• 12 May 2022

You are not incompetent; you are just burnout

We live in a society where the work culture is king. Although our approach to it has become more flexible than what it used to be for previous generations, it is still a priority that takes most of our time... and energy! 


Burnout is an ancient phenomenon that was formally recognized only in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who realized that some people weren't simply tired or stressed out. Instead, it is a serious condition that can have long-lasting implications if left unchecked. Referring to the workplace specifically, burnout symptoms can include lack of motivation, lack of pleasure in your job, lack of belief in your ability and competence, sleep disruption, irritability, headaches, and stomach or bowel problems, to name a few common ones. 


There are different causes linked to burnout. They include poor control over fundamental factors that influence your job, like your schedule and workload; dysfunctional work dynamics that range from general policies to relationships with colleagues; extremes of activity, typical when a position is monotonous or chaotic and requires loads of energy to remain focused; work-life imbalance, which happens when there is little time to enjoy personal space.


If you suspect you are burnout, you should consider your situation carefully. Even if it is due to a period of intense activity due to a specific reason (closing of the financial year, juggling work and studying simultaneously, covering up for a colleague while continuing with your regular tasks, for example), do not underestimate it. Listen to your body and act on its needs - better to take one or two days off to recharge the batteries and come back stronger than overdo it. Set boundaries, which can be promising yourself that it is just a phase and committing to it, or not saying yes continuously and trying to make everybody happy - which you cannot do anyways, for the record. Do not neglect your self-care and your close circle of family and friends to prioritize work because they are essential to your well-being which, in turn, is critical to your productivity. Finally, seek help and be honest about your feelings with your superiors, do not hide them just to make them worse in the long run. In short, don't get stuck in the loop of stress and overwork - act before it is too late. 

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