Once you recognize you’re burned out, you can pull yourself back from the ledge, but it’d be best to never get there in the first place. Luckily, the signs are usually right in front of you: you just don’t want to see them, or you’re too busy actually working to recognize them. If you keep an eye out, you’ll be able to cut off burnout before it takes hold so hard you can barely get up for work.
The Early, Subtle Signs of Burnout
Most people only think about beating burnout after it’s gotten really bad. We’ve explained how to bounce back, how to get motivated again, how to re-engage with your work, and they’re all great…after you’re already feeling overwhelmed. In reality, the best things you can do to beat burnout start before you hit rock bottom. Here are the early warning signs to watch for:
- Disaffection and snark about your work, workplace, or colleagues. If you catch yourself reacting poorly to things you would normally take in stride, or suddenly showing a ton of snark or contempt for even minor announcements around the office, you’re suffering from the first, earliest signs of burnout. Don’t get us wrong—a little snark about work is normal. When the boss starts talking about “synergizing core competencies,” it’s normal to roll your eyes. But if you’re rolling your eyes more than you think about what’s being said, it’s time to step back.