SUBSCRIBE BY RSS rss feed | EMAIL
Natural Solutions Radio header image

How Job Burnout Makes You Do Dumb Things


BY CHRISTA SGOBBA

Talk about a brain drain: Feeling burned out at work can hijack your decision-making process, finds preliminary research from the U.K. 

In the study, workers across a range of occupations who scored highest on measures of burnout were more likely to make spontaneous or irrational decisions—or no choices at all—than those who felt better about their jobs.

That may be because burnout makes it hard to care about what’s going on around you, or the consequences of your actions, says study author Evie Michailidis, Ph.D. (c). 

It’s only a matter of time before your blunders earn you a trip to the boss’s office. Fight career fatigue in the first place with these tips:

1. Recognize it. Burnout is more than just a couple rough days at the office—it’s the result of a chronic work-related stress. And while its symptoms start subtly, they get worse as time goes on. 

“Constantly feeling completely worn out, emotionally drained, increasingly cynical, and detached from work and work-related activities—as well as having a lack of motivation and confidence in your ability to perform well at work—might be some warning signs or red flags that something is wrong,” says Michailidis.

2. Don’t stew in silence. Schedule a sit-down with your manager, so he or she can clarify what you’re actually responsible for doing. That way, you won’t end up breaking your back over things outside your wheelhouse, and you’ll reduce your workload—or at least slow the pace down. 

(Even if your supervisor is great, the risk for burnout remains.

3. Actually use your vacation days. According to a Harris Interactive poll, 57 percent of Americans end the year with 11 unused vacation days. That defeats the purpose of paid time off, which is your time to re-charge your batteries so you can return to work fully engaged.