The best way to protect yourself against burnout is to understand the signs to watch out for. Many high achievers experience burnout, whether they work for themselves or others. The thing is burnout can be prevented if one understands what to watch for and what to avoid.
First, understand that burnout is essentially a state of chronic bad stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, detachment and cynicism and feelings that you aren’t accomplishing anything and that everything you do is ineffective and doesn’t matter.
While, at the same time, feeling irreplaceable and unable to say no to anything. It’s kind of like feeling as if you’re on a mouse wheel. Working harder and harder but never going anyplace. You’re tired, overworked, and not accomplishing your goals. In all the chaos, you may not even have goals to check.
Any one or more of the following signs can signal either outright burnout or the potential to experience burnout if mitigation methods aren’t imposed.
- Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia – If you are always tired, or you can’t sleep, or both, primarily due to circular thoughts about the work you’re doing, it can be due to burnout or approaching burnout. It’s often one of the first signs.
- Forgetfulness, Lack of Productivity and Poor Performance – When you can’t sleep well or concentrate, it is natural that you may forget things, not work fast as you did before, and do things poorly.
- Inattentiveness and Detachment – It’s hard to focus and pay attention when you’re suffering from burnout, and it can look like detachment and even inattentiveness. If you have been accused of this by someone else, pay attention.
- Isolation, Apathy, and Hopelessness – When burnout gets really bad, it can turn into wanting to pull away from others due to not caring about anything. If you feel like your actions don’t matter, it can lead to hopelessness.
- Illness and Physical Symptoms – Your feelings can end up manifesting as an actual illness. You can become more susceptible to colds and infections when you’re not eating right. Plus, due to not taking care of yourself, you may end up more likely to get a diet-related illness like diabetes if you’re not taking care of yourself.
- Lack of Appetite or Poor Diet – All the feelings you’re experiencing can cause you to either not eat at all or eat very poorly. It might not seem apparent immediately but eating a diet high in nutrition is one of the ways to avoid burnout and adverse health outcomes.
- Anxiety and Depression – Mental illness can also rear it’s head as you are experiencing burnout. Sometimes it’s due to nutritional imbalances, or chemical imbalances, but sometimes it’s situational.
- Anger, Pessimism, and Loss of Enjoyment – When you are experiencing the brunt of burnout, you may act out with hostility due to being disillusioned about business and life. If you aren’t enjoying it and feel like you never will, that will affect you severely.
If you aren’t enjoying your business or your life and the feelings of discontentment are intruding on your ability to move forward, you may be experiencing burnout. If you think you are, it’s a good idea to start right now, today, creating a plan that will work better for you as an entrepreneur. After all, you deserve all the good things in life, including security, satisfaction, and joy.