Are You Burned Out?
A wave of relief washed over me after submitting a project that I’d been working on for a month. But this relief was short-lived.
An hour later, I was handed my next task with a deadline of 3 days. I sighed and got back to work. But as the week progressed, I noticed that my level of productivity diminished. The vigor and determination I had started the week with, driven by a sense of achievement at having finished a project, was less pronounced. I found it harder to concentrate for more extended periods of time.
Sounds familiar? If it does, you’re not alone in experiencing burnout.
In a world increasingly obsessed with productivity, we often find it hard to relax — even in our free time. So, we try to fill our time with meaningful tasks and constructive activities.
We feel unproductive if we’re having a slow day at work and try to add meetings and assignments. While it is nice to engage our brains and broaden our skills and expertise, sometimes all you need to do is literally watch Netflix and chill.
Since we spend more than half of our day at work or school, continuously engaging our minds and putting in physical effort, it is important to allow ourselves to slow down and enjoy a quiet moment or two.
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How do you recognize burnout?
It varies from person to person.
For instance, I experience an inability to concentrate on the task at hand, and I go through a loss of focus, my mind drifting. I have difficulty gathering motivation for the day, and it is hard to get through the most mundane tasks.
I have to push myself to get work done, but I feel dissatisfied with the quality even when I’m able to deliver. Even in my free time, I feel agitated and frustrated. Sometimes it takes a day or two — other times, it can even take a week — to get out of the slump and back on track.
The first step to getting out of a burnout phase is to recognize and accept what you’re experiencing and take it as a message from your body, warning you to not push yourself further, both physically and mentally.
The next step is to not force yourself out of this phase but to take the time to slow down and reevaluate your priorities to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The third step is to have complete faith in yourself, your abilities and your talents. It is easy to undermine oneself and judge against a harsh criterion in times like this. But you have to remind yourself that the effort you put in is the only thing in your hand and the only thing worth fretting about.
If you’re doing your best, that is all that really matters, and even if it doesn’t feel like it, things will eventually fall into place. And lastly, make a mental note that once you recharge yourself and get back to your routine, don’t forget to take a break and prioritize your mental health.
If you’re not feeling good on the inside, you can’t perform to your full potential, can you?
In today’s digital age, we have access to unlimited information and opportunities. While that is great for learning and expanding one’s horizons, it can be extremely toxic if the distinction between inspiration and obsession is not made.
To be inspired by other people to do better in our own lives is different from following someone blindly and without considering the difference in circumstances and backgrounds.
For instance, every time we open LinkedIn, we see announcements from people about their new job roles and achievements. One of two things happen. Either we feel happy and take it as a learning opportunity, or we get overwhelmed and think we’re not doing enough. When the latter happens, it leads to a cycle of overworking and eventually burnout.
Remember, you’re not competing with anyone. So, follow your own pace.
- Follow your own path.
- Make your own mistakes.
- Celebrate your small wins.
- Take a break to just breathe in and give yourself some rest.
There will always be a task to do, a presentation to give, a project to deliver. Your wellbeing matters and no one will prioritize it if you don’t. So let’s start today because it’s never too late.
This blog contribution was made by Aleena Ahmad.
Aleena is a graduate in Electrical Engineering and currently working as a Market Analyst. She loves to read books; is obsessed with political non-fiction, finds baking therapeutic, and likes to start her day with yoga. Aleena believes writing is the best way to articulate one’s thoughts and start a conversation. She feels passionately about women empowerment initiatives and is always looking for opportunities to contribute.
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