Professional burnout: what is expressed and how to deal with it
From time to time, each of us faces the problem of professional burnout, regardless of whether we love our work or consider it an unavoidable evil for survival.
Remember the feeling that occurs after you have finally finished a large and complex project and, before you have time to exhale, realized that finding the strength and motivation for a new project of the same scale will be very, very difficult.
Or suddenly you find yourself spending more energy than usual to stay afloat. Or you just got bored…
What is professional burnout? What are its main symptoms? How to overcome this unpleasant stage in your career? and how do you distinguish professional burnout from something much more serious? And how, in the end, to overcome this state?
This article will be useful for anyone who wants to improve their efficiency and stop wasting their energy, especially when it comes to overcoming such a common problem as professional burnout.
What is it
Professional burnout is the mental and physical exhaustion that you feel when your job requires more energy than you have.
Experts believe professional burnout is an epidemic that has engulfed modern offices
“It is clear that the risk of professional burnout is much higher today than it was some 10 years ago,” said Ron Friedman , a social psychologist and specialist in the study of human motivation.
According to Friedman, a huge role in spreading the problem of professional burnout was played by technologies that surrounded us with devices literally from all sides, around the clock.
“We are surrounded by devices designed to constantly hold our attention and make us believe that everything requires our urgent intervention.”
Let’s talk about the symptoms. So, you may suspect that you have professional burnout if:
It became difficult for you to concentrate
Do you realize that it is becoming more difficult for you to finish the job and the usual ways of working no longer work?
Mental and physical exhaustion in any form provokes cognitive problems. In particular, the inability to concentrate, absent-mindedness and forgetfulness.
This is because our brains are designed to cope with short and severe stresses. When the stress goes into a sluggish stage, we, without realizing it, continue to compensate for it (and where to go?), but the strength to pay attention to other things, just not enough.
For example, it so happened that for the editor-in-chief of “Big plans»Yulia Serysheva’s biggest problem is paperwork and preparation for long trips.
Unfortunately, she loves to travel by car outside of her homeland and has to prepare each trip for a long time and carefully on her own.
This takes a long time and exhausts her to the extreme: the route, the connection (different countries have different conditions for buying mobile Internet, they need to be taken into account in advance, because Yulia always works on trips), insurance for a car, dog, family; housing should be rented taking into account different scenarios.
A veterinary permit for the export of a dog must meet the requirements of several countries along the route and is not expired, the Bank card is unblocked, etc., etc.
Before the trip, it is terrible to look at her: she is an exhausted, always sleepless person who can hardly contain her emotions.
And never once did she manage not to forget or lose an important document, or a lot of money, or an expensive device at the last moment.
On the day of the trip, she lost her own child’s passport, vehicle registration certificate, tablet, Bank cards, forgot her husband’s civil passport at the notary office, which was closed for the weekend, and so on.
And the more Julia strains, trying to keep all the hotly hated little things under control, the more comical the stories with her sudden “amnesia” and “absent-mindedness” become.
You always have too much to do and you feel guilty
Yes, professional burnout often goes along with workaholism and perfectionism .
You are often haunted by the feeling that you need to work harder, better and faster, and psychologists call this condition violent burnout.
This is a type of professional burnout, in which the” patient ” voluntarily sacrifices his health and personal life for the sake of work, and everything is not enough for him.
Such a citizen is inclined to plow like a horse, but it still seems to him that he is not doing his job well enough (perhaps because he works too much, is exhausted and just physically unable to concentrate).
Then the person begins to feel guilty and comes to the “logical” conclusion that you need to work even more.
You are physically and emotionally exhausted
And most of the time. And this is one of the most obvious signs of burnout.
Over time, chronic stress can lead to digestive and heart problems, depression, and obesity.
The picture is supplemented by frequent mood swings. This is because professional burnout provokes emotional exhaustion and contributes to a loss of awareness of personal contribution to the work process, which in turn leads to alienation and depression.
People experiencing professional burnout try to isolate themselves, isolate themselves from others, and reduce the number of social interactions to a minimum.
You become a cynical truant
This is a defense against feelings of vulnerability and failure.
When you feel that everything is going wrong, you turn into a cynical pessimist and start procrastinating with triple energy.
In the sense that, having lost interest in work and your participation in it, you are more often called sick, put things off for later and are more often late.
And in fact you often get sick…
When we suffer from constant stress, our immune system suffers along with us, becoming more vulnerable to infections, colds, and other illnesses.
…and you can’t sleep
And this is despite the fact that you feel exhausted.
Even if you manage to “pass out” in the evening, you Wake up in the middle of the night or much earlier than you should.
If this is the case, insomnia may be caused by nagging thoughts about the overwhelming amount of work you have to do and the effort you have to put into it.
You don’t have a life outside of work
When you feel that you are not good enough, you start spending all your time thinking about work. To understand how close your condition is to obsessive, ask yourself:
1. do I sacrifice the rest of my life for work?
2. do I” score ” on my health because of work?
3. how often do people I care about complain that I work too hard?
4. do my relationships with friends and family suffer From the fact that I “rest” at work?
5. do I work longer and more Than my colleagues?
6. If I couldn’t work as hard as I do now, would I feel better?
Professional burnout can last long enough to fight it, punishing yourself for weaknesses, will not work, this will just make the problem worse.
Therefore, experts advise you to be more tolerant of yourself and, if you find a problem, try to solve it in the following ways.
Take breaks during the working day
Professional burnout often comes from “a lack of understanding of exactly how much effort it costs to increase productivity,” Friedman says.
As a result, we constantly force ourselves to work harder and better than others. We usually get results. But this is a short-term and very unstable result.
In order to achieve long-term results and really increase our own productivity, we need “to be able to replenish mental energy,” Friedman believes.
Take a walk or, if possible, go for a run or to the gym. Have lunch outside of your workplace. Step away from the computer. Switch. This will allow you to separate the wheat from the chaff and evaluate the overall picture.
By the way, our Megaplan has taken care of this problem. In our office, you can distract yourself: do a couple of abs or triceps exercises on the simulator, play table football with colleagues, or just have lunch and chat with friends in the office kitchen.
It often happens that breaks between periods of intense mental activity help to suddenly appear a solution in our head.
However, when you decide to take a break, choose the right time. When your energy is on the rise-usually in the morning-focus on your work, unless you are an owl
Control your devices
Before the era of smartphones and fast mobile Internet, when people left the office, most of the time they actually finished working. And if you wanted to take a job from home, you had to plan ahead. But times have changed.
“Now we carry the whole office in our pocket, so we remain involved in the work both psychologically and physiologically almost around the clock,” Friedman believes.
If you want to avoid and stop burnout, one of the best solutions is to ignore your smartphone (or tablet) during non-business hours.
When you get home, put the distractions in your dresser drawer and leave them there until tomorrow. Stop checking your work email every 15 minutes. As a rule, there is nothing there that can’t wait until morning.
Do something interesting
Instead of constantly chasing thoughts about work in your head, take your free time with something more productive and interesting.
“Research shows that simple, clear, and enjoyable goals don’t just bring pleasure in the process of achieving them.