Are you dealing with feelings of job burnout? If so, you are not alone.
In January of this year, before the pandemic hit and disrupted our lives, Gallup surveyed more than 7,500 full-time employees about burnout. They found that 44 percent of workers reported feeling burned out sometimes. To put that into context, almost half of all full-time were workers are dealing with burnout at some point while at work before life got crazy.
Job burnout symptoms
Burnout is a type of work related stress that includes feelings of physical and/or emotional exhaustion, frustration, loss of purpose, lack of productivity and accomplishment.
Job Burnout Assessment
- Are you cynical or critical at work?
- Do you have trouble getting started?
- Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Are you finding hard to concentrate?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
- Have your sleep habits changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach problems, or other physical complaints?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing job burnout.
Ways to Recover from Burnout
The good news is that once you have identified what you are going through, you can make some changes to your routine to help you get back on track. Here are some of the ways you can help yourself to recover.
Talk it out.
Talk about your feelings with someone you trust. Choose a friend, mentor, family member, HR manager, coach, or doctor that you can confide in and get support from.
Practice Good Communication.
Take the time to make sure you are communicating clearly with others. This will help you avoid misunderstandings that add to your job burnout frustrations.
Get help making decisions.
It’s hard to make a decision when you are exhausted. Rather than be frustrated, find someone who can give you perspective and help you walk through a decision. It’s okay to ask for help when you are stuck.
Set clear priorities.
Delegate what you can and say no to projects and activities that you don’t have to do and/or don’t serve you well.
Review the structure of your role with your manager – make adjustments and decide on priorities together. It’s okay to say that you don’t have time to do everything on your list and ask for help prioritizing.
Work on building healthy habits.
One of the best ways to reduce job burnout is to adjust your routine around eating, exercising and sleeping. Those are the three areas that you can control and make changes that will make a big difference in how you feel. Make sure you are eating mostly good food, limiting alcohol, getting enough sleep and moving your body every day.
Take Regular Breaks.
Schedule breaks through out your day and stop at a reasonable time. Be careful not to slide in the 24/7 work thinking. Time block your calendar to add short breaks throughout the day, take time for a real lunch break and stop working at a set time. Then let it go until the next day.
Use your accrued leave.
Rest and a break from work is always good for addressing job burnout. I have heard from a lot of people that working while quarantined has reduced the amount of sick and vacation leave they’ve taken. Make sure you call in sick when you don’t feel well. Take a long weekend or better yet a week off for a vacation, even if it’s at home.
Seek Professional Help
It’s okay and important to ask for help. You are not a failure if these strategies don’t work for you.
If you are trying these ideas to reduce job burnout and it’s not working, or you are getting worse, you may need professional help to get over your feelings and on to recovery. Talk to your doctor or a mental health provider. Your HR department can help you in finding someone if you don’t have a mental health provider. Burnout symptoms can also be related to other health conditions, such as depression.
I encourage you to try at least one the tools right away to address your burnout. Small steps in controlling your situation will make a huge difference.
Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach, and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of two books on communication, and a newly published journal, Intentional Gratitude.