Quite often, we feel like we can’t explain our unproductivity. We just linger on things, procrastinate, and end up feeling overwhelmed. These are a few of the signs that define burnout. But can we do something to tackle these feelings?
The pressure we put on ourselves, to be productive all the time, has to have consequences at some point in our lives. Why? Because constant, never-ending productivity is not a human’s default state of being. We are bound and destined to have times when we should simply put our minds at ease, and not pressure them into producing anything at all.
However, most of us go on without noticing our need to rest. We continue to work, despite the fact that our bodies and mind tell us that they refuse to serve any work-related purpose.
So pay attention, and read along about some of the main signs of burnout, with a few suggestions on what to do about them.
Feeling Cynical, Irritated, or Critical at Everything Work-Related
When you’re burned out, it may seem like the whole office/company is going to be set on fire pretty soon, and that no one really has any idea how to do their jobs. You may become irritated at certain behaviors of colleagues you never seemed to mind, critical towards friends, and/or impatient with your clients and fellow co-workers.
Procrastination. Massive Procrastination
You literally drag yourself to the point where you deliver and finish a task 30 minutes before your shift — even though you had the entire week to do it. You sabotage yourself, into thinking that you’re only productive if you have to work under pressure.
Lack of Energy & Concentration
Burnout is often translated into fatigue and the inability to get out of bed, to actually show up to work. Despite this, when you do get to work, it seems like you’re constantly looking for distractions: social media, continuous coffee breaks, lunch plans – everything except some concentration to actually get the job done.
Lack of Sense of Fulfillment
You may be left wondering, what the purpose of the work you’re doing is. And don’t be surprised, one can have a burnout even in careers we have consciously chosen and love, because we have pushed ourselves to our limit, and now the activity we used to love doing has started overwhelming us so much, that it has become only a dull, mechanical task.
Lack of Self-Care Consistency
You will notice that burnout can also cause you to lose a sense of taking care of yourself. You may end up working at unusual hours, getting up too early, or staying up too late. This will impact your sleeping patterns, however, you may also start to develop other harmful habits to get you through the day, so that you don’t think of the workload you have been taking on lately.
Now, What to Do About It?
It is important not to freak out whenever you notice that you are experiencing burnout. Try to identify the ways you have been manifesting your exhaustion, and slowly start taking control over it. Talk to your superiors (if possible), and count on your best channels of communication such as friends and family for advice.
But most importantly — take a few days off. A break can help us recover our self-care rituals and our sense of empathy and fulfillment. Spend some time with yourself and try to introspect, thinking of the ways you have been feeling and identifying ways you could try and feel a little better gradually.
And last, but not least, make sure to be able to identify a temporary burnout from situations in which you are completely fed up with your job and need to move on to something different. Listen to your gut, and act accordingly!
Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock
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