According to the Oxford University Press, burnout is the physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
Burnout often creeps into our lives, a little at a time. One symptom on top of another and the next thing you know, you’re using words like “overwhelmed”, “exhausted”, and “burnt out” to describe how you feel.
There may also be a hidden societal issue at play; this has to do with your line of work. It is well known that social workers, nursing assistants and nonprofit managers are overworked and underpaid—and burn out as a result.
Many people think that because advisors (traders, CPAs, financial executives, etc.) earn an excellent living, they shouldn’t get burned out, overwhelmed, or continually frustrated. We all know there is no truth to this belief, but the thought may keep you from even considering burnout as a cause for your distress.
Here’s what I learned from being there and getting back (a few times).
1) As long as you help other people live better lives—and worry about the people you help—it’s possible you’ll find yourself feeling tired, and then may move to frustrated, overwhelmed, burnt out and possibly end up depressed.
2) The amount of money you make has -0- to do with these feelings.
3) If you don’t set boundaries, have a plan, and get help in your business, you may find yourself burned out.
4) Often, the only people who will know you’re burnt out are the people who love you. Listen to them.
5) Some of us love what we do so much we can do it 24-7. For me, that means I have to SCHEDULE fun, plan time to spend with family and friends, block out free days. This also means making sure I get enough sleep and eat healthy meals.
6) Creating systems, where they are needed, is a very helpful thing to do.
7) Know yourself and take care of yourself however is best for you.
I’m not a therapist (I’m a coach), but my own experience is that left unchecked, burnout often leads to depression. In fact, many of the “signs” below are also signs of depression and anxiety.
Learn the signs of burnout and catch it in its tracks. If you have an inkling that you’re depressed, please go directly to a doctor or therapist. There is hope and many different forms of help for those of us who deal with or live with depression.
1. Low motivation energy, even for things that used to get you excited.
2. High level of stress or anxiety.
3. Lost feeling of enjoyment from people, places and things you used to enjoy.
4. Lack of engagement in life.
5. You’re a lifelong learner who can’t remember the last time you learned something new.
6. You describe yourself as a workaholic.
7. You don’t remember the last time you spent a day playing.
8. You’re questioning being part of the profession you used to love.
9. Irritation, impatience, resentment or anger are often near the surface.
10. Not getting enough sleep or changes in sleep patterns.
11. No time or little time for yourself, friends, and family.
12. You’re always in a hurry because your time is very limited.
13. You hate walking into your office.
14. Difficulty concentrating or having fuzzy thinking.
15. You’ve taken on new habits that you know are unhealthy.
16. Energy drinks and caffeine have become your best friends.
17. Not feeling good about things you used to feel good about.
18. Can’t remember the last time you went out to eat dinner.
19. You always have too much to do.
20. You’re moody and have become cynical.
21. You don’t have a life after work.
22. You’re sick a lot.
23. You neglect preventative health maintenance.
24. You’ve turned green!
25. Constantly changing your mind or aren’t able to make decisions that stick.
26. Self-criticism has run rampant.
27. You’ve had a major weight loss or gain.
28. Feeling helpless, often, for no reason.
29. You’re working longer and longer, never catch up and feel guilty about it.
30. You eat by yourself, always eating at your desk or on the sofa.
31. You’ve isolated yourself.
32. Your place often looks like a disaster area and you haven’t had guest over in months (or years).
I am luckier than most. Because I graduated from Coach U, I have tons of resources, tools, and assessments that help me have a great life AND a great business. My clients use many of those assessments. Based on their needs, I’ve created additional assessments and checklists that help them simplify business, advise more, and live better.
(c) 2016 Elevating Your Business