According to the WHO, workplace burnout is a ‘syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. It is difficult to distinguish burnout from stress, and studies have shown that burnout happens much more frequently than we realise.
What are some common signs of burnout?
Lack of interest/enthusiasm and effort in your work
- The things at work that used to leave you with a sense of accomplishment now leave you feeling completely depleted. This can go on for weeks.
- You merely complete the work tasked to you, and do not go out of your way to improve it unlike last time.
- Simply put, you aim to do the bare minimum, with the intention of just getting by.
- As a result, your prolonged disinterest in your daily tasks at work leads to poorer performance.
Tired at work, both emotionally and physically
- You constantly feel exhausted, both physically and mentally.
- Getting yourself to work is a more challenging than before, and this has lasted for over a week or more.
What to do if you’re feeling burned out at work?
Change your attitude
- Learn to recognize negative habits and thoughts, and work to stop them when they happen.
- Alice Domar, the Director of the Domar Centre for Mind, suggests that instead of thinking “I have to do this perfectly or I’ll be a failure”, we can challenge some of these thoughts and remove that all-or-nothing thinking.
- Research also suggests that perfectionism is closely linked with burnout (Hill A. and Curran T. of University of Bath).
Decrease your workload
- Burnout can happen when you have too much on your plate.
- Speak to your boss about the fact that you feel overworked.
- Discuss and identify ways to obtain a more manageable workload.
- Be more mindful when you overload yourself, and prevent the same from happening in future.
Recognizing and removing some of these pressures can help you relief work stress, and aid in the healing from a burnout.