6 Warning Signs You’re About to Burn Out at Work


6 Warning Signs You're About to Burn Out at Work

Warning Signs You’re About to Burn Out at Work
What is the first thing you do at the start of every workday? Do you grab a cup of coffee? Do you chat with colleagues? Do you check your mailbox? Or do you scroll the Facebook News Feed?

Wait a minute, is it about your work?

The successful workday is not about the total number of hours worked; it’s about the amount of job get done. While many people don’t know how to split their time and energy between work and life, they often fail at keeping a work-life balance, so the number of people who face burnout is growing.

No matter what your profession is, you may have heard about burnout (or even experienced it). However, let’s understand what it means scientifically:

What is burnout?

In 1974, the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger defined burno as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

In plain English, burnout is the emotional and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress at work. Working long hours, dealing with tough deadlines, and toxic work environment are just a few reasons for work stress.

The effects of burnout

Believe it or not, anyone can experience job burnout. According to the book The Happiness Track, around 50% of workers burn out. The mental impact of burnout can be serious as it has long-term consequences.

As specified in Kahill report, burnout often leads to poor physical health, depression, turnover, unproductive work behaviors, and reduced job satisfaction. It means burning out can prevent workers from climbing the career ladder.

Another study by Armita Golkar, Ph.D., at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden states that burnout changes neural circuits in the brain and hurts people’s ability to cope with stressful situations.

The bottom line? Burnout has lasting negative effects on employees’ well-being.

Thus, spotting warning signs about burnout means having a card up your sleeve: you have time to prevent the illness. Here’s the list of signs you’re about to burn out at work:

1. Constant Worrying

No matter what you do, whether you communicate with a client or fulfill a weekly report, you feel stressed. Actually, you don’t know the root of your worrying, but you can’t get rid of this feeling.

The hallmark of burnout is constant worrying about large and small things. When you are burning out, you can’t help worrying. Obviously, it reduces your productivity and affects your job performance which means you can’t work well. As a result, it leads to burnout. And it’s the vicious circles all stressed workers are caught in.

All people know that stop worrying is a must for better productivity, but it’s easier said than done.

While it’s impossible simply tell yourself to stop worrying, you can learn from other people how to spot this sign and start acting against your negative mood.

In 1948, Dale Carnegie published a book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living where he stated: “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”

2. Moodiness

Being confident and satisfied one minute and worrying the next one. Sounds familiar?

Mood swings are in our nature, but having some mental illnesses like burnout can lead to moodiness at work. When you try to deal with stress, erratic moods are normal.

At the same time, your colleagues with mood swings may have an influence on you as well.


Sigal Barsade, Ph.D., claims moodiness affects not only you but your coworkers as well. She has revealed an effect of emotional contagion, and both positive and negative emotions can be contagious. Working in groups, employees are more likely to mirror the same emotions. If your coworker is moody and depressed at work, you can “catch” that mood fell down yourself.

If you have rapid changes in mood, pay attention to your mental health. As it can be a warning sign that you’re about to burn out.

3. Mental Fatigue

If you’re not satisfied with your work, it may lead to mental tiredness. Mental fatigue is physical and emotional exhaustion that requires concerted effort to do simple things, and it appears when you have a negative attitude toward tasks, colleagues, and events. If you feel tired and lack the energy to accomplish your daily duties, it’s more likely you’re in the early stages of burnout.

Although all people can feel tired at work from time to time, a state of chronic mental exhaustion can be a warning sign of burnout. Once you feel overwhelmed by your normal tasks, it can be a sign of exhaustion.

4. Neglecting Responsibilities

There’s a difference between pushing back extra workload and neglecting your responsibilities. If someone wants to delegate their duties to you and you want to avoid taking an extra load, that’s fine. But if you try to forward your responsibilities to other people, it’s a warning sign that you’re about to burn out.

At the workplace, you have a set of work duties that you need to perform. When you feel mentally exhausted, you start postponing these tasks. That’s how procrastination appears, and it negatively affects your job performance. Once you beat procrastination, you start overcoming burnout.

5. Poor Job Performance

Job performance is your cup of tea. You know your duties, and you know the employer’s requirements, so you can perform on a good level. But, one day you feel that you can’t complete the task on a satisfactory level, and you fail. The next day you fail again, and again, and again.

The number of your tasks is kept on growing, and your job performance is kept on falling. What does it mean? It’s about your poor job performance as you’re not productive enough to complete your duties on time.

If you start realizing your job performance is falling behind your colleagues, it’s high time pay attention to your mental health.

6. Lack of Motivation

It’s another workday and you have many plans to accomplish. However, you can’t keep focused on the job. You feel demotivated to get into it. The good news? You’re not alone. The numbers speak for themselves: only 30% of U.S. employees feel engaged and inspired by their careers.

Although all people have days at the office when we just can’t stay motivated, it’s important to know the root of your demotivation if you feel a lack of inspiration more often than note as it can be a sign of burning out.

So, are you at risk?

Burning out is a gradual process that doesn’t happen overnight. The root of your burnout can be stress, overwork, a toxic workplace environment, or maybe even the fact that you don’t like your job. However, you need to pay attention to the warning signs in order not to let the emotional and physical exhaustion take over your life. The earlier you spot it, the better.

Answer the following questions to see whether you are at risk:

  • Do you have a negative and critical attitude at work?
  • Do you feel constantly tired?
  • Do you think about quitting work (or changing roles)?

If you are nodding right now, chances are that you’re about to burn out. Overwhelming stress can affect your health, so it’s important to avoid burnout.

Learning from other people is an actionable way to draw inspiration.

Tips on overcoming burnout:

  • Love your work: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs

  • “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.”

Mark Zuckerberg

  • “I know when I’m reaching my tipping point, I take some time off and reimagine myself stepping back into it.”

Michelle Bernard

  • “It’s important, even when you’re feeling the beginnings of burnout, to discipline yourself to show up, even when you don’t feel like it.”

Jeff Goins

To Sum Up

For every person working in a competitive environment, sooner or later, most of us experience burnout at work. The earlier you understand you’re about to burn out, the better. Pay attention to signs to avoid sniffing out wasted time.

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

10 Best Songs To Wake Up To Gently For Good Morning Vibes (Your Morning Playlist)

Ten Best Songs to Wake Up To Gently As Your Morning Alarm

Waking up to the right song can set the tone for the entire day. The power of music has an enchanting ability to shape your mood and set the tone for the day ahead. The melodies and the best songs to wake up to gently can caress your senses and ease you into consciousness with a sense of calm and tranquility.

Start Your Day Right With The Best Songs to Wake up to Gently

Before we dive into these sweet melodies, let’s explore the science behind why music can be an ideal wake-up call. Research has shown that music can influence o

Up Next

5 Best Ways To Feng Shui Your Home For Positivity

Five Best Ways To Feng Shui Your Home For Positivity

Transform your living space into a sanctuary of balance and positive energy with the ancient art of Feng Shui. In this guide, we’ll explore five innovative ways to Feng Shui your home and infuse it with ancient wisdom to create an atmosphere of balance and harmony!

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that focuses on arranging the environment to promote harmony, balance, and positive energy flow. It is often used in interior design and architecture to create spaces that are conducive to well-being and success.

Up Next

The Rejuvenating Power Of Epsom Salt Baths: Health Benefits, Side Effects, And Spiritual Well-being

Twenty Interesting Epsom Salt Bath Benefits To Know

Elevate your bathing experience to new heights with the remarkable health benefits of Epsom salt bath! From relaxation and stress relief to muscle and joint health, these mineral-rich baths have captured the hearts of many seeking a holistic approach to well-being.

The use of Epsom salts in bathing dates back centuries, and their therapeutic properties are still cherished today.

In this article, we will explore the various health benefits of Epsom salt bath, address any potential side effects, and delve into the spiritual well-being that can be experienced through this rejuvenating practice.

Up Next

10 Crazy Virtual Holiday Party Ideas: Party Like It’s 2099!

Ten EPIC Virtual Holiday Party Ideas: Have Fun with Close Ones

The festive season is finally around the corner! This is the moment for virtual holiday party ideas to come in handy. This is the moment when you can wear those ugly sweaters, drink too much eggnog, and connect with those loved ones who are too far away to touch. When those snowball fights can’t happen, a floating reindeer in the virtual world can save your day from sadness.

10 Exciting Virtual Holiday Party Ideas

Is your best friend out in the world making a name for themselves? Is your favorite brother staying with their beloved in some love cave? Well, no worrie

Up Next

Rise And Shine: Top 9 Tips For Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning

Nine Practical Tips For Getting Out Of Bed In The Morning

Are you tired of hitting the snooze button multiple times, dreading the sound of your alarm clock? Do you find it a daily struggle to crawl out from beneath the cozy covers and start your day? If so, you’re not alone. Let’s explore some helpful tips for getting out of bed in the morning.

Tips for getting out of bed

Many of us struggle with the challenge of getting out of bed in the morning. But fear not! Here are nine simple and effective tips that will make rising and

Up Next

Instant Results: Three Easy Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure Immediately

Three Easy Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure Immediately

Worried about blood pressure? Discover the power of three easy exercises to lower blood pressure immediately. Take control of your health and join us as we explore these easy and effective techniques to achieve a healthier, happier you.

Three easy exercises to lower blood pressure immediately

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a widely prevalent health issue that affects millions of people across the globe. For

Up Next

Beyond The Scale: Exploring Yo-Yo Dieting Meaning, Dangers And How To Stop

Exploring Yo-Yo Dieting Meaning, Ten Dangers And How To Stop

Have you ever been on a diet, lost weight, and then gained it all back (and maybe even more)? If so, you’re not alone. This pattern of weight loss and regain is known as yo-yo dieting. Let’s explore yo-yo dieting meaning, yo-yo dieting effects, dangers, benefits, techniques, and tips to help you break the cycle.

What is yo-yo dieting?

Yo-yo dieting meaning: Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, is a pattern of weight loss and regain that occurs when individuals repeatedly lose weight a