Not everyone will realise they are on the brink of burnout until it is too late. You may think working those extra hours to achieve a last minute deadline is normal, but what it is doing is pushing you closer and closer to your breaking point.
When you think of burnout, what springs to mind? You may think that you are stressed, tired, overworked. While these can lead to burnout if not addressed immediately, they are not considered to be burnout on their own unless they are prolonged.
Burnout happens when you are constantly experiencing intense stress. While your body can help you manage low levels of stress through the parasympathetic nervous system, it will completely shutdown if the stressors become too much. As a result your body will lapse into extreme exhaustion and say enough is enough.
The human body is not built to sustain the ongoing demands thrown at it constantly. It needs rest.
While most research associates overwhelm and heavy workloads with burnout, only a few sources cite unclear expectations and lack of job clarity. Yet these are two of the main reasons workers become disengaged, cynical and unmotivated. All these factors, if not addressed immediately, can also lead to prolonged stress and eventual burnout.
Being able to identify the stressors that are causing you discomfort and distress are important. Once you know what situations cause you stress, you can put in place strategies to manage them.
To find out if you are at risk if burnout, please take the two minute busting burnout quiz.