It’s 7:30 a.m., it’s raining and it’s just cold enough to need your comforter. And then: BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Everyone has those days where they would rather hurl the alarm clock across the room than get out of bed. But if you find yourself dreading the 9-to-5 more often – and more intensely – than usual, you might have bigger problems. You just might be burned out and in need of either a change in your work habits or a career change.
Here 10 signals that you have a problem:
- Exhaustion: Traffic. Meetings. Projects. There’s a lot to do in the average workday. It’s enough to make anyone ready for bed. But if you’ve noticed you never feel rested, even on the weekends, you might be worn out.
- Constant stress: Deadlines can be a huge stress for many people, but spending too much time at the office can cause you to take that stress home. This can create health problems and a genuine dislike of your job.
- No social life: It can be easy to throw everything else out the window when you get a new job. Yes, you need to be dedicated to your work, but not so much that you forget what your friends and family look like. Showing your boss that you are invested in the company is good, but don’t forget to invest in yourself.
- Overindulging: A common outlet for stress is to have a couple drinks too many or enjoy a late-night junk food binge. This is a sign that you’ve lost your sense of control and are overcompensating in other areas.
- Insomnia: Worrying about office projects is the easiest way to shun the sandman. Not getting enough sleep means you can’t go full speed at work, and not going full speed at work means you’re going to take your projects (and your stress) home with you.
- Frequent sickness: Our bodies have ways of sending us signals. If you’ve been fighting that cold for a month or more, there’s most likely a bigger problem.
- Indifference/Pessimism: Having your workload pile up can cause you to get so overwhelmed that you just don’t care. It’s that sense of “If I’m not going to do this well, why should I even bother?”
- Mood swings: Getting a little frustrated when your boss emails you a project at 4:30 p.m. on Friday is normal. Breaking down and sobbing is a different story. Extreme mood swings are a sign of stress and exhaustion.
- Procrastination: When your to-do list is longer than the Declaration of Independence, sometimes it’s easier to take a walk around the office. If you regularly put off projects, you may have a problem with deadlines.
- Guilt: Feeling embarrassed or ashamed about not finishing as much as a co-worker is never good. Everyone has his or her own strengths and works at a different own pace. Just focus on doing a good job on your own projects.
Realizing that you are burned out is one thing. Fixing the problem before you lose your mind is another. If you’ve landed your dream job and want to make sure you don’t get burned out, try these tips:
- Make a point to tie up any loose ends before leaving the office. This doesn’t mean you have to finish every project, but find a way to signal to your brain that it is time to think about other things. A great way to do this is to leave yourself a note with where you need to start the next day.
- Talk to your boss when you feel overwhelmed or overworked. He can’t help you if he doesn’t know anything is wrong.
- Take time for yourself. It can be hard to leave your work at the office, but you must.