The workplace environment has never been tougher. Long hours, pressure to achieve and perform, and the threat of job loss have all combined to make the modern workplace more stressful than it has ever been.
Often we don’t even realise what a detrimental effect our job is having on our physical and mental wellbeing, and just how much we need a break from the daily grind.
So what are the signs that you’re suffering career burnout and how can you change your workplace habits for the better?
- Shortness of temper: the more pressure on your shoulders, the more likely you are to take things out on colleagues, becoming irritable and easily riled by inconsequential matters. Learn to take a deep breath before reacting to situations and comments, and do your best to maintain a sense of perspective about what’s important.
- Making mistakes: professionals at the top of their game don’t make silly mistakes. But when you’re over-tired and overworked, your mind isn’t fully focused and that’s when errors can be made. If you notice that your attention is wandering and that your workmates are having to bail you out, that could be the warning sign that you need a break.
- Sleepless nights: does your mind go into overdrive as soon as you turn the light off? Are you constantly re-running workplace conversations and situations as you lie awake in the dark? Stress often manifests itself in sleepless nights and is a danger sign that you cannot switch off and relax just when your mind and body need it most. Try some relaxation techniques at bedtime and don’t take any work home at all until your sleep pattern is restored.
- Forgetting to eat: breakfast at your desk, lunch on the hoof, dinner whenever. Does that sound familiar? Food is more than just fuel, you have to eat properly and enjoy what you’re having. Have breakfast before you leave the house and don’t eat at your desk at all.
- You have no social life: if you can’t remember the last time you went to the movies or enjoyed a fun night out with loved ones or friends, you’re probably spending far too much time in the office. Take time to smell the roses, take your other half out to dinner, meet up with old friends for a drink – your free time is crucial to recharging your batteries and reminding you there’s more to life than work.