If you are working towards big goals whether that is building a successful business or being the best you can be in your career. Burnout can sneak up on you, especially at this time of the year. But being aware of the signs can help in taking proactive steps to manage it.
Here are some key signs to look out for:
- Chronic Fatigue and Exhaustion: This is more than just feeling tired after a long day. It's a persistent weariness that doesn't seem to improve with rest.
- Decreased Performance and Productivity: If you are finding it difficult to perform at your usual standard or you starts to notice a significant drop in your work performance or productivity, this too could be a sign of burnout. Tasks that were once easy may now feel overwhelming or take longer to complete.
- Cynicism or Detachment: You may be feeling cynical about the job and feel like no matter what you do it’s not noticed or not valued. Or you may have a growing sense of detachment from work. The work you used to enjoy is no longer fulfilling.
- Feeling Ineffective or Unaccomplished: Despite your best efforts, there might be a lingering feeling of inadequacy or a lack of achievement. This can be particularly challenging for high-achievers and those in leadership roles but know that you are not alone.
- Physical Symptoms: Burnout can manifest physically too. This could include headaches, stomach aches, or a weakened immune system leading to frequent illnesses.
- Mental Health Impact: Increased symptoms of depression or anxiety are common in burnout. This might include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or increased irritability.
- Neglecting Personal Needs: Skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, or neglecting personal care can be signs of burnout, especially if these behaviours are not usual habits for you.
- Withdrawal: Withdrawing from social interactions, both in personal and professional spheres, can also be a sign. This might look like avoiding social gatherings or being less engaged in meetings. The tiredness also plays a part in this.
- Escapist Behaviour: If you notice you are drinking more regularly, it doesn’t have to be large amounts but more frequently you find yourself reaching for the glass of wine after work to help you cope or you are binge-watching TV, or other forms of escapism can be a sign of trying to cope with burnout.
- Lack of Satisfaction: A general sense of dissatisfaction or lack of fulfilment in both personal and professional life can indicate burnout.
Recognising these signs early is key to addressing burnout effectively. It's important to take proactive steps like setting boundaries, prioritising self-care, seeking support, and reassessing workload and goals. Using a productivity planner is a good start to help you get everything out of your head and start to making decisions about your goals and priorities.
If you need further help getting organised, you might want to check out the Audible course by Ciara Conlon Get Organised.
Remember, taking care of oneself isn't just beneficial for personal well-being; it's also crucial for sustaining the energy and passion needed to inspire and lead others.