Are You Burned Out at Work?

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Do you ever experience “Sunday night dread’? That’s the sinking feeling in your stomach when you anticipate returning to work on Monday. If so, it may be a sign that you’re becoming burned out at work.

“Burnout” is defined as “mental or physical exhaustion due to prolonged stress or frustration”. Burnout can be caused by a number of factors: toxic bosses, bad relationships, political game-playing, repetitive tasks, lack of results, long work hours, impossible expectations, or bad career decisions.

The more often you experience the symptoms below, the more likely you are to be a burn-out victim.

Often Sometimes Seldom Signs of Burnout
1. I hate getting up on days that I have to go to work.
2. I have much more energy on weekends than on work days.
3. I find my coworkers more irritating than I used to.
4. I feel lethargic and tired at work.
5. Tasks that I used to enjoy no longer interest me very much.
6. I find myself speaking sharply to my coworkers or employees.
7. I spend a lot of time daydreaming or surfing the Internet.
8. I put off tasks so long that I have started to miss deadlines.
9. I find it more difficult to control my irritation with my boss.
10. I am irritable with family or friends when I come home from work.
11. During the workday, I find excuses to leave my desk or work station.
12. The quality of my job performance is not as good as it used to be.
13. At the end of a weekend or holiday, I start to feel anxious or depressed.
14. I am drinking, overeating, smoking, or using drugs more than I used to.
15. I feel that I am only working to get a paycheck.


If you feel that you’re suffering from burnout, you need to take action quickly, because your mental and physical health could be at risk.

The best solution depends on the specific cause of your problem, so consider which of the steps below might help. Pick the ones that sound like the best prescription for you.

  • Schedule a vacation.
  • Update your resume.
  • Start to look for another job.
  • Learn new skills or abilities.
  • Delegate appropriate work to others.
  • Ask your boss to help you set priorities.
  • Manage perfectionist tendencies.
  • Stop trying to please everyone.
  • Don’t take on more than you can do.
  • Spend more time having fun.
  • Put cap on your work hours.
  • Repair damaged relationships.
  • Evaluate your choice of career.
  • Look for interesting projects or tasks.
  • Negotiate expectations with your boss.
  • Stop playing silly political games.
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise more.
  • Control addictive behaviors.
  • Stop working during non-work hours.
  • Don’t hang out with negative people.