We all experience job related stress but burnout goes beyond that. When you experience physical or emotional exhaustion and you feel like you are completely unproductive at work, you could be burnt out. Learning the signs of burnout is critical in learning how to avoid it.

Burnout can sneak up on the most dedicated and conscientious employees. As a matter of fact, it is often the most passionate personalities that experience burnout because they always feel like they can do everything all the time. They put too much pressure on themselves by working long hours and taking on demanding projects.

When the demands of work and life become so great, people can experience feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. They become cynical and detached and can also suffer from physical and emotional exhaustion. It is important to note that these feelings do not happen suddenly, which makes it more difficult to recognize. However, there are some warnings that your body will give you. Understanding these warnings and recognizing them will enable you to address the problem before it’s too late.

The signs of burnout are the same signs you’d experience under stress. The difference is the degree to which you experience them. As your stress progresses to the burnout stage, the symptoms you are met with will increase in intensity and frequency so the earlier you recognize the signs, the better you’ll be able to avoid burnout.

Insomnia is having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In the early stages, it might be intermittent or a couple of nights a week. As stress increases, your insomnia may become a nightly ordeal.

Anxiety may cause you to become edgy, worrisome and tense. Moving closer to burnout will cause the anxiety to become so severe that it will interfere with your ability to be productive at work and could also cause problems in your family life.

Lack of concentration will include being forgetful and lacking focus on your day-to-day activities. As this symptom increases, you may get to the point where you can’t complete a single task. Work will begin to build up and trigger more anxiety.

Increased irritability will often come from feeling inadequate and unproductive. You will sense that you’re not completing work as efficiently or to the caliber you once did. This change in attitude could have negative implications on your personal and professional relationships.

Understanding these symptoms and what might be causing them is the first step in being able to assess the amount of stress you are under and find ways to reduce it before it leads you to burnout.

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