Happy Monday! Today’s episode is all about avoiding or at least identifying and addressing burnout. If you work too long, too hard, or if you genuinely don’t like the work you do, you’ll eventually be at risk of burning out. You can think of burnout as a kind of rock bottom for your disposition toward your job, and possibly your entire career. We also discuss how matching your skillset to your core values and your “why” can lead to a much happier set of circumstances.
People who are burned out find it extremely difficult to even show up to work– let alone do their best at the job. Once you reach this point, you might start disappointing your team or suffer catastrophic losses in your business– or you might be so fed up that you abandon your company entirely.
These are some of the most common warning signs of burnout:
Physical and mental exhaustion. One of the hallmark symptoms of burnout is physical and mental exhaustion. Even after a whole night of sleep, you feel tired in the morning. Your muscles may be sore or feel fatigued. You may find it harder to concentrate in meetings or pay attention to people when they’re speaking to you, just because you don’t have the energy.
Workplace dread. Most of us have some kind of love-hate relationship with our jobs. If you find yourself completely dreading the workplace and resenting the fact that you have to go into the office every morning, you might be on the path to burnout. You shouldn’t dread your workplace, or your employees, or the work you do.
Hair loss. If you’re so stressed that you’re starting to lose your hair, there’s no reason to continue in your current line of work with your current set of responsibilities.
Irritability. People at the highest risk of burnout tend to be extremely irritable. Their moods can change at the drop of a hat and they might blow up at somebody or even the smallest infraction.
Performance decline. With all the other effects, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that burnout is also associated with a decline in your performance. You’re not as productive or as competitive as you used to be.
Chronic anxiety. Do you feel excessive anxiety, even when you’ve left the workplace for the day? If so, you should be even more concerned about the potential for burnout.
So what should you do if you notice any of these warning signs? Here are some suggestions:
Don’t be afraid to set stricter boundaries. If you don’t want to be expected to respond to emails Saturday morning, say so. If your workload is excessive and it’s causing you too much stress, delegate some of your tasks.
Take time away from your job. Doing so can help you relax and destress and come back to your position feeling refreshed. Depending on the severity of your burnout symptoms, that might mean taking a long weekend or taking a full vacation.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take care of yourself. Don’t take time off from work only to overwhelm yourself with personal responsibilities. Relax, spend time with family, and do things that you genuinely enjoy doing. You’ll be better off for it.
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