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10 Important Signs You Are Heading For Burnout

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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You came in this morning to the office, sat on your chair, and turned on your computer. And while you slowly start seeing the welcoming sign of your computer waking up, you take a longing look at the watch. Hours seem to be dragging. And you just came to work.
Your coworkers seem blue. And their jokes are crappy. Once they were a funny group of people. And your boss is annoying you. When did you lose that thing that was pushing you to discover new things and work with such enthusiasm? Maybe you should start searching for a new job.
But before you actually do it, let us ask you one question. When was the last time you took a vacation? If you needed more than 2 minutes to remember, then you’re probably heading for burnout.

Is there such a thing as burnout?

And the answer is a loud YES. It’s classified as an actual psychological disorder caused by chronic stress. The „father of burnout“ is Herbert Freudenberger, a psychologist, who first noticed its symptoms in volunteers at a clinic who were helping drug addicts. Over time they became disinterested and even resentful of their patients, and they were complaining of a feeling of exhaustion, ineffectiveness, and a complete drop in confidence.

It can happen to all of us

One recent study found that up to 23% of full-time employees involved in it reported they are feeling burned out at work always and an additional 44 percent of them indicated they feel like this occasionally.
And it’s quite damaging to our health too! Burnout is responsible for various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary diseases, high cholesterol, and even death!
When asked about the reasons for feeling burned out, unfair treatment at work, unreasonable deadlines, and immense workload were the main reasons.
Seems like burnout is a regular part of our jobs, and it’s affecting our health massively. Burnout employees are up to 63% percent more prone to call in sick and almost three times more likely to be searching for another job. But what’s more shocking, those who stay in such intense workplaces, have 13 percent lower confidence in their performance. All of that affects productivity and quality of work.

Maybe you should find another job

No matter how much your job is exciting, if the management is poor, you should consider other options. Some of the most successful companies made their way by making everything employee-centered. The ones who are running successful businesses know well enough that people are their biggest straight and they know how to retain good workers. That’s why companies like Crowdflower and Netflix implemented an Unlimited vacation policy which gives their workers the opportunity to take their vacation as they please, as long as the job gets done.
And even if you don’t find the position in the company cool as Netflix is, you should never set for mediocre, or way above what we consider to be average. Be picky, and try avoiding workplaces and employers that don’t value your health.

What are the signs of burnout?

Some signs of burnout can be misleading and misinterpreted. That’s why we decided to help you out and give you 10 important signs for burnout you shouldn’t definitely ignore. And once you’ve finished reading, you will definitely know if you need a vacation. So, let’s begin.

1. Fatigue

If you feel tired after a long day of work, it’s normal. You were probably sitting for 8 or more hours at the desk, trying to fix some problem. Maybe your coworker was on vacation, and you had to cover his part of the job too. On those occasions, it is quite reasonable that all you want to do is to snuggle up in bed and watch TV. However, if the feeling of tiredness and a complete lack of physical and mental power follows you everywhere for more than ten days, then it’s maybe time to take time off and work on your well-being.

2.  Short attention span

Occasional inability to stay involved in what’s happening in a workplace is usual. Maybe you had an exciting night, or you hate doing the part of the job you’re doing. However, if you would say your attention span resembles the five-year-olds in a playground then – Huston, we have a problem! The inability to hold your attention on current tasks and work in general may imply you’re heading for burnout. We wrote extensively about ways to boost your attention span at work, maybe you should try some of these.

3. Cynicism

A world without sarcastic people would be dreadful. However, when the sarcasm crosses the line of what’s considered to be socially acceptable, we’re entering the dark pit of cynism. And you should steer clear of cynism like death eaters from patronuses. If that comparison makes it more clear, then so be it. So, if you think you will be unable to finish tasks, start losing your confidence and doubting everything, you might just be heading for burnout.

4.  Insomnia

Everybody knows that sleep is crucial for proper functioning and overall well-being. If you’re having some trouble falling asleep and you’re always waking up tired, that’s a clear sign of burnout.

5. Anxiety

Burnout can be long in disguise of anxiety. If you’re worried without some apparent reason, or the feeling of unease is following you like a dog eager to play some fetch, then you might be in danger of heading for burnout. Take it easy and take some days off to cool down and recharge your batteries.

6. Appetite problems

We just cannot help ourselves from saying it over and over again: burnout is a dangerous thing and affects both your mental and physical well-being. A sudden change in appetite is a not-so-subtle sign your body is giving you that it’s feeling distressed. Some people tend to overeat, while others feel repulsed by the bare thought of food. Whatever the case is, it can cause severe problems to your overall health. Check your priorities ASAP if you find any of those signs apply to you and start working on your health.

7. Anger

Yes, we’re all angry sometimes. However, anger has its own palpable limits. If you’re looking for excuses to start the fight and you’re always by anyone, and anything beware – burnout may just knock on your door.

8. Your performance is weak

We’re only humans, and nobody expects us to be top performers every day. The quality of our work depends on lots of things. There is a personal preference for specific tasks on one side and the question of how well-rested we feel on the other. Occasional mishaps in the workplace are totally okay. However, if you’re faced with constant mistakes and corrections and you need more time than usual to finish even the easiest of the task, then that’s a visible sign of burnout.

9. Body ache

You know that feeling of hitting the gym after a few weeks of avoiding it? Your muscles hurt, you have trouble moving, and you feel tired as heck. Add on top of that feeling of mental fatigue, and you have a bingo! Burnout may be here, just around the corner.

10. You feel sick all the time

Calling in sick often, while facing burnout is not an unusual thing. Your body is, and because of it, your immune system gets weaker which, in the end, makes you more prone to illnesses such as flu, cold, and infections. Even though employers around the world are facing the problem of sick leave abuse, burnout is a serious problem that’s real too!

Stop messing around!

Just stop it! Consider your priorities and always put your health in the first place. Get rested, and you will be back on track in no time! And believe us, you will be able to do better in a shorter time frame.

Ana Mladenovic
Ana Mladenovic

A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.

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