Have you ever finished a week at work and collapsed into your sofa feeling like you’re so burnt out? You’re so grateful for a couple of days off because you physically and mentally can’t handle any more days of work. If you’ve ever felt like this, then the chances are you suffer from job burnout.
What is job burnout? Effectively, it’s a build-up of stress in the workplace. Your job is gradually taking its toll on your wellbeing, and it leads to you feeling exhausted and completely drained. Burnout isn’t technically recognized as a medical condition because it shows similar signs/symptoms as other conditions like depression, stress and anxiety. However, there’s no denying that it can damage both your physical and mental health.
Consequently, it’s paramount to understand if and why you suffer from job burnout. So, we’ll go over all the major symptoms, as well as explaining why this happens to lots of people. Following this, we’ll also present some ideas to help you avoid burnout and boost your productivity and motivation. As a result, this should help you get more out of your career and achieve lots of success.
Do you suffer from job burnout?
The starting point is understanding whether or not you have job burnout. Some people are suffering from lots of stress, but how do you know if it’s job-related or not? Here are some telltale signs to be wary of:
Anyone that shows a handful of these symptoms will likely suffer from job burnout. So, why does this happen to so many people in their careers?
The leading causes of burnout at work
Burnout isn’t job-specific - you can suffer from it in any line of work. Also, there are lots of potential causes that can lead you to suffer from this problem. In some cases, there’s only one thing causing this. In others, it’s a concoction of different things that combine together and cause burnout.
With that in mind, here are some of the main causes of job burnout and work-related stress:
Do you have to do the same tasks over and over again every day? From typing data into a computer to manually lifting boxes; if you’re forced to keep repeating the same laborious tasks, it will lead to burnout. This is because it drains your mental energy as you have to focus for long periods. Sooner or later, it all adds up.
Lack of rest
People who work with limited rest periods are susceptible to job burnout. It’s simple; you work too long, too hard, and you don’t give your body and brain a chance to recharge.
No control over your career
Are you constantly serving someone else’s demands? Do other people tell you what to do and when to do it? Having a lack of control over your career can cause job burnout in many people. You always feel like someone is watching over you, and you don’t have any freedom in the workplace. As such, this has a massive bearing on your mental health.
Poor work-life balance
Possibly the most common cause of burnout at work. People who spend too much time working and not enough time with their family/friends will be burnt out. You need a good work-life balance to live a healthy life. If your job is too dominant, then your health suffers.
A terrible work environment
The place you work has a massive significance on how you feel. In some careers, you may have a fantastic work environment. Everyone gets along and works well together, your boss is a hands-off kind of person, and you have more flexibility and freedom. Conversely, what happens if you have a terrible work environment? Fellow employees don’t cooperate, there might be a workplace bully, and your boss is always micromanaging you. In this scenario, you begin to dread your work and constantly feel on edge. As a result, workplace stress is bound to ensue.
How do you avoid burnout & improve your productivity/motivation at work?
This is the million-dollar question; how can you avoid or prevent burnout at work? Thankfully, there are different things you can do to combat this problem. In doing so, you’re also likely to improve your productivity and feel more motivated at work.
So, here are a few ideas that will help you:
Discuss problems with your boss
If you have a supervisor at work, or a manager, then discuss your issues with them. Tell them how you feel, and explain that you feel burnt out and unable to perform at your maximum capacity. You could also see the human resources teams about this - if you have access to one.
Ideally, they should hear your concerns and talk to you about changing this. In shift jobs, this could mean changing your shifts, so you have a new routine. It may mean giving you different tasks to do or giving you a few days off to recharge your batteries. It’s hard to make progress if you aren’t outspoken about your problems at work!
Set daily goals
A smart way to avoid burnout is to make yourself feel like you have more control over your work. So, set personal goals that you hope to achieve every day. These can be different from any goals given to you by others, and they give you something to work towards. It boosts your productivity and brings more focus to your mind. Plus, it’s believed that we respond better to goals set by ourselves. As a consequence, you may even hit the goals set by your bosses, which keeps them satisfied too.
Meditate every morning and evening
Meditation is one of the best relaxation techniques out there. You sit still, focus on your breathing, and let all tension wash out of your body. By doing this, you can clear your head and improve your focus. Try it for ten minutes before you go to work every morning. It sets you up for a better day where you can concentrate more and be in a better mental space. As such, you may feel more motivated and become more productive.
Do this at night as well before you go to sleep. Again, ten minutes is all it takes to help you relax and improve your sleep quality. This reduces your stress and helps you recharge after every day of work, reducing the chances of burnout.
You can also try any other relaxation techniques; whatever works best for you!
Take time off work
Don’t be afraid to use up any of your holiday days when you start feeling a bit rundown. It’s common to hold onto your holiday days for as long as possible or avoid using them altogether. We’re all so afraid of annoying our employers, but this ends up damaging our health. When you start seeing the early warning signs of burnout, take a day or two off. That extra 24-48 hours away from work is all you need to relax, devote some time to yourself, and regain your mental and physical energy levels. Plus, you often feel more motivated and productive when you have some time off.
Job burnout is a big problem that affects loads of people. Anyone can suffer from it, in any type of career. Look for the main signs of burnout, then follow the tips mentioned above to avoid it and improve your productivity/motivation. Reacting to this problem is crucial. If you want to enjoy career success, then you can’t let burnout fester. It will get worse and worse, ruining your work performance and making you fall out of love with your job.