MBTI Wellness – Understanding Work Burnout
January 21, 2021
Work burnout is classified as a state of deep emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused when untreated stress is prolonged over time. If this stress persists, you may begin to lose interest in tasks that once motivated you, and become weighed down with negative thoughts – Such as:
- A lack of control over your home or work life
- A lack of appreciation for your own abilities or talents
- Feeling like your work is repetitive, unsatisfying or unimportant
- Feeling constantly overwhelmed and under pressure to perform
- Feeling pessimistic about the future (“Things won’t get better”)
- Dreading coming in to work or interacting with others
In order to address work burnout, it’s important to understand the indicators that contribute to it.
What are the physical red flags?
- Lack of sleep, appetite and energy
- Muscle tension
- Frequent headaches
- Increased vulnerability to illness
What are the behavioural red flags?
- Constant doubt and talk of failure
- Constant procrastination on tasks
- Social detachment from loved ones or co-workers
- Withdrawal from responsibilities and communication
- Receding sense of self-worth
- Sudden bursts of anger, frustration or panic
As unpredictable conditions from the pandemic force workers to take on new responsibilities, the risk of increased stress and work burnout can be a serious problem for employees in all fields of the skilled trades. Luckily, by making 4 small adjustments to your routine, you can help you lower stress levels and avoid work burnout down the road.
1: Change the Way You Prioritize:
- Whether it’s a report that needs writing, a machine that needs fixing or laundry that needs washing, decide which projects (at work and home) can be moved to a more convenient time or let go to lighten the load.
- Break down your long “To-Do” list into bite sized chucks by highlighting the 3 most important ones to accomplish each day.
- Ensure each of your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)
2: Separate Your Home + Work Life
- Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should be tied to your work at all hours. Protect your private time by turning off phone notifications or create an “out of office” auto response on your email to let others know you are away from your desk at the end of the day.
- Schedule in quality time with family and self-care. This can be getting some fresh air, playing a board game, working out, watching a film or simply doing something that makes you smile.
3: Take Breaks:
- Scheduling frequent breaks (5-10 minutes every hour) has been proven to help increase productivity. If you’re at a desk or in a space that makes you feel anxious, take a breather and try removing yourself by going for a walk. Entering a new environment can help you gain perspective, spark your creativity and reground yourself.
4: Discuss Options with Your Employer:
- If your workload is unmanageable or expectations are unclear, talk with your supervisor or HR department about adjusting the way you work. This may include creating more flexible working hours, changing your office location, participating in employee programs to help you destress, taking a leave of absence, or creating more focused tasks.
For more information on the impacts of work burnout visit these helpful resources below: