Are you experiencing Burnout or stress?
Work can seem difficult sometimes especially when you get used to a particular routine. Work may not always look enticing all the time, and this is due to burnout. Life happens to everyone one of us; occasionally we get easily tired of work, and every other thing that comes with it.
I am sure you love what you are doing. You may even love the great work you do, and how it’s impacting society. But after years or months upon months of either doing the same thing, emails after emails, calls upon calls, meetings upon meetings, even the best of us can get tired and face burnout.
In layman’s words, Burnout is a lack of zeal to work or do anything as a result of tiredness or frustration resulting from so much commitment to a routine, cause, way of life, or workload. Burnout occurs as a result of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by long-term involvements in emotionally demanding situations – Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson.
Some signs that you are facing burnout include:
- You have little or no energy for anything at work.
- You have little or no interest at work.
- You get irritated easily by everyone at work.
- You are having trouble sleeping.
- You are increasingly becoming absent from work.
- You feel demotivated.
- You are experiencing physical complaints such as headaches, illness, or backache.
- You have thoughts that your work doesn’t have meaning or make a difference.
- You are pulling away socially and emotionally from your colleagues or clients.
- You have thoughts that your work and contribution go unrecognized.
- You blame others for your mistakes.
- You’re thinking of quitting your job or changing roles.
If you are having any of these issues listed above you are not just being stressed out, you are facing burnout.
Burnout or Stress
Although Burnout and stress may be similar in some characteristics, They each have their differences. Stress often occurs over a very short period. You might have stressful days as a result of your workload. Stress also occurs when your work is out of control. A lot of people are stretched beyond their limits especially in organisations that are not fully structured or dysfunctional.
Nevertheless, once things get better either at home or within the organisation, stress often lessens or disappears entirely. You should also note that stress can occur over a long period if you continue experiencing these things.
However, Burnout often takes place over a long period. It starts with you getting emotionally or mentally disconnected from everything or anything that pertains to your work. You start to lose meaning in what you do and start to find reasons why your work is not adding any value.
Most times Burnout occurs as a result of a disconnection between what you are currently doing and what you think you should be doing. You can call it a lack of passion for the work you are doing.
There are various causes of Burnout. Some of them include :
- Not having control over your work: Most times Burnout occurs as a result of a lack of autonomy. Your work is being controlled by others instead of yourself. You do not have much control over what you do within the organization. This occurs as a result of a lack of structure or dysfunctionality within the organization. It makes it difficult for people to finish projects or tasks in time. This is one leading factor that makes people experience burnout.
- Unclear goals and job expectations: You get employed in an organization that is not structured and your goals and expectations are not clearly defined by your Manager. This can lead to you experiencing burnout especially when you are not clear about what you should be doing from time to time.
Not having clear goals and objectives can be detrimental to your mental and physical health in the long run. To avoid situations like this you must either set clear goals for yourself or have your manager set them for you.
- Lack of recognition or support: This one is very important especially for managers reading this. You must make sure that your employees feel noticed or seen. You must endeavor to show genuine support for their work. Hail them if you need to, but make sure that every employee feels seen.
It’s important because people easily get demotivated when they don’t get noticed or feel seen. People want to feel as if they are part of something big, so make them feel that way.
- Low remuneration: Often people lack the motivation to do good work or perform well in their given roles when they are being paid less for what they do. Over time people can experience burnout when they don’t get paid well for the value they bring to an organization especially if they have been in the organization for a while.
Are you experiencing any of the issues listed above, you might need to give yourself space to reboot and reconnect. In our next post, we will be talking about simple ways to avoid or prevent burnout at work or even at home.