Is your job getting too hot to handle?

2010-02-13 12:51

MANY workers have been tackling large workloads for months and are

slowly but ­surely losing their “get-up-and-go”. If ­routine assignments have

taken on mammoth proportions you may be suffering from burnout.

Long work hours and seemingly relentless deadlines can lead to low

morale and reduced productivity – not to mention ­decreased job satisfaction.

Following are additional warning signs that you may be “running on empty”:

  • You have trouble getting out of bed

    when you have to go to work.

  • You frequently arrive at work


  • You feel bad about your


  • You feel withdrawn.

  • You watch the clock excessively.

  • Work stress spills into other areas of

    your life.

  • You get into frequent disagreements

    with your manager or co-workers when you didn’t in the past.

  • You feel you aren’t making progress,

    despite your best efforts.

If these symptoms sound familiar it may be time to make some

changes. Here are some strategies to help renew your enthusiasm and get your

career back on track.


your role

If your company has

experienced layoffs or has a hiring freeze in place, you might be shouldering

more responsibility than in the past. Although taking on new assignments can be

a good career move, doing so can lead to burnout if the scope of your

responsibility has expanded beyond what you can manage. If you’re feeling

overwhelmed, don’t try to tough it out.

Instead, meet with your supervisor and be honest about your

situation. Work with him or her to reprioritise projects or look for ways to

delegate some of your work.


at your schedule

The way you manage

your time also can affect your ability to rebound from job ­exhaustion. If you

are overbooked or ­expending too much energy on non-critical initiatives you may

be creating additional pressure at work. Try keeping a simple record of your

activities for a week and divide the findings into categories such as

“researching”, “reviewing proposals” and “responding to emails”. Are you

devoting adequate time to the highest priorities?


your stressors

Understanding the

factors that contributed to your decline in motivation can help you move in a

more positive direction.

Think about what has contributed

to your burnout: Is it the feeling that projects are out of your control? Have

your own actions exacerbated the problem? For example, you may have set an

overly ambitious timeline for completing an assignment, creating unnecessary

stress and obstacles to its success.

Even small changes to

your routine, such as seeking assistance from your manager when you have too

many projects on your plate, can help brighten your outlook.


for help

A common symptom of

burnout is a feeling of isolation. You may think you’re the only one who can

review a particular document because you understand the project best, but

someone else might bring in a fresh perspective, not to mention relieve some of

the burden. It’s okay to let others know that you’re facing difficulties and

request their assistance. Keep in mind that you won’t be perceived as a

complainer if you objectively outline the issues you’re trying to address and

ask for guidance.


a break

Make sure to allow time

to periodically ­recharge. Even if you’re working long hours, you can counteract

stress and ­maximise your performance on the job by taking five or 10-minute

breaks throughout the day. Stand up and stretch or go for a short walk. Instead

of eating lunch at your desk, try the canteen or garden.

When you’re able, try to use your leave days. Getting away from the

office, even for a day or two, can give you a fresh perspective on your

situation and allow you to return with new focus and energy.

A certain amount of stress is inherent in any job, but when the

pressure gets out of hand, it’s important to act quickly. Burnout can negatively

affect not only your overall job performance but also your personal life.

By taking measures to reduce the amount of stress you’re facing you

can ­regain your motivation.

  • This article appears on the website

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