One of the most common topics of conversation with coaching clients and colleagues today centres around the burnout. Interestingly enough, severe workplace burnout affects organizations and businesses as it does individuals. Burnout is a state or condition in which one experiences fatigue, exhaustion, or frustration as a result of an intense focus on or attention to a goal, a cause, a lifestyle or a relationship that fails to produce the expected reward.
In other words, there is a burnout formula: expectation divided by the reality that does not meet your expectations, regardless of the effort you spend, equals burnout. There is no direct correlation or relationship between hard work and burnout. There is, however, a direct correlation or relationship between hard work that produces little or no reward, and burnout. In fact, many folks do actually work to exhaustion and they do achieve recognition, acknowledgement and reward. For these folks, burnout is not a part of the equation.
Am I experiencing burnout?
Burnout is a slow burn. Burnout is not an event; it's a process. Burnout is similar to erosion. One day you see a big rock at the bottom of the waterfall. One day you come back and it is half of its original size. Then one day it becomes a small stone; then gravel. Burnout is a dangerous internal erosion and damage.
The early symptoms of burnout include a deep sense of fatigue, tiredness or fatigue that seems to extend from the surface of your skin, through the tissue, ligaments, muscles, and deep into your bones and into the very cells of your body. Emotionally, you feel you are at or near the end of your emotional rope.