Burnout sucks. If you’ve experienced it you know how dispiriting it is to feel like you’re on Empty. But when is burnout a condition to take seriously, rather than a passing weather system that disappears after a restful holiday? Many of us live in a culture that values being busy—so looking, acting and being productive can be an engine that drives us day in, day out. The problem is, human beings need more. We need inspiration. We need meaningful connections. Downtime. Creative thinking time, family time, vacations—we’re not machines!
Most of us are going to experience some type of burnout during our careers. It’s a learning process, and with time we begin to see the signs and either nip our mounting stress in the bud or make some decisions to help us recover and get our mojo back. Here are seven signs of burnout that we gathered from various online publications. They offer explanations, prevention and treatment tips and what to do if you’re at the bottom of the burnout well and can’t get out. The good news is, things are never as bad as they feel.
Here are some common signs that you’re burnt out at work.
- Friday is your lifeboat. Yes, we love our Fridays, but if you welcome yours with a bit too much enthusiasm, there might be a reason. Read more at Business Insider.
- Cognitive problems. When stress becomes chronic we tend to focus on the negative and lose our ability to bounce back and see things as they really are (not so bad). Read more at Forbes.
- You want to run away. If the idea of getting in your car at day’s end and driving all the way to the Mexican border sounds dreamy, that might be a siren call to re-evaluate a few things. Read more about the running away phenomenon and other burnout signs at Time.
- Unusual backaches and other physical complaints. Stress has a way of snaking its way through our bodies and causing all sorts of trouble. Read more about spotting and treating burnout at the Mayo Clinic.
- You can’t stop thinking about work. Thinking about your job overtime—especially with a grip of anxiety in your belly—is a sign that you’re flirting with burnout. Read more at Inc.
- No motivation. When an ordinarily ambitious, thoughtful and engaged person suddenly doesn’t give a hoot, there’s a problem. To learn about the different types of burnout and why it’s a good idea to say “no” to motivate yourself, read this 99U article.
- Increased cynicism and complaining. A kvetch here, a kvetch here, no problem. But chronic negativity and complaints about doing daily life work tasks is a sign of a deeper problem. If you lead a team, learn the signs that your team is burnt out at this Muse article.
Simple, skillful work habits can give individuals and teams the framework they need to manage work, motivate their team and deliver great work. To learn more, download our eBook, 5 Practical Habits for Today’s Project Manager.