When you have discovered the symptoms of burnout, you can revive yourself. For a start, it would be nice not to develop such a state. Fortunately, the signs that indicate a problem are right in front of you. You just do not want to see them because you are too busy. However, if you take a closer look at yourself, you will be able to change the direction before you lose all power.
The early and hidden signs of burnout
As a rule, we begin to study the information on how to combat burnout when it is too late. Try to look for new motivation and start doing something again… These are means of treating burnout rather than of preventing it. The most effective ways of treating burnout can help before you start to hide from work. Here are the early warning signs that should alert you:
Frustration, which manifests itself in sarcastic remarks about colleagues or work. If ordinary things begin to cause a negative reaction or you constantly make disparaging remarks about everything that is connected with work, you are on the way to burnout. Do not get it wrong, but you will get nowhere without healthy sarcasm. When your teambuilding manager is talking about “the need to work together to survive in a competitive environment”, it is normal to feel skepticism. But, if you have this feeling all the time, it’s time to make a change.
Increasing fatigue. This is not afternoon stupor; it is the feeling that you’re dead tired and run from start to finish, not feeling the surge of energy and inspiration during the whole day.
The sense of deadlock, when it seems that the work does not progress. If you feel you need to deal with tons of work every day and it does not end, you start to develop emotional burnout. Before you start something anew, you need to find an outlet and bring something to the end, no matter whether it is a small errand or a huge project. If you are so gloomy that the finished project does not bring you satisfaction, it’s time to take a break.
Boredom, even if you are as busy as a bee. If you have no time to relax but still feel bored, your condition is getting worse. Actually, feeling bored at work is generally a bad sign, which indicates that you do not like what you are engaged in. Maybe, you just imitate activity and dream of another job? In any case, irritation is accumulated, and motivation disappears.
Increasing procrastination. You postpone your tasks until later. Sometimes it is even useful. But constant procrastination shows that you want to get rid of work. Maybe you’re just lazy and do not find inspiration. Maybe you are in a mood. But if you set aside absolutely everything, you need a break.
A strange indisposition and constant anxiety, which is impossible to get rid of. Pay attention to health. If you notice a permanent ailment that is often associated with stress, such as stomach discomfort, insomnia, causeless headaches, you need to bring your nerves to order. All of us get bored and fall ill from time to time, but when the body reacts to stress with apathy something is wrong. Falling ill because of work is the last thing you need to do.
You realize that it is time for a vacation. If you never take a vacation or you have a bunch of unused vacation days, you are on the road to burnout, even if you do not think so. Holidays were invented for some good reason, and even if you do not seem to get tired, without rest you are burning like a candle, which is lit at both ends. And if in the morning you think it is time for recreation, the time has come to have some rest!
These early signs of burnout may sneak into your life gradually, and you may fail to notice them. There is nothing wrong in making fun of work deficiencies, postponing unpleasant tasks or treating your ailment at work. Burnout begins when such behavior becomes the norm. Such conditions should better be avoided because these symptoms can harm your health, not to mention the results of your work.
Slow down and estimate yourself and your work
If any of the mentioned items are about you, you need to think about what keeps you busy at work. Select an hour (including this Friday) to take a bird’s-eye view of the work. What do you like about your work? What do you hate? Why don’t you want to go to the office and why did you once decide to work there?
Re-evaluate what you are doing. And what is more important – think why you are doing it. It is easier to understand what you should focus on and what you need to get rid of. For example, if you like to prepare reports on the work done, but you cannot stand making public presentations of these reports, look for someone to replace you. Or make it clear for the management that you agree to collect information, but will not appear before the audience, answering their questions. Maybe it will not work, but it is better to try to change things than suffer in silence.
Finally, analyze the entire career. Maybe burnout begins because you were planning to move much farther or because your promotion is at a stall. Perhaps, when applying for a job, you were promised development and training, which suddenly failed to be “budgeted” or turned out to be available not for everyone. Maybe the reason for frustration is not the work itself, and the results are affected by some other factors. Your life is more important than work, but the income is needed to pay bills. It makes sense to assess both, when the trouble in one field affects some other sphere of your life.
Avoid burnout at an early stage, before it gets worse
Now that you have found early signs of burnout and diagnosed problems at work, it’s time to deal with them face to face. Here are some proven ways to cope with burnout both in the workplace and away from it.
- Rest when you can. This does not mean you should drop your work and walk around the cooler. Normal interruptions in your work allow the brain to process information, to refresh the thoughts and re-enter the game. Your productivity will increase, especially if you go for a walk.
- Plan a vacation. Right now. Do not give up what the Labor Code gives you. It’s like giving up your salary. Plan a vacation, even if it seems to you that the right time has not come yet. Otherwise you may not have the appropriate situation. The benefits outweigh all the negative sides. You will then return to your work refreshed and full of energy.
- Focus on what you love or what is really important. Being involved in your favorite activity at work is the best cure for burnout. However, not many people are lucky to have this kind of work. Most have to deal with something unwanted, but if there is a chance to delegate this work to someone, use it. Maybe someone is less sick from certain duties. Again, you should try to delegate only the tasks that are not crucial for the effectiveness of your work. But the more unpleasant things can be removed from your life, the easier it will be to deal with the remaining tasks.
- Record everything. Get an organizer. First, it will help you look at your work and find inspiration, define your favorite and unloved processes, and highlight the significant achievements when it is time to create a resume. An organizer will help you delegate responsibilities and provide inspirational projects which will make you leave home in the morning.
Some of these tips will help you in any career situation: when you are burned out at work, when you are happy, when you are tired and quit. Therefore, they are important. Benefits of the vacation, breaks during the day, and recording all the achievements mean much more than a simple assistance in daily routine. They have a positive effect on your career. To avoid burnout, plunge into work and do not feel hatred for everything that is on your desktop. These methods are simply priceless.