When an individual seeks to optimize their personal and professional obligations – achieving work-life balance – they enjoy a sense of flow and euphoria. When an individual has trouble finding work-life balance, burnout will eventually rear its ugly head. In fact, job burnout has become increasingly rampant in corporate America and, if you haven’t already, you may experience it in the future. Knowing how to escape unscathed is a skill you’ll need if you want to enjoy sustained success.
The Signs and Symptoms of Work Burnout
According to a local clinic, “Job burnout is a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” Common symptoms of work burnout include:
- Cynicism at work
- A trend of getting up later and later each morning
- A feeling of uselessness or lack of purpose
- An inability to motivate yourself to start your workday
- A lack of energy to accomplish basic tasks
- Unexplained health issues, such as chronic headaches
- A lack of focus and clarity in your life
- A feeling of haze and fogginess over your workday
- A feeling of uneasiness the night before starting a new workweek
These aren’t the only signs and symptoms, but if you’re experiencing a few of these, you can bet you’re on the verge of burnout. Learning to identify it early on will help you develop a plan of attack.
According to a property management company, Green Residential, burnout is most common when individuals fail to purposefully prioritize work-life balance. And while you may never achieve perfect work-life balance, you should aim for it.
4 Tips for Avoiding Burnout
Sometimes the only answer to job burnout is to pivot or switch careers, but you shouldn’t let it get this far. If you spot burnout in the beginning stages – or even before it sets in altogether – you should be able to ward it off.
- Understand Why You Work
It’s not enough to know what you’re doing at work, or what your job responsibilities are. You need to understand the why behind your work. You need to attach your work efforts to something of practical value. For example, you might work so that you can pay for your child to go to college debt-free, or maybe you work in order to help people who are less fortunate.
Every situation is different, but try to dig beneath the surface. In doing so, you’ll realize that you have purpose.
- Take Time Off
There’s often a direct correlation between high job burnout and a lack of time off. If you have a bunch of unused vacation days that you’ve been saving for years, go ahead and use them! Time away from work will allow you to return refreshed.
- Know When You Work Best
Everyone has a unique personality and specific set of strengths. It’s possible that you’re working against yours, rather than with it. Find out when you work best – such as in the morning or late at night – and optimize your schedule and commitments accordingly.
- Set Goals for Yourself
Burnout is typically tied to a lack of purpose. If you want to increase your sense of purpose, make it a point to regularly set goals– both of the short-term and long-term variety. They’ll keep you moving towards growth, rather than wallowing in stagnation.
Get Ahead of Burnout
The faster you can address the signs and symptoms of burnout, the less likely it is that you’ll have to switch careers or make a dramatic change. Use the tips discussed in this article to gain control of your situation and rediscover the flow that you once experienced on a regular basis.