Burnout at Work: What It Is and How to Manage It Well (2021)

Burnout at work is a growing concern for both individuals and the organizations that employ them.

In this guide, you’ll learn what professional burnout is, what causes it, key statistics and myths about on-the-job burnout, as well as some practical tools and resources for how to deal with it effectively.

Feel free to jump to a particular section you’re interested in using the following links:


What Is Burnout at Work: A Definition

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines professional burnout as:

A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • reduced professional efficacy

While professional burnout isn’t traditionally classified as a formal medical or mental health diagnosis, it can lead to serious negative consequences for individuals and organizations 👇

Common Signs and Symptoms of Burnout at Work

There are many possible signs and symptoms of burnout at work. And while the specifics of how someone experiences job burnout depends on the interaction of their specific biological and psychological makeup with the particulars of their job and work environment, there are some common factors to be aware of:

  • Anxiety and Worry. An increase in your tendency to worry and/or feel anxious can be an indicator of burnout at work. In particular, if you have trouble “leaving work at work” and continue to worry and feel anxious during non-working hours, it’s possible that job burnout is partly to blame.
  • Irritability, Resentment, and Cynicism. A hallmark of job burnout is that frustrations pile up and are not able to be addressed adequately. When these frustrations become chronic, the result can be increased irritability with other people, resentment of work in general, and even cynicism or hopelessness about things improving.
  • Procrastination. Everybody procrastinates sometimes and to some degree. But if you find yourself procrastinating more frequently than usual and to a greater degree, it could be a sign of professional burnout.
  • Forgetfulness. You only have so much “mental bandwidth.” And when most of it is being taken up with stress and anxiety, a common result is that important things to remember start falling through the cracks. If you’re overwhelmed at work and burnt out, forgetting things you normally remember is a common symptom.
  • Fatigue. We all get depleted when we work hard. But working hard without time for rejuvenation and rest can lead to persistent fatigue that never seems to let up and may be a sign of burnout at work.
  • Boredom. Not all signs of professional burnout are extreme. For many people, especially in the early stages, job burnout may manifest as boredom and disinterest in work activities and projects.
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties. A very common sign of burnout at work is trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up not feeling sufficiently rested or restored. In particular, many people experiencing burnout have a hard time “shutting off their mind” before bed or waking up in the middle of the night worrying.
  • Self-doubt. It is normal to doubt ourselves and our work from time to time. But one sign of burnout at work is that self-doubt increases to the point where it’s significantly impacting your moods and wellbeing, as well as the quality of your work.
  • Morning dread. Morning dread is a particular form of anxiety that occurs immediately upon waking up in the morning. While there are a number of causes, one of the most common is that you’re burnt out at work and dreading even thinking about work. Even if the content of the anxiety is non-specific, there’s a good chance work stress is the ultimate cause.
  • Social isolation. Many people tend to isolate and withdraw from important relationships when they experience chronic burnout at work. This is unfortunate because positive social support and connection are actually one of our biggest buffers against burnout and overwhelm.
  • Displaced frustrations. One subtle sign of burnout at work can be a tendency to take out work frustrations on other people, including friends, family, or other non-work relationships.
  • Hyperarousal. Hyperarousal is a state of being overly vigilant and on-edge, constantly scanning and looking for potential problems or concerns. While it’s normal to become extremely vigilant during moments of acute stress, a sign of chronic burnout is often that it’s difficult to come down from this state and relax when appropriate.
  • Stress Eating. When stress levels become too high for too long—as in the case of burnout—it often overwhelms our normal strategies for managing it and we turn to more unhelpful coping strategies like overeating to alleviate or distract from the stress.
  • Compassion Fatigue. Compassion fatigue is a state of emotional exhaustion and frustration that comes about when you spend too much of your time empathizing with and focusing on the needs and concerns of others without addressing your own.
  • Difficulty relaxing. Similar to hyperarousal, a common sign of burnout at work is that you have a hard time relaxing. Most often this is experienced in the evenings before bed or on weekends and vacations when you feel like you are still thinking about work despite not wanting or needing to.

Keep in mind that none of these are definitive of burnout at work. And many of them can result from other stressors, conditions, and events in life.

But if you notice a significant and sustained increase in several of these factors, it may well be that the cause is burnout at work.


By the Numbers: Key Statistics About Work Burnout

There’s been an increasing amount of research on burnout at work over the past decade. Here are some of the most important finding and trends when it comes to professional burnout:

  • Job burnout is on the rise. Google searches related to burnout have increased by 41% annually between 2017 and 2020, while searches for “occupational burnout” have increased by more than 2,500% since 2015.
  • The costs of burnout are high. According to a Harvard Business School report, stress at work is estimated to cost the United States up to $190 billion per year in health care costs, and at least 120,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are attributable to it.
  • A majority of employees experience burnout at work. According to a 2019 Gallup survey, 28% of workers reported feeling burned out very often or always, and 48% said they felt burnt out sometimes, meaning over 75% of employees are consistently experiencing burnout at work. What’s more, those employees were almost 3 times as likely to look for another job.
  • Professional burnout has significant consequences. People who report often feeling burned out are 63% more likely to need a sick day and 260% more likely to be actively looking for a new job.
  • Millennials are experiencing more burnout than previous generations—and are less tolerant of it. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 84 percent of millennials said they’d experienced burnout in their current job with close to 50% of millennials saying they’ve quit a job because of burnout specifically, compared to 42% of all survey participants

What Causes Burnout at Work?

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According to a study by the Gallup organization, the most common causes of burnout at work were unfair treatment at work, an unmanageable workload, unclear communication from managers, a lack of support, and unreasonable time pressures.

In this section, we’ll briefly look at each of these as well as other, more subtle factors that can be playing a role as well.

Keep in mind that there’s a lot of overlap between the signs and symptoms of burnout and the causes. This is because the relationship between these factors is complex and often bidirectional.

For example:

  • When you’re overloaded with work, stressed, and experiencing prolonged job burnout, you are more likely to procrastinate. However, procrastinating will likely increase your levels of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, and as a result, lead to more burnout.

Finally, when it comes to professional burnout, keep this in mind:

Burnout is not all in your head.

While our attitudes, thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors do affect our experience of burnout at work, it’s a mistake to ignore the many external and environmental factors that contribute to burnout.

Environmental Causes of Burnout

  • Unfair treatment at work. One of the most commonly reported causes of burnout at work is the perception of being treated unfairly by managers, bosses, and coworkers. Of the many negative consequences of an unfair and highly critical work environment, perhaps one of the worst is that it leads to low levels of organizational trust. And when you don’t feel like you can trust people at work, your stress levels become chronically elevated which leads to many of the most common symptoms of professional burnout like anxiety, exhaustion, and isolation.
  • Lack of agency and control. There’s a fundamental human need to feel a sense of control over one’s life, including work. Of course, almost no one is completely in control of every aspect of their work. But when people have little to no say over how they get their work done, it very quickly can sap motivation, energy, enthusiasm, and effort—all of which can lead to burnout if left unchecked.
  • Excessive workloads. While it may sound obvious that too much work will lead to feeling burnt out at work, there’s more subtlety here than it would seem at first glance. Specifically, one of the reasons excessive workloads are so common is that there’s poor communication between the people doing the work and those assigning it. If a manager doesn’t actually see how their direct reports are working on a regular basis, it would be easy to develop misconceptions about appropriate workloads. This is especially likely if employees feel that they can’t speak up assertively about excessive amounts of work.
  • Poor job clarity. Even if your workload is reasonable and you have a fair degree of control over how you do it, a lack of clarity about what you are actually required to do can be incredibly stressful in the long term. This is especially true for managers and leaders whose job descriptions become increasingly less technical and specific and more general as they “move up” in their workplaces. Confusion, frustration, and procrastination are all often a sign of poor job clarity.
  • Poor communication and support. In many workplaces, the culture of communication is poor: many people are afraid to speak up or voice their concerns, while others are hyperverbal to the point of being aggressive about what they want and think should happen. Poor patterns of communication in the workplace frequently lead to either conflict, resentment, or both. And when conflict and resentment become a norm, often burnout does too.
  • Unreasonable timelines and deadlines. “Pressure” is one of the most common words people use to describe their experience with burnout at work. Specifically, the seemingly never-ending pressure to get an unreasonable amount of work done in an unreasonably short amount of time. While this can be the result of a company culture that is simply too demanding, more often than not it’s really a communication and expectation problem where managers and workers are not on the same page about what is reasonable.
  • Not enough time for “deep work.” Deep work is a concept coined by author Cal Newport to describe a kind of highly demanding but also highly satisfying form of work where we focus intensely on one thing in a deep way for an extended period of time. It’s essentially the opposite of “busy work.” Ironically, a constant stream of tedious busy work (meetings, logistical tasks, etc.) can be more likely to lead to burnout for some people than less frequent but more intense bursts of highly demanding but highly focused and creative deep work.

Internal Causes of Burnout

  • Perfectionism. One way to think about burnout is when the side effects of hard work outweigh the benefits. And for folks who struggle with perfectionism, it often means they end up continuing to work hard well past the point of diminishing returns. Perfectionism is a psychological process where we feel compelled to work hard despite knowing that it’s ultimately not in our best interest. Importantly, perfectionism isn’t actually about striving for perfection in outcomes as it is striving for perfection in feeling. In other words, perfectionists don’t have a need to do perfect but a need to feel perfect about what they’re doing. The solution is to get more tolerant of feeling less than perfect.
  • Poor self-care. Self-care means consistently doing the things that keep us mentally and physically healthy and resilient. Unfortunately, when stress levels rise, self-care activities like regular exercise, healthy eating, and quality time with friends are often the first things to go. Ironically, these are the very things that buffer us from the negative effects of stress in the first place. And without them, intense stress is much more likely to develop into full-blown burnout.
  • Procrastination. Procrastination means putting off something we need to do despite knowing we’ll be worse off for it in the long term. While occasional procrastination is perfectly normal and not terribly detrimental, when it becomes a habit it can greatly magnify the effects of burnout because we’re constantly adding more and more to our workload by avoiding it in the short term. And on top of the extra work we give ourselves, procrastination also leads to an accumulation of mental stress because we chronically feel guilty and anxious about avoiding what we know needs to get done.
  • Self-criticism. Self-criticism is an especially dangerous cause of burnout because it often feels right. There are, of course, always things we’re making mistakes on. And self-criticism can temporarily feel like the correct response to these mistakes because we’re A) acknowledging reality, and B) motivating ourselves to do better in the future. There are a few problems with this… First, just because a mistake is a reality doesn’t mean that reminding yourself of it is helpful. Second, while self-criticism can feel motivational, it actually does the opposite—it saps us of energy and drive to move forward. Finally, when we get stuck in the habit of self-criticism, we add a layer of shame and negativity on top of our already high levels of stress and anxiety. This “double layer” of stress is a serious driver of burnout.
  • Lack of assertiveness. At the end of the day, burnout really comes down to boundaries. When we can’t set and enforce healthy boundaries with our work—either internal boundaries or external ones—burnout is virtually guaranteed. But the reason so many people struggle to set healthy boundaries is that they were never taught how to communicate assertively—in a way that’s honest to their own wants and needs but also respectful of those of others. Most are so afraid of coming across as rude or disrespectful that they end up constantly deferring their own needs. When this goes on long enough, it’s a major risk factor for developing burnout at work.

Myths & Misconceptions About Professional Burnout

Along with the rise in awareness of job burnout as a serious problem, several myths and misconceptions have unfortunately become widespread as well.

Here are several of the most common:

  • The solution to burnout is more vacation and time off. While total work time is related to burnout, the much bigger factors are related to how individuals think, feel, and experience their workloads, and how organizations as a whole operate.
  • Burnout is a personal issue, not an organizational one. One of the most pervasive and destructive misconceptions about burnout is that managing it is solely an individual responsibility. While it’s true that many of the factors influencing burnout are individual ones, organizational culture, expectations, and operating procedures play a critical role in the development and maintenance of employee burnout.
  • Passion prevents burnout. A recent Deloitte survey found that while 87% of people surveyed reported having passion for their job, 64% also said they were frequently stressed at work.
  • Experiencing burnout means you’re depressed. Research has shown that while up to 20% of burnout may be attributable to depression, that means at least 80% is not and therefore caused by other factors. Even if depression contributed to burnout, it’s often the case that workplace stress itself contributes to depression.
  • You need a major career change to address burnout. Often burnout can be addressed by reshaping a job rather than needing to leave and finding a better one.

5 Creative Ways to Deal with Burnout at Work

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In this section, I’ll present a handful of approaches and techniques for managing burnout better.

Importantly, these strategies were selected in part because they are all things individuals have a high degree of control over.

But keep in mind that long-term, more structural and organizational factors may need to be addressed as well.

1. Do a Stressor Inventory

On a general level, the fundamental cause of burnout is stress. When we’re seriously stressed for long periods of time at work we burn out. This means that if you want to manage your burnout, you need to manage your stress, right?

Not exactly…

The trouble with stress management is that if you’re too focused on treating the symptom you tend to ignore the cause of your stress, the stressor.

Here’s an example:

If your burnout stems from the chronic stress associated with an unreasonable workload, managing your stress is like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound: it may stop the bleeding for a little while, but the root cause is still there and will continue to lead to problems.

In other words, stress isn’t the real problem, it’s your stressors—the things causing your stress, which in turn causes burnout.

Instead of managing your stress, learn to manage your stressors.

And the best way to get a handle on these root causes of stress and burnout is to create what I call a Stressor Inventory.

Let’s start with an analogy:

  • If you were struggling with money, one of the first things you would do is to track your expenses, right?
  • You’d figure out in painful detail where exactly you were spending your money.
  • Because before you can fix the problem you need to be crystal clear on what (and where) the problem really is.

Similarly, if you want to decrease your stress and burnout at work, first you have to get super clear about the real sources of your stress and burnout—you need to know your stressors.

How to Do a Stressor Inventory:

  • Grab a sheet of blank paper and align it vertically.
  • Draw a line down the middle of it.
  • On the right-hand side, list as many common instances of stress at work that you can think of. From the smallest thing like your stapler always jamming to your boss’ passive-aggressive communication style. Spend some real time on this. If possible, spread it out over the course of a few days so your mind has some time to chew on it.
  • Once you’ve identified the most common pieces of stress at work, try to identify the corresponding stressor for each. For example, if your stress is having to deal with a jammed stapler twice a day, the stressor is a low-quality stapler. If you feel stressed by always having to take work home on the weekends, the stressor is your manager assigning you work on Friday afternoon and you accepting it.
  • If you’re having trouble identifying a specific stressor for a given stress, ask yourself this question: Who or what is the primary source of this stress?

Remember not to get perfectionistic about this… You don’t have to discover every single stressor in your work life all at once.

What’s important is that you make some purposeful time to really consider where the stress in your work life is truly coming from (your stressors).

Once you do, you’ll often find some relief simply from writing it all down and having it in front of you—similar to how making a to-do list helps when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

But most importantly, once you decide you’re ready to make some real changes, your stressor inventory will be a super clear guide to help you decide on what to tackle first.

2. Develop an Early Warning System for Burnout at Work

Here’s most people’s strategy for avoiding burnout at work:

  1. Hope they never get burnt out.
  2. Realize they’re burnt out and try to pick up the pieces.

This is non-optimal for obvious reasons, maybe the biggest of which is this: It’s really hard to do anything once you’re burnt out, including dealing with burnout!

Which means…

The time to deal with burnout is before you experience it.

So, why do we have such a hard time preventing burnout in the first place rather than scrambling to pick up the pieces after we’ve already been hit by it?

I think the biggest reason is that it’s hard to use the time when you’re feeling good to prepare for feeling bad.

It’s like when you and your spouse are finally in a really good groove, getting along super well, feeling romantic, and then someone tells you: “You know, now that you guys are both feeling good, this is really the time to deal with some of those bigger relationship issues you keep ignoring.”

Ugh! but still, it’s the truth. Dealing with burnout while you’re burned out is not a winning strategy.

Instead, be like the industrious squirrel collecting acorns during the warm summer days to prepare for winter. You need to suck it up and use the time when you’re feeling good to prepare for the times when you may not be feeling so good.

And the best way I know to prepare for the inevitability of stress at work and prevent it from turning into full-blown burnout is to develop an early warning system for your burnout.

Just like your car has an early warning indicator light to let you know when you’re getting close to running out of fuel, you need to create an early warning indicator that lets you know when you are at risk of hitting burnout but still have time to course-correct.

And the way to do this is to understand the signs of future burnout and acknowledge them as such.

For example:

  • Maybe habitually taking work home on the weekends is a sign that burnout is approaching.
  • Or maybe it’s that you start sacrificing healthy self-care habits like exercise and preparing healthy meals.
  • Or it could be that you find your shoulders and neck getting constantly tight and sore.

Whatever it is for you, it’s essential that you see these for what they are and not sweep them under the rug with silly bits of false positivity like: “Oh I’m sure it’s nothing…” or “Well, it’s just been a tough few weeks… It’ll get better soon.”

No, it won’t! In fact, it’s very likely to get worse and potentially lead you into full-on burnout.

So ask yourself this question very honestly:

What are the early warning signs that my stress levels are getting too high and I’m at risk of burnout?

If you need help, ask a spouse, partner, kids, or friends what they think (they may know better than you do).

No one likes to admit that they’re on the path to burnout. But doing so is your only chance of turning around and going somewhere else before it’s too late.

3. Leave Work at Work with the 4:55 Drill

Whenever I ask people to describe what burnout at work is like for them, one of the things I hear over and over again is this:

I feel like I’m worrying about work 24/7, even when I’m at home—doing the dishes, playing with the kids, trying to fall asleep. I’m constantly thinking about work and what I need to do the next day.

Having your mind in work mode 24/7 is a very quick route to burnout at work.

And a very simple daily practice to counteract this is something I call The 4:55 Drill.

It’s a small exercise that takes less than 5 minutes per day but can potentially save you hours of stress each day, allow you to relax and enjoy non-work time more—and even prevent burnout in the first place.

How to do the 4:55 Drill:

  • Every workday, plan to spend about 5 minutes before you leave sitting at your desk reviewing your tasks for the next day (it’s called the 4:55 drill because traditionally people leave work at 5:00).
  • Importantly, this needs to become a habit, so make sure you set an alarm or calendar appointment to remind yourself to do this each day until it’s second nature.
  • Take out a small 3×5 index card, sticky note, or any other little piece of paper you can write on.
  • In the top half, write down the three most important things you want/need to get done tomorrow. If you could literally only accomplish three things the next day, what would you choose? Remember to make them as specific as possible.
  • Next, below those three things, jot down any other potential to-do items for the next day.
  • Leave your little list face-up on your keyboard before you leave the office (or anywhere you do your work usually).

It sounds simple, but this little technique packs a powerful punch.

For one thing, it allows your mind to relax more at home because you’ve already thought about and made a plan for what you need to do the next day. This means your mind won’t feel as strong a need to bombard you with to-do list worries while you’re at home.

It’s also really helpful because it makes it much more clear what you need to do when you first get to work.

You’re much less likely to procrastinate or avoid your most important work when you’re A) Reminded of it in a super obvious way, and B) Have it all spelled out so that you can just follow the recipe to get started.

4. Prepare a Professional Plan B

One of the biggest factors maintaining professional burnout is the stress that comes from not having any other options.

It’s hard enough working a job that’s keeping you chronically stressed and burnt out. But it’s even harder to be in that position knowing that you don’t have any options if things don’t improve.

This leads to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness which only exacerbate your current levels of burnout.

A powerful way to reduce stress and burnout at work, then, is to create what I call a Professional Plan B.

Even if you have no intention right now of leaving your job, having a clearly articulated vision for what you could do if you did need to leave is incredibly anxiety-relieving and calming.

Burnout with no options is terrible. But burnout with an escape hatch is a lot less terrible.

If you’re currently experiencing burnout at work—or if it tends to happen regularly—one of the best things you can do is to spend a few hours creating a clear, realistic plan B for your career.

Of course, you can approach this concept however you like, but here’s a framework I recommend if you want a little more structure.

How to Prepare a Professional Plan B:

  • Remind yourself that if you need to take a new job, it doesn’t mean you need to immediately discover your new dream job. It’s perfectly valid for your professional plan B to involve taking a new job temporarily while you give yourself time to make a bigger decision about your career long term.
  • Make a list of as many potential jobs as you would be qualified for that would meet your basic lifestyle needs (would allow you to pay your rent/mortgage, give you health insurance, pay basic bills, etc.) At this point, don’t rule anything out—you’re just brainstorming.
  • Now, review your list and circle any option that is likely to have dramatically lower stress and burnout potential than your current job. Even if it means doing something less enjoyable or that pays less, if you’re burnt out, the most important thing may be to give yourself a real break from burnout so that you can actually think clearly about what you want to do moving forward instead of just rushing into more of the same.
  • Once you’ve identified a shortlist of these low-stress but financially viable options, spend 10-15 minutes researching each one, paying particular attention to what the process is for applying. In other words, if you were out of a job today, and needed to take one of those jobs, what would you start doing immediately?
  • In addition to the job-specific research above, take some time to update, revise, or spruce up things like your resume, LinkedIn profile, or personal blog/portfolio that might help in a job hunt.
  • Finally, consider your personal network and relationships… In a pinch, who could you go to to ask about a potential referral or introduction for a job? Pay attention to people who are in your industry if possible. But don’t ignore people in totally different industries or lines of work if they are reasonably well-connected. If your brother-in-law is good friends with a hiring manager at his company, for example, that’s a good resource to be aware of.

Most people shouldn’t need to use the emergency brake in their car very often. But it’s nice to know it’s there just in case.

Similarly, the point of a professional Plan B is not to actually leave your job. It’s the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have concrete options for doing so if you needed to.

5. Practice Setting Boundaries Assertively

Remember that from a high level, chronic stress causes burnout. And stressors cause stress. So if you want to reduce burnout, you really need to address the stressors and sources of stress at work.

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t in a position to eliminate the stressors in our work lives…

  • You can’t just snap your fingers and make your pushy, oblivious manager disappear.
  • You can’t just change the hustle culture in your organization because you know it’s unhealthy.
  • You can’t just wish away your CEO who sets way too unrealistic performance goals.

So if we can’t eliminate our stressors at work, what can we do?

Well, one way to think about it is this…

Even if I can’t eliminate my work stressors, how can I set better boundaries on my stressors to limit their impact?

For example, you may not be able to fire your manager and replace him with a better, more supportive one. But you could set firmer boundaries on their stress-producing behavior…

  • If your manager is in the habit of assigning you “urgent” work every Friday afternoon, leading to you having to work on the weekends, you could practice saying no to the extra work assertively.

Of course, sometimes we literally can’t say no to some requests. But more often than we think, the real obstacle to saying no and setting boundaries is our own discomfort communicating assertively.

Assertive communication means asking for what you want—or saying no to what you don’t want—in a way that’s honest to your own wants and needs and respectful of others at the same time.

Unfortunately, most people equate assertive communication with aggression, and as a result, get into the habit of avoiding standing up for themselves and constantly deferring to others.

If you want to limit your exposure to stress and burnout, you need to set healthier boundaries on your stressors. And more often than not, that means learning to be more assertive.

More Ideas for Dealing with Professional Burnout

A few more suggestions and resources for strategies and approaches to help you deal with burnout at work:

  • Commit to self-care. Healthy self-care routines like exercise and eating well are often the first casualties of burnout at work. But instead of seeing self-care as optional, we need to see it as one of our most important lines of defense.
  • Lean into vulnerability instead of isolation. It’s natural for many people to isolate and avoid positive relationships and people in their life when they are burning out. But maintaining close social ties and being willing to be vulnerable about your struggles with burnout is actually one of the best ways to recover.
  • Clarify your personal values. When you’re experiencing burnout at work, it’s easy to get stuck in problem-solving mode—only noticing fires to be put out and bad things to be corrected. But orienting yourself toward your personal values—the things that inspire you and matter most in your life—can be an essential ingredient in escaping (and staying free from) burnout.
  • Practice self-compassion. Ironically, the more we struggle the more we tend to beat ourselves up with self-criticism and negative self-talk. The antidote is to practice self-compassion.
  • Establish a mindfulness practice. The last thing we need when we’re in the middle of burnout is a storm of self-doubt and overthinking in our own heads. Establishing a consistent mindfulness practice is one of the most effective ways to cultivate true calm and peace of mind.
  • Get professional help. If you’ve been experiencing chronic burnout at work, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to figure it out on your own. Finding a good counselor, theorist, or coach can be incredibly helpful in dealing with burnout.

Learn More: Extra Resources to Help with Burnout at Work

If you’d like to learn more about professional burnout and how to manage it effectively, these articles are all excellent:


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8 Comments

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A fantastically comprehensive piece on a still largely unaddressed modern epidemic!

Great work as always Nick. I can’t help but notice how you’re incrementally always leveling up your writing skills. Keep up the great work!

Hi, thank you again for the great article! I think there is a typo where you list the misconceptions: it should be “Passion prevents burnout” instead of “Passion doesn’t prevent burnout” as you’re talking about the wrong beliefs.

I’ve been feeling burnt out myself and this came just right in time! Main thing for me is setting boundaries which is a MUST. Wonderful article, Nick!

A wonderfully written article that very much hits the nail on the head. Eye opening how much of the article reads true of my previous role but luckily, that isn’t the case currently. Will certainly still adopt some of the guidance given. Thank you.

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