5 Major Signs of Burnout (and how you can fight it)

burnout stressed

Burnout is not a phenomenon for selected professions.

Though it is usually found in client service-centric occupations like medical practitioners, customer service representatives and police officers.

It is quite a commonplace to accept that burnout happens to professions in the corporate and manufacturing sectors too.

When you’re burning out you will experience it in many forms.

Here are the 5 major signs you should look out for to avoid burnout!

1. Extreme Exhaustion

You’re constantly physically and mentally tired.

Yet you can’t seem to sleep well and sleep it off.

You’ll also continually feel depleted of energy emotionally and mentally.

This is a sign of extreme exhaustion.

What you should do: Don’t ignore it. Schedule regular relaxation time into your workday. Take even a 15-minutes tea break will do wonders for your health. You can also check out time management tools like the Pomodoro Technique®.

2. Bringing work home

It’s the end of a workday.

You got home and ready for bed.

But, the moment your head hits the pillow, you can’t stop thinking about work.

Undoubtedly, this is a strong signal that you’re burning out.

What you should do: Counter this by practising separation rituals. For instance, turn the activity of commuting home as the process to let go. You can also try giving your brain different problems to solve, that doesn’t involve work. If you still find yourself unable to let go, then schedule a time for your stress, e.g. set tomorrow 8 to 9 am for checking emails.

3. Cynicism

When people ask you about work, you either only have negative things to say or simply brush away the question with a one-word answer, “Fine”.

What’s worse, you seem to have more arguments with your family and loved ones because you’re frequently frustrated about most things.

What you should do: Disconnect from your office when you’re outside of working hours. Carve out quality time to spend with your loved ones. Put your worry and frustration at the office door before you go home. Spend time with yourself. Avoid answering work calls and emails during this time. Instead, do so at a scheduled time so that you can reconnect with both yourself and your loved ones.

4. Inability to focus

Many people do not have the best memory. But when things seem to be hazier than usual and you find yourself forgetting the most basic things, it is a sign.

You may also find yourself starring at your screen but all you see is blurred-out visions. And when you try to do the tasks you usually do, you’re unable to perform.

These are all signals your body is sending to tell you that you’re overwhelmed, exhausted and burning out.

What you should do: Do not withdraw from your friends and family. Communication is important. Get support from them. However, the best way to clear your mind so you can refocus is to focus on other people. You can always volunteer to help others in need or find a different purpose in life besides work.

5. Decreased job satisfaction

Remember your first day of work. Remember the enjoyment you felt seems like a distant memory and you feel depressed about it rather than joy.

It’s harder and harder for you to get motivated.

Every morning you find it hard to get up for work. And by the end of the week, you’re completely exhausted such that you can’t even enjoy the weekend.

What you should do: This is a crucial time for you to decide what’s more important—work or your health. Be honest and ask the brutal question that maybe this job is just not for you.

Conclusion

There are only 24 hours in a day.

Arbitrary deadlines are constantly looming.

Work is indeed never-ending. But that doesn’t mean every job will be that way.

Prevent burnout at work by learning to prioritise, be organised with your time and understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

Schedule regular breaks and take as many holidays as your company will allow you to.

You’ll soon increase your own productivity and be happy at work.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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