Have you ever felt so physically and emotionally exhausted that you can’t seem to get anything done? Is your work flow taking a productivity hit? Does your work schedule seem to get you overwhelmed? It just might be that you’re experiencing a burnout. Burnout is a very common phenomenon that many high-achievers and workaholics experience from time to time.
Burnout essentially is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by long stretches of work without rest or excessive stress. According to a study, approximately 20% of workers in the US are in advanced stages of burnout, and if gone unchecked can lead to depression, anxiety and even mental disorders.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are in even more danger of experiencing burnout of their intense mental and physical efforts that they tend to invest in running and maintaining a successful venture. The bad part is, most times it runs unchecked in our work flow until it’s almost too late because you’re actually too busy to see it coming. Once recognized, the effects can be reversed with time but it is best to never get there in the first place, as keeping a watchful eye out is really the best form of prevention.
Burnout happens to generally to people who are in a bid to outdo themselves at every turn, those who are inspired by success and would do all it takes to achieve it, hence why successful entrepreneurs are the most prone to burnout. Going past your bodily limits without taking the necessary rest or break you deserve is a major sign that you’re on the highway to ‘burnout boulevard’. While you think you’re getting work done, what you’re really doing is setting yourself up for an inevitable breakdown. In a bid to live a burnout free productive life, first recognize then take preventive action to stay free of the emotional and physical fatigue easily associated with burnout.
What then are the main causes and contributors to burnout, you ask. The major culprit here would be work overload. Committing yourself to too many projects and tasks in combination with a very tight time-frame can come with the unwanted gift of stress. The stress associated with work overload is not one to be trifled with. Having too much on your plate at every point is in general not good practice in living a stress-free life.
Another major reason is insufficient compensation. Producing quality work and not getting commensurate rewards in terms of remuneration can be another major burnout invoking factor. The emotional stress of being under-compensated and undervalued for efforts put can lead to depression, or more complex mental trauma. This can be as a result of inadequate or poor management practices. Some of the other contributors to burnout are undefined work hours and working too much overtime and after hours work as well as a negative work place culture.
There a lot of mitigating factors to full blown cases of burnout, culminating in bone-tiredness or exhaustion, disenchantment with work, being prone to migraine and other illnesses. Most of these can easily be remedied by taking a long break from work or vacation and indulging in something, as it’s possible that the emptiness you feel is just an indication of impending burnout attack.
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