Burnout - It's not just about the clock

Burnout isn’t a badge of honour.

Burnout - It's not just about the clock
Photo by Catia Dombaxe / Unsplash
[...] burnout isn't just a thing that happens to overworked people in stressful jobs. It can happen to anyone when work stops feeling meaningful, enjoyable or manageable

I'm discovering that what I thought I knew about burnouts was antiquated. Turns out, burnout ins't related to the number of hours you're working - it's more about how you feel.

I was preparing for a coaching call with a client who was displaying impressive boundaries between work and life, and yet, their mood and attitude were not on the trajectory they wanted. I stumbled upon a new-to-me description of different kinds of burnout in Ali Abdul's book Feel Good productivity

Burnouts caused by misguided approach to rest - you are not taking time to recharge your batteries. Small breaks during the day and vacation away from work are essential and high performers know this.

Burnouts caused by misaligned work - your talent is wasted, you are not aligning your values to your work or you are simply bored at work.

Burnouts caused by taking on too much - you pack too much in your days (work and activities). You are overexerting yourself.

Ideas to prevent all kinds of burnouts

Say No More: My friend Stacey Olson would say: "What badge are you wearing"? As in... being busy is not something to be proud of in 2024. You are making your life miserable by taking on too much.

  • Delegate Like a Boss: Pass the baton. Hand off tasks. Your team’s got skills too—let ’em shine!
  • Set Boundaries: No more answering emails while brushing your teeth. Draw a line in the sand.

Level Up Your Quest: Think of work as a video game. You’re not grinding for XP; you’re chasing epic loot. Boring tasks? Nah, we’re after dragons and treasure chests:

  • Choose Your Quests Wisely: Go for the ones that light your fire. Impactful projects, baby! You can say no to boring side quests to focus on the main one.
  • Skill Tree Expansion: Learn new spells (skills) to slay those work demons. Attend workshops, read, and level up.

Take time off: You need time away to refuel. While you are away from work, you can invest in your own health, passion project or even signing up for the tennis lessons you've always wanted to take. Time away isn't a special treat, it's an absolute necessity.

Burnout isn’t a badge of honour. It’s not about outworking everyone; it’s about outsmarting the burnout beast. 🚀✨