Everybody is talking about burnout these days. Many people left their jobs during the Great Resignation. Now, people are Quiet-Quitting their jobs because they want more purpose in their lives. The truth is that these people are often burned out, and they don’t know how to recognize the problem. With a little guidance, it’s easy to tell if you are burned out. Then, you can take important steps towards recovery.
Three Dimensions of Burnout
Career burnout has three (3) dimensions. They are: exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy. If you are experiencing just one or two of these symptoms, you may not totally be wrecked. But if you are experiencing all three, then it is very likely that you are burned out, and you need to fix your situation.
This is when you have no energy during the work day. You sit at your desk and have no motivation to do anything, because you are so tired. When this kind of fatigue sets in for extended periods, your health (and your job) are at risk.
This is when you believe that most people act in self-interest, instead of through altruism or empathy. You are skeptical about people’s good intentions, and you have a negative outlook on life. Many people are naturally a little cynical. You’ll have to compare your level of cynicism today with what it was in the past. This will tell you if you’ve become more cynical, and are either experiencing burnout or are on the verge of it.
This is when your emotions overpower you, and you feel like you can’t get anything done. When you’re experiencing inefficacy, you will end up missing deadlines. You’ll do a bad job on your projects and assignments, and you won’t follow up with the stakeholders on your work. When you’ve reached the point where you can get nothing done, it’s time to take a break. Combine this with exhaustion and cynicism, and you’re burned out. At that point, you need to take steps towards burnout recovery.
Burnout Recovery Tools
The first thing to do is to equip yourself with the right burnout recovery tools. These are things that will help you to feel better, get more organized, and plan your life during and after you’ve recovered from burnout. Some of the most important tools include:
- Journal – write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions every day
- Project Management Software – keep your work tasks organized
- Ikigai chart – map out your perfect career path
When you’re experiencing burnout, it’s important to keep track of how you’re feeling. You can buy a journal for a few bucks, and write down your thoughts every day. Talk about how you feel, and how you are doing at your job. How much are you getting accomplished, if anything? How do you feel when your boss stops by your desk? How is your personal life when you get home? Do you argue with your family, or are you content? Write everything down so you can focus on your thoughts and refer back to them in the future.
Project Management Software
If you’re like most people, then you probably keep mental notes on what you need to get done. This is a great way for things to slip through the cracks. Instead, try project management software. You can get free access to a platform like Trello, ClickUp, or Asana. Add all of your assignments to the system, and mark them complete when done. If you don’t want to go that route, then at minimum, keep a digital task list on your computer, and a calendar in your email. Schedule as much as possible, to power through your tasks.
If you follow wellness and self-help advice, then you probably heard of Ikigai. This is a Japanese way to find your true calling in life. You start with a diagram of four intersecting circles. Each of them represents: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, what you can be paid for. Do some research on this, then make your own Ikigai chart to plan your future.
Start your Recovery
Now that you know how to recognize burnout, and some tools you can use to recover, it’s time to get started. Start by taking the initiative to relieve stress and anxiety. Then, track everything and use your judgment when you make big decisions about your career. You will eventually overcome burnout, and you can move on with your life.