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You may be experiencing burnout, and not even know it

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

With over two years of dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, workplace burnout is still very real! You may be experiencing burnout, and not even know it.

A recent report found that employee burnout is on the rise: 52% of all workers are feeling burned out, up 9% from a pre-COVID survey. (indeed) And a survey by Verizon Media and the mental health nonprofit Made of Millions found that 66% of leaders polled said they suffered from burnout over the past year, while 76% felt overwhelmed managing their people. It’s not surprising that burnout is on the rise. Organizations are increasingly navigating challenges like onboarding a significant number of new hires, reboarding teams back into the office and dealing with the hybrid work environment in the midst of external challenges that drain us emotionally. Burnout has increased so dramatically that the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled it as an “occupational phenomenon” in its 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). So, what is burnout and how do you know if you're experiencing it? Here's what they Mayo Clinic has to say.

  • It is a special type of work-related stress.

  • It is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion.

  • It involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

To know if you're experiencing burnout, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?

  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?

  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?

  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?

  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?

  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?

  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?

  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?

  • Have your sleep habits changed?

  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?

Burnout can be caused from a number of factors. Some of which include:

  • Lack of being able to control your schedule

  • Unclear job expectations or leadership

  • Dysfunctional workplace or team dynamics

  • Constant conflicting priorities

  • Lack of social interaction causing a feeling of isolation

  • Spending so much time at work that you lack the energy to spend time with family and friends

So, what can leaders do to turn the tide on burnout?

  • Take a step back and be realistic about expectations of personal achievement.

  • Become aware of how you're overextending yourself and re-prioritize.

  • Get comfortable with delegating.

  • Give managers an opportunity to "be in charge" for the day on a rotational basis so that you can take a day off and not feel like everything will "crash and burn".

  • Recover energy by getting more sleep.

  • Commit to a daily mindfulness practice (i.e., meditation, journaling, grounding, etc.)

  • Get up and move throughout the day. Engage an accountability partner until it's naturally embedded into your daily routine.

Leading with burnout minimizes leadership effectiveness. The first step to combatting burnout is heightening your self-awareness, the foundation of Emotional Intelligence. In the words of writer and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, "not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced."

If you're ready to master your Emotional Intelligence so you can bring out the best in others, join me for the first-ever The EQ Summer Master Series. This masterclass series helps overwhelmed business professionals and owners learn how to use Emotional Intelligence to reduce burnout, have more cohesive teams and improve accountability so they can interact, communicate and collaborate more successfully. Learn more HERE.

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