How to Spot Burnout and What to Do
By Sandy Schroeder
Fifty percent of Americans say they feel drained by work and are experiencing burnout. If you can relate, you may be experiencing one of the three types of burnout that Spanish researchers have studied.
Here’s what that looks like.
Overload Becomes Burnout
The researchers found 15 percent of employees land in this category. They are moving forward with a demanding workload that may become too much. They may work long hours, and complain a lot, but try to keep right on going. Often their health and personal life suffer.
Being Under-Challenged Creates Burnout
About 9 percent of employees may show up in this category. This can become a demoralizing circle as these employees, who are bored or not appreciated, gradually step back from their jobs. They may show up but put forth little effort.
Feeling Helpless Creates Burnout
About 21 percent fell into this category. For various reasons, the job is not working for them. They may feel swamped by work, thwarted by decisions, or incompetent. Often they become passive and unmotivated.
Here Are Some Fixes
Solving overloads - Employees who are constantly running to keep up, need to identify what is happening and then talk with their boss to find solutions. Delegating work, cutting back hours, or changing deadlines may take enough pressure off of the situation to make it workable. Whatever happens, it’s important to speak up and deal with it.
Changing under-challenged jobs - Employees who do not feel like they are in the main stream may need to look for ways to get more involved. Learning new skills, volunteering to help with overloads, and talking with other co-workers may build confidence and open new doors. Using special skills to expand the job may work, too. If you love to write, volunteer to do a company newsletter or help with other writing tasks.
Solving negatives at work - Identify what is happening and why it may be crucial to change it. Make a basic list and then break out possible solutions. Sometimes you just need to speak up, say no more, or reach out to discuss what is going on. While you are trying to sort it out, treat yourself well and lower the stress with weekend getaways, lunches with friends, and soothing music, meditation or long walks.
Whatever the burnout pattern, communication may often be the best answer to get the issue out in the open and find the best answers. Do the homework and then speak up.
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