If you’ve ever experienced “burnout” at work – long periods of exhaustion, tension or difficulty focusing – you’re not alone. A recent Gallup poll found that 23% of 7,500 full-time employees reported feeling constantly burned out at work. So, don’t beat yourself up the next time you’re having a hard time keeping up at work. There is a nationwide burnout epidemic, and it’s the byproduct of the demands of the modern workplace.
How can we recognize the signs of burnout, and how can we take action to fix it?
Here are five warning signs to be on the lookout for:
- Lack of motivation. If you’ve been having more difficulty than usual getting started and following through on tasks at work, this could be an indication you’re experiencing burnout.
- Short temper at work or at home. Are you typically even-tempered but lately having a harder time keeping your cool? This could be a symptom of an overloaded bandwidth.
- Difficulty sleeping. If you’re lying awake at night thinking about work-related issues, you’re likely experiencing burnout. This symptom can be particularly harmful, because a lack of sleep can be a catalyst to more stress.
- Frequent bouts of mental fog at work. It is normal to experience cognitive cloudiness here and there; however, if it’s become a daily experience, it’s time to clear your head.
- Poorer job performance. Pushing yourself too hard after noticing the early signs of burnout can have serious negative consequences on your overall job performance.
What are the best ways to deal with burnout?
- Start taking your sleep seriously. The benefits of getting enough rest cannot be overstated. Start practicing healthy sleep habits – your body and brain will thank you!
- Be honest with yourself. If your physical or mental health is beginning to deteriorate due to an overload at work, don’t lie to yourself. Communicate honestly with yourself and your employer when you’re burned out.
- Respect the “at-work” and “away-from-work” boundary. The modern workplace demands a great deal from us, even when we’re away from work. If you’re experiencing burnout, unplug whenever you can, so you have the mental space to return to baseline.
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