You’re exhausted. You’re numb. You don’t remember the last time you did something fun. And work? You’re putting it off, shoving it under your mental bed like a stack of credit card debt.
Avoiding it. Hating it. Dreading it.
You’re out of gas, and you have no will to even give a hoot. Stress is an understatement, you passed stressed six months ago. You’ve fallen straight off the stress cliff and into the I-Don’t-Give-A-What Ravine, and you’re not crawling back out without a reality check.
Burnout is all too real, and the feeling is crippling. When you take on too much and start to resent your work and procrastinate on getting it done, it’s time to stop, reevaluate, and save yourself from yourself.
Here are six signs you’re heading for burnout. If this sounds like you, drop everything, restructure, and find your pressure release valve (before the whole thing starts to implode).
#1 — You’re Putting Everything Off
Procrastinating is a major sign that burnout is coming. The closer we get to burnout, the more we procrastinate. We’re so stressed out and overwhelmed by our work, we can’t even face it, so we don’t.
“When we are burning out, our brains are always looking for a way for us to feel better, in essence, we are chasing that dopamine release in our brains to make ourselves feel better. Thus, the more we procrastinate, the better we feel, though it may be all very temporary.” — Dr. Ben Connelly
#2 — You’re Always Behind
Chaos, lack of focus, and forgetfulness are early symptoms that burnout is on the way. It’s a form of self sabotage facilitated by less-than-ideal working circumstances that will ultimately culminate in a total state of overwhelm.
#3 — Your Workflows Are a Mess
Inefficient processes and disorganized days make for a fast track to burnout. When your days and work aren’t structured efficiently, it adds to the overwhelm, and gets you that much closer to throwing your hands up in total defeat.
#4 — You’re Never Excited About Work Anymore
You used to be excited for new projects and responsibilities. Now, you find yourself dreading everything that has to do with work. It’s not even just that you’re tired or don’t feel like working, it’s that the joy of what you used to love to do is becoming a distant memory.
#5 — You’re Not as Productive
Doing things you don’t enjoy creates a difficulty with focus. When you’re not focused on what you need to do, you wander from task to task, and you’re constantly struggling to cross things off your to do list.
Your work piles up, and you get that much closer to a total collapse.
#6 — You’re Tired All. The. TIME.
Sometimes, tired is just tired. Other times, it’s a depressive symptom related to stress. When you’re overwhelmed and feel stuck, it affects you on a psychosomatic level, triggering exhaustion, and completely demotivating you for the day.
It’s Time to Change Something
If you checked more than a couple of boxes on this list, it’s time to pause and take stock of why you’re feeling this way. Fix it, before it falls apart. Here are some ways you can start to figure out how to get back on track.
- Take care of your mind and body first. Ahead of work, errands, cleaning, everything, get some good sleep by getting a great mattress, eat some healthy food, and spend at least a few days just getting back to feeling like yourself.
- Identify the weakest link. What would happen if you got sick and needed to take two weeks out? Would everything fall apart? If this is the case, too much is riding on you. Outsource whatever you need to ensure the ship runs without you, whether it’s housekeeping or sales calls.
- Get organized, both in your work and personal life. You can’t focus in a messy office anymore than you can work in a chaotic business. Get organized, get caught up on laundry — commit to getting everything caught up before taking on ANYTHING else.
Have you ever experienced burnout? Share your story with us in the comments below!