Transition and Recognizing Burnout

Lately, I’ve been running into people who are feeling frustrated and exhausted. This year is shaping up to be a reset as more companies mandate returning to work or increase their requirements for people to be in the office. Suddenly, there are multiple in-person events to choose from, Zoom & Teams fatigue is real, and the pandemic slow-down has seemingly been replaced by juggling.

All of this contributes to feelings of frustration or malaise. It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning when it feels like there are too many balls in the air. 

While you’re struggling to do everything you used to do in 2019, after being out of practice for a few years, you may judge that you aren’t as productive as you used to be.

Stop it! The judging part, I mean.

Yes, it’s easier said than done. 

The point is that a significant collective transition is occurring right now, from elections in the U.S. to online activities going back to in-person, to increased commuting times because now most people are back to their corporate offices.

We are all in a transition. This is not the time to judge yourself for your productivity or lack thereof. But, as I’ve seen time and again, high achievers generally double down on judging themselves for not being ‘as productive.’ 

It’s a vicious cycle, one that contributes to burnout. There are three warning signs that you may be in this cycle:

  1. You feel fatigued almost all the time. 
  2. You have trouble focusing on your work.
  3. You feel like you’re juggling too much, but you don’t know how to say no. 

If this sounds like you, try this technique, especially if you’re a list person: Write down three things you want to accomplish daily. Only three. And not three things that have multiple subtasks, either! Do not write anything else on that list.

This is a way to prioritize what needs to be done. It may feel uncomfortable to do at first, like you may be dropping balls. Still, after a while, you may notice that what you usually think is a fire really isn’t.



Photo by Josefa nDiaz on Unsplash


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