The burn out test
I hear about two big issues again and again today.
- The first is about how to source and hire (and retain) good people. We’re in a really tight hiring market.
- The second is figuring out how to deal with people who are getting burnt out. Or how to handle burn out yourself
And the burnout ranges in seriousness from feeling generally overworked to being in a really dark place, entertaining thoughts of ending it all.
The good news is that anyone can recover from burnout. The first step is to assess where you’re at.
To that end, I’ve compiled this checklist from a few much longer ones. It’s obviously not meant to be a clinical evaluation, but might tweak your thinking on where you’re at, and spark some thinking and discussion too.
There are many causes for burnout and the symptoms can be different depending on the person. We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed by work or life in general, but what do you do when that feeling never goes away? When you wake up and the upcoming day feels hopeless and there seems to be no end in sight.
What causes burnout?
Sometimes burnout is caused by feeling like you are having no impact on the world or at least not enough of an impact to make all the effort worth it.
It can be caused by believing that everything depends on you and holding yourself to impossible standards. Of course, this isn’t really true. As my old mentor Lindsay Brooks used to say, “The graveyard is filled with indispensable people.”
Often the cause of burnout is working every day with B, C, and D players. These are people who have bad attitudes or don’t get much done, or a mix of both. People like this suck your energy until you feel like you’re out of gas but have to keep on driving anyway. These people create work environments that feel impossible to us.
If this sounds familiar, take some time to think about what has been making you burn out.
The hallmark symptoms of burnout are emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and decreased performance at work or school. If the idea of going to work tomorrow hits you in the pit of your stomach, that’s a sign that burnout may be an issue for you.
The burnout test
|1. I feel drained||1||2||3||4||5|
|2. I feel unable to cope with work||1||2||3||4||5|
|3. I feel physically and mentally exhausted||1||2||3||4||5|
|4. I’m starting to experience chronic headaches||1||2||3||4||5|
|5. I can’t sleep because my mind keeps spinning||1||2||3||4||5|
|6. I’m irritable and impatient at work and at home||1||2||3||4||5|
|7. Little things upset me that normally wouldn’t||1||2||3||4||5|
|8. I don’t feel recharged after time away||1||2||3||4||5|
|9. I feel disillusioned about my job||1||2||3||4||5|
|10. I would rather just not talk to people||1||2||3||4||5|
The burnout test outcomes
Add up your scores and see where you land:
0-20 You’re fine, nothing to worry about
21-34 Pay more attention to your physical and mental health
35-50 You’re approaching burnout. Get help
Ways to recharge
There are lots of ways to recharge after feeling burned out. These include:
- Prioritizing sleep
- Prioritizing healthy eating
- Getting enough exercise
- Talking to your team about it
- Realizing that there’s help and a better future for those who seek to be healthier
- Seeing a mental health professional for guidance
But the first step is diagnosis. Figure out where you’re at and talk to someone about it.
Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.” He is also co-founder and senior instructor at gettingpeopleright.com https://gettingpeopleright.com/
Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068