Have you ever lost the enthusiasm for doing things that were once new and exciting?
Do you dread the thought of having to work long, hard hours on a project that just leaves you unfulfilled?
You may be feeling a case of burnout. Burnout is hard to miss; it’s the loss of motivation that once compelled you to keep going. The absence of ambition to do what you or others expect of you. The lack of desire to finish what you started.
Here are 6 signs that indicate you’re burning out.
1) You work hard but don’t seem to reach your goals
If you’re working longer and longer hours yet don’t feel in touch with your goals, you might be on the verge of burnout.
Burning out makes you feel disengaged from your tasks. You may just be going on auto-pilot, putting in work but not really feeling a sense of purpose in what you do.
When this starts to happen, you may need to step back for a moment and evaluate your goals. Is what you’re working towards fulfilling something you truly want or is it someone else’s expectation of you? Can you change the situation in any way, or do you have to work around it?
From there, you can decide on your own whether the path you’re heading is truly worthwhile. It’s never too late to change direction when you want to.
2) You have no desire to socialize with friends
Do you find yourself avoiding any interactions with people, even the ones you were once close with?
It’s easy to forget what it feels like to live life when you’re stuck alone with an endless pile of tasks. You may be so caught up with your duties that it can be hard to find time to enjoy yourself with your friends. And when you do find time to catch up with them, you may end up feeling irritated because you’d “rather be productive and working”.
While burnout can be the source of avoidant tendencies, many other conditions can be to blame too. It’s best to talk with a therapist to truly understand the root motivations behind your actions.
3) Procrastinating has become second nature
Do you often push tasks off until later on because they seem endless?
When you’re faced with the magnitude of all the tasks to be done, it can be daunting to start. You may put off things until the very last minute, forcing you to speed up and crash in the end.
If you’ve ever wondered why you always end up in this loop, here’s a possible explanation. Procrastination stems from a sense of perfectionism, where you want to do everything as well as you possibly can. As a result, you may put off actual work and spend more time mulling over the project than actually completing it.
If you find yourself putting things off more than usual, try breaking your tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks. This way, you won’t overwhelm yourself with larger goals but still continue working towards them bit by bit.
4) You feel insecure about your abilities
Do you find yourself second-guessing your capabilities and end up comparing yourself with other people?
You might be experiencing a common cause of burnout. When a lot of things are on your plate, it can be difficult to prioritize things effectively. This can cause you to make mistakes and feel dissatisfied with your work, and ultimately, your capabilities.
It’s easy to get caught up in seeing other people’s talents and forgetting about your own, especially if you’re in a highly competitive field. If that’s the case, try focusing on your own personal strengths as you work towards your goals.
5) You don’t feel a sense of accomplishment in your work
Does getting recognized for your efforts mean next to nothing to you?
Being burnt out is often associated with a lack of interest in your current situation. You may find yourself not caring about the results of your projects, and instead only happy that they’re dealt with.
For example, a teacher may compliment you on your performance in a university course. But if you didn’t want to pursue that major in the first place, or if you found the work uninteresting and not aligned with your personal motivations, you won’t feel any sense of accomplishment from their words.
6) You feel like your situation is hopeless
Do you feel like there’s no way out of the situation you’re in?
People who are burnt out often can’t find any sense of pride in their work. It’s as if their emotional well has been dried up, causing them to be too demotivated to do anything that would push them in the right direction.
It may be hard to rise above it, but know that you’re not alone. Talk to a friend or loved one for help, and consider talking to a therapist if you can’t seem to get through it on your own.
Do you relate to any of the above signs? Are there some that we may have missed? Share them in the comments below!
As a final note, remember to take some time for yourself every once in a while. It’s important to go out and socialize with friends, enjoy activities that make you happy, and rest ever so often. We’re not built to live like machines, after all.
If you have limited hours in the day, you can always start small with simple things like going for a walk every day or spending quality time with friends or loved ones.
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
- Smith, M. and Robinson, L. (Nov, 2021) Burnout Prevention and Treatment. Help Guide. Retrieved at https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm
- Ratini, M. (Aug 4, 2021) Signs You’re Burned Out. Retrieved at https://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-signs-burnout
- Scott, E. (March 2020) Burnout Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved at https://www.verywellmind.com/stress-and-burnout-symptoms-and-causes-3144516