Everyone want to be as productive as possible at work, but there can be a number of reasons that your output suffers over the course of your career. One such problem is job burnout, which can wreak havoc on your time management and the quality of your work. If you do begin to experience job burnout, there are some steps you can take to get your attitude and work rate back on track.
Work burnout is so common that the world-famous Mayo Clinic has gone so far as to create a specific definition for the condition. They call work burnout “a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.”
How do you know when off-days happen often enough to constitute burnout? Largely, it is a matter of degree. According to Psychology Today magazine, some telltale symptoms include “physical and emotional exhaustion; cynicism and detachment; and ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” In essence, if you are dreading going to work every day and feel you are getting nothing from your career, you are likely burning out.
There are lots of steps you can take to overcome feelings of disenchantment with your professional life. If you are someone who takes work home with them, make an effort to bolster other areas of interest. While at work, try to engage with what you do. Disinterested employees burn out faster than those with passion. In a Scientific American article titled “Conquering Burnout,” Michael P. Leiter and Christina Maslach suggest surrounding yourself with co-workers that are positive rather than pessimistic. “Receiving good vibes from others is an uplifting experience,” they write, “but so, too, is expressing them to others.”
If a simple reset does not work, try consulting some resources, both external and internal. Internally, you can discuss the problem with your human resource team — professionals who have seen this problem before. A great external support is “Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Overcome Burnout” by Dr. Steven Berglas.
If you feel burnout setting in, do your best to get a handle on your mental state as early as possible. With a fresh perspective, you can be back to your best productive self, allowing you to enjoy work again.