead to positive outcomes. Burnout is a
chronic condition of mental and physical exhaustion that slowly accumulates
over time and leaves you feeling hopeless and unmotivated. There is nothing
good or positive about it.

Factors that Lead to Burnout

Burnout doesn’t just strike
professionals in high powered, lucrative career paths. Anyone can be at risk. Here
are the six primary workplace conditions that are most likely to lead to job
burnout. Read them and see if you recognize yourself in any of these
situations.

  • Lack of
    control
    : The less self-directed you are at
    work, the more likely you are to experience burnout. Employees who feel as
    though they are not in control of their careers, their methods or the result of
    their efforts are a high risk for job burnout.
  • Values
    conflict
    : This is a disconnect between your
    core values and those of the organization that employs you. It can also include
    a disconnect with the company culture or other employees.
  • Insufficient
    reward
    : When you do not feel valued by
    your co-workers, boss or organization, job burnout is more likely. Although
    compensation is a factor, well-paid employees may still feel undervalued in a
    system that doesn’t offer individual incentives or public praise.
  • Work
    overload
    : This is not just about quantity of
    work or the number of hours necessary to get the job done. Any work that is
    overwhelming, stressful, complex or given to unyielding deadlines may lead to
    burnout.
  • Unfairness: A culture in which raises, promotions, praise or other
    rewards seem to be arbitrary or prone to favoritism, or one where rules are
    enforced selectively, is fertile ground for burnout.
  • Poor
    communication
    : Uncommunicated expectations, fuzzy
    goals, poor or non-existent feedback, and a lack of common cause are job
    burnout contributors.

Burnout is something
everyone should be concerned about and it is not something to be taken lightly.
It is a debilitating condition that reaches, tentacle-like, into every part of
the sufferers’ daily life and slowly strangles the joy from it.

How do I know if I’m burned out?

The top symptoms of job
burnout are feelings of cynicism and detachment. In short, work no longer feels
meaningful and your efforts don’t seem to matter. Here are other common
symptoms of burnout.

Mental

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Social Isolation
  • Loss of passion
  • Boredom

Performance

  • Decreased
    effectiveness
  • Decreased
    productivity
  • Increased
    errors
  • Missed
    deadlines
  • Increased
    tardiness/absenteeism

Health/Physical

  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Illness
  • Depression
  • Alcohol/Drug abuse

When you become burned out, you are no longer the best
version of you—or even a passing version it. You’ve become a shadow of who you
once were, with all the light and energy sucked out of you. Indeed, the word
burnout describes a husk or shell of what once was. The outside may look the
same, but the inside has been badly damaged.

Tips for Avoiding Burnout

Burnout robs you of your happiness, passion, and
potential, replacing them with hopelessness. That’s why it is critical that you
not only recognize its symptoms, but also learn how to combat and overcome it.

  • 1.Take
    burnout seriously: Recognize what job burnout costs its victims in health,
    career prospects, personal development, relationships and personal growth.
  • 2.Re-shape
    your job duties: Part of burnout is a feeling of being “stuck” in a ceaseless
    routine that feels meaningless. One way to avoid this is to work with your boss
    to craft your job into something that better fits your strengths, values and
    aspirations.
  • 3.Re-energize:
    Burnout isn’t just an on-the-job problem. It bleeds into every part of your
    life. The upside of this is that burnout can also be addressed outside of work.
    Finding a new hobby or rekindling a lost one is a great way to refresh and
    refuel your exhausted emotions.
  • 4.Take
    care of yourself: Your mom drilled this into you because it matters—and even
    more so when you’re an adult. Get good sleep, eat right and exercise a few
    times a week. A healthy body feeds a healthy mind and spirit.
  • 5.Keep
    learning: Stagnation not only leads to boredom, it creates stress by limiting your
    opportunities. Leveling up your skill set will stave off the daily grind by
    presenting new challenges and experiences.
  • 6.Stop
    comparing yourself to others: Be in competition with the person you were
    yesterday and try to improve a little bit each day.
  • 7.Start
    each day with inspirational reading: Remember—a big part of burnout is a lack
    of purpose. If you’re unable to find that through your work, you can compensate
    by finding one internally.
  • 8.Have
    a mission statement: What do you want out of your life and career? Why? What
    are your values? What are your responsibilities? Reconnecting with the things
    that are important to you will revive your spirit and open the door to fresh
    insights and opportunities.
  • 9.Have
    down time, not just from work, but everyone: The modern lifestyle is both
    connected and on-the-go. This leads to considerable stress. Avoid being
    overwhelmed by work and personal demands by scheduling alone time each week. Make
    it a priority. Put it right on your calendar. Even an hour per week can make a
    big difference!
  • 10.Take
    time to socialize: Spending a few minutes each day getting to know your
    co-workers won’t kill your productivity and it might just build relationships
    that improve your output and make your day more pleasant.
  • 11.Don’t
    beat yourself up over defeats: You’re only human. Everyone makes mistakes and
    has setbacks. The only failure is to not get back up again. Almost all
    victories are a consequence of perseverance. So long as you’re still trying,
    you’ll be okay.

You are the first line of defense against burnout.
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck running circles on a hamster wheel, take
the measure of your mental, physical and emotional state and put every
available resource toward getting “unstuck” Others have done it and so can you.
It’s never too late to take a step in the right direction.

This post was originally published on this site

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