Are You Burned Out?
by Pat Schuler
Have you lost your focus? Are you having difficulty remembering
if you ever had one? Do you wake up tired? Is your energy
low, as well as your enthusiasm? Have you lost your zest,
your joy in what you do? These are all classic signs of
burn out. Why should we be concerned about burn out? Because,
when it strikes, we are much less effective, so much so
that it often becomes apparent to team members and managers.
What causes burn out?
Long hours, stress
Coping with factors beyond our control
Never really being away from work
Lack of appreciation in our personal or professional life
Failure to celebrate the big victories in a tangible way
Seeing only The Gap.
How can we begin to address burn out? Determine what’s
important. Most jobs follow the 80/20 rule: 20% of the
activities generate 80% of the results. If you don’t think
that applies to your job, get an objective opinion (not
that of your workaholic manager). Ask a friend who’s worked
in several industries, and who actually has a personal
life. If you think your job doesn’t follow the 80/20 rule,
or if your friend agrees that it doesn’t, find a career
coach or a coach who specializes in your profession to
check out your findings. Streamline your activities and
focus on the crucial elements. Commit to a 50 hour week,
and find a way to stick with it, or at least get close.
Turn off cell phones, pagers, and email after dinner.
Trust me, the world won’t come to an end.
Start seeing what you’ve accomplished, instead of seeing
the gap. Seeing only The Gap (the difference between your
goal and your accomplishment) is one of the key predictors
of burn out. Seek out activities that revitalize you.
Get moving physically. Get involved in something larger,
something that gives back or makes a difference in the
life of at least one other person.
Give yourself permission not to be perfect.
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