Burned out? Here’s how you can tell

publication date: Nov 1, 2011
Author and management expert Jeff Haden identifies the common signs of burnout. Fortunately, he also lists strategies to combat them all. Here are his tips for managing some of the most obvious signs that you're overstressed and under-satisfied in your job.

Weekends and vacations are your only R&R

And when they come, you're so weary that you just sit on the couch. You need to do two things, Haden says. First, get off the couch. Hike, ride, travel, go away overnight, go out to a movie. Then make sure you plan something similar, something just for yourself, every day.

That's right. Workdays included. Making every day different will help manage your burnout.

You leave work thinking, "That's all I can handle today"

If you're walking out the office door frustrated every single day, Haden says you're forgetting what you wanted to do when you took the job.

Save one fun thing (calling donors comes to mind) to do just before you go home. Always leave on a positive note, and you'll set yourself up for a better workday tomorrow.

You think about work problems at home

Identify something you want to do differently. Then, whenever you start thinking about work, Haden advises forcing yourself to think about what you want to do instead of what you have to do.

Several colleagues and board members may be telling you what you have to do, but you're the only one who can pinpoint what you want to do. So find what you want to do and start doing it.

You cringe when the phone rings

"A ringing phone should sound like an opportunity," Haden declares. But if you're feeling overloaded or trying to dodge certain people or issues, each ring suggests a threat.

Answer it anyway, he urges. "Even if you've messed up, no call is ever as bad as you imagined, and answering the phone lets you turn a bad situation into something more positive."

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