There are times at work when you simply have to rev up the engine, pull out all the stops and work towards an impending deadline. You can get tired, stressed out, irritable and exhausted. Once the deadline has passed and the job is done, a bit of rest and all is back to normal.
But what if stress builds up over a period of time and has nothing to do with deadlines but in fact, a changed attitude and perception towards our work?
It could be an indication of burnout.
Look back at the last 6-12 months and ask yourself if you can relate to any of these statements:
- I dread going into work in the morning
- I regularly take days off from work for no reason
- I am experiencing low energy
- I am having trouble sleeping
- I have lost interest in my work
- I have low energy
- I feel my work does not have any meaning
- I feel that my work is not appreciated or nobody notices my work
- I get easily irritated with my colleagues and clients
- I keep thinking of quitting my job but am hanging on for economic reasons
If you only identified with statements 3, 4, 6 and 9, then perhaps it is stress which can be managed. If you identified with at least 8 of these statements, then you might be suffering from burnout and need a different course of action.
We often confuse stress and burnout as they have many characteristics in common but the key difference is that burnout often takes place over a longer period of time and seems to affect those professionals who were once fired up about their work and enjoyed the adrenalin rush with full engines on but now find their attitude towards work has changed or have become disillusioned with the workplace which in turn affects their performance.
One of the main reasons for burnout is the feeling that you do not have control over your work or unreasonable demands are made on your time to complete projects and tasks without allowing you to plan your work.
Triggers for burnout include feeling that your work is not appreciated or that no one notices how hard you work.
Sometimes it is the organization or work-culture that can lead to burnout especially if your job expectations are not being met or job description and goals are not clear. Working in a dysfunctional team, with an un-supportive boss and monotonous work that is not stimulating also contribute to burnout.
The consequences of burnout are not simply limited to your job or career but can spill into your personal life affecting your relationships with your family, loved ones and friends. Burnout can also lead to depression if not identified and remedied in a timely manner.
This weekend, think about the indicators of burnout in relation to your work life and if you suspect you might be experiencing burnout, then download The Karmic Ally Coaching Burnout Self Test below and help yourself help you. Better yet, schedule a time to talk to me using the Connect Form.
Did you take the test? What about the questions in this post? Do you feel you might be on course for burnout or just too stressed out? I’d love to read more about your self-analysis in the comments box below.
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