Striving every day to become better is not an easy job. It’s not a joy ride, or a walk in the part. It’s hard work. And hard work wears you out. If you’re not balancing this hard work, sooner or later you’ll hit a wall. You’ll reach a state called “burnout”. I know you know the feeling: suddenly, life’s not nice anymore, everything around you is tasteless and you wonder where are you going anyway. A burnout is a real danger. And a hell of a situation to deal with.
Fortunately, this dead end is not totally out of your control. It may be predicted. Like a hurricane, it shows some early signs. And if you know how to read the signs, you can protect yourself. Here are 7 signs which, in my experience, can witness the proximity of a burnout in your life.
1. You Find Excuses Faster Than Solutions
You have to do something, but out of nowhere comes an excuse. A really good one. And you don’t have to do that thing anymore. Now isn’t that wonderful? You weren’t so into that anyway. What a relief to find a really good excuse, isn’t it?
Well, not exactly. Finding excuses faster than solutions is a sign that you’re rejecting your reality. It’s an early sign of escapism. If you weren’t be so tired, the idea of an excuse didn’t even cross your mind. You would just do that thing and move on. You’re better than you think you are.
2. Your Favorite Relaxation Is Making You Nauseous
Let’s say you really enjoy watching soccer. But you start noticing that watching soccer is not so refreshing anymore. In fact, it’s so boring, that you can almost puke on it. What’s that game about, anyway? Goals? To hell with goals, give me something better.
Not being able to recharge yourself is a pretty clear sign that your system is getting overloaded. Unfortunately, instead of cutting the main power and relax, most of the people are trying to get satisfaction by increasing the relaxation stimulus. Which overload the system even more.
3. You Sleep More Than Usual But Worse
That’s so easy to get spotted, yet so overlooked. Your sleep is a fantastic indicator of your energy level. The smaller perturbation in your sleep pattern should be investigated immediately. Sleeping more but feeling worse is a red arrow pointing for an imminent burn out.
Unfortunately, most of the people are abusing their sleep anyway, so they can’t really spot any difference. And that’s really sad, because it takes away a fantastic indicator of your health and effort capacity. Sleeping good is as important as getting things done.
4. Your Rant Tolerance Is Lower Than Usual
You either bully start to engage in fighting, either avoid it even before you know what’s all about. Your rant tolerance is a very good indicator of your stress level. It basically shows how much challenge are your ready to accept in your daily routine.
Although I’m totally against fighting, accepting rants is almost anytime a fantastic opportunity to learn. Especially from your critics. If your rant tolerance is lower, that means you don’t take criticism too easy. Time to take a break.
5. You’d Rather Be Right Than Doing The Right Thing
All you want is to be right about something. You need that. Not necessarily doing the right thing but being right about it. That means you need more confirmation than usual and lack the energy of actually doing stuff. A burn out will most likely emerge out of this.
The need to be right about stuff is also a sign of low self-confidence. All those small victories you get from saying: “I told you so” are just unconscious pillars you try to put under your falling self-confidence. Take a break, or the pillars will eventually fall too.
6. A Normal Task Will Require Twice The Time
It’s not that you’re tired, but you’re not focused. Things you were able to finish in a single run are now done in several blocks. A thin focus is almost always a sign of an incoming burn out. Since focus is your reality, a thin one will create a vulnerable reality.
This is also difficult to assess in the first time, because you don’t always time yourself when doing stuff. All you get is a feeling of not having enough time, or something like a pressure of having too much on your plate. Take a break and the time will expand again.
7. You Run Out Of Ideas
That’s easy to spot but often mistaken for a form of natural dumbness we all have to experience from time to time. Well, I don’t think so. Having a constant flow of ideas is normal for everyone and it’s a sign of a healthy connectivity.
Ideas are in fact nothing but hints we receive from the Universe. When you’re not having ideas, you’re so disconnected that you can’t see the hints anymore. Don’t wait until you’re totally out of sync, take a break, avoid the burn out and reconnect with the idea flow again.
Have you ever witnessed some of these? Do you have something else to add to that list? I would love to hear it in the comments.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.