Burnout Symptoms Of Inefficacy

  • Lack of productivity
  • Declining performance
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Increased irritability.

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Self Improvement

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The Relationship Between Goals And Burning Out

Effective goal-setting underlies the fundamental aspect of your motivation and keeps stressful situations at bay.

If you don’t set goals in positive, attainable ways, you may fall into a cycle of stress and negative emotions, hindering your decision-making, breeding a lack of creativity, and eventually making you feel mentally exhausted and burnt out.

As losing resources is more likely to cause burnout than gaining resources is to mitigate it, dealing with the negative aspects is more beneficial than using positive “band-aid” fixes. You want to drive down uncertainty and inefficiency to ensure that you aren’t doing unnecessary tasks and minimize your emotional exhaustion. To do that:

  1. Create a chart and place your major goal at its top, followed by layers of very specific subgoals needed to attain the major goal.
  2. Find and fix the inefficiencies in your goal hierarchy.
  3. Determine the attainability of each goal.
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired concentration/ forgetfulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Increased illness
  • Physical symptoms
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Depression
  • Interpersonal problems.

Emotional exhaustion colors our perception negatively, leading to disengagement and feelings of doubt/distrust. This cynicism demotivates and leads to burnout, as we focus on avoiding losses more than on approaching gains. Cynicism recovery happens by reframing the motivational system into one that is more approach driven (as opposed to avoidance driven), as it generates more excitement and less procrastination. To do that:

  1. Separate your list of goals into focused and avoidance focused goals.
  2. Reframe the avoidance-based goals into approach-focused goals.
  3. Some goals you can’t reframe, describe their solution in detail. Patient Using the format “IF {situation} THEN I will {behavior}. ”
  • Pessimism
  • Isolation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Detachment
  • Feelings of meaninglessness.

Performing obligations makes you want to do desired activities to compensate, which often leads to failures in self-control and feelings of inadequacy. It’s important to not overwhelm yourself with obligations so you don’t lose control later and incur in inefficiency.

  1. Rank the tasks on your goal list based on your motivation toward them.
  2. Look at the balance between desirable and undesirable tasks.
  3. If there are more undesirable tasks, create a small list of desirable tasks, preferably related to your main goal, until you have roughly the same number of each.
  4. Change the order of the tasks so you have desirable and undesirable tasks alternating.

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Understand your limitations

Burnout occurs when job demands consistently outweigh the resources available. The first thing you need to do is to set proper limits.

When you limit your time spent on specific tasks, you give yourself permission to make choices. Instead of fighting perfectionism for example, you learn to stop when things are good enough.

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Researchers listed fifteen different coping strategies commonly used by people experiencing burnout. Not all coping mechanisms are constructive.

  1. Social support
  2. Humour
  3. Better planning of workload
  4. Restraint
  5. Focus on solving the problem
  6. Personal growth
  7. Positive reinterpreting of your challenges
  8. Distracting activities
  9. Religion
  10. Acceptance
  11. Substance abuse
  12. Behavioural disengagement
  13. Venting of emotions
  14. Denying the situation
  15. Cognitive avoidance

Regardless of the coping strategies you use, try not to push through burnout. Attempt to get support, take a break, and make space for self-reflection.

Knowledge workers, especially in software development suffer from an inherent absence of fairness, where the usual ‘tangible’ indicators of work like staying late at work doing overtime are rewarded by the managers.

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