Monday, April 28, 2008

Are You Burned Out?

According to a London Daily Mail poll, more than half of those reading this right now are completely burned out on the job. How can you tell if you're burned out? If you have lost that satisfied feeling at work and don't even revel in your own job accomplishments, there might be a problem. Are your coworkers asking if everything is okay with you? Have they noticed you acting depressed or even moody on the job? Have you been snapping at everyone?

Here's a telltale sign of work burnout: the minute you return from a vacation, the joy, happiness, and relaxation you felt are instantly gone, and you can't even manage to come back from lunch on time.

Another sign: procrastination is your new middle name.

Dr. Alan Shelton, author of Transforming Burnout, studies worker burnout. He notes that you shouldn't feel alone if you're feeling this particular burn. Some three-quarters of all workers are hit with this feeling from time to time. According to Dr. Shelton, vacations, days off, new hours and outside interests don't always help. Professional counselors can help, especially if you're a workaholic who is stressed out by a desire for everything to be perfect all of the time.

The important thing is to find balance between work and other pursuits. Then work isn't the only focus. Dr. Shelton also suggests the following:
  • Get a physical to rule out more serious health problems.
  • Take care of the spiritual side of life. It will give you focus. Meditation and prayer can help with burnout because they take the focus off work. Make relaxation a priority in your life.
  • Remind yourself that each morning is a new day to be appreciated. On the way to work find two or three things that make you happy, even if it's just a beautiful forest preserve on the side of the road or watching your kids.
  • Exercise helps beat job burnout.
  • Sleep helps beat job burnout.

[Research by John Tesh]

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