Laziness comes from a lack of alignment between goals and personal values.
You’ve got no goal to passionately work towards so you choose to sit back and procrastinate—as simple as that. But what happens when you do have a goal you’re passionate about yet you still find yourself procrastinating more often than you should? That simply means you’re burnt out and you need to reevaluate where you’re at.
Burnout is a serious condition that affects your mental health and leads to physical symptoms.
With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to take a step back when you start noticing signs of burnout. Here’s how to recognize burnout and remove stressors that affect your daily life.
A severe burnout is usually a result of chronic stress that comes from a lack of work-life balance or unfavorable work conditions. Now, we have to dig a bit deeper than that to find out whether burnout is the cause of your low productivity and lack of interest in work.
Burnout usually gets you feeling moody and easily provoked—it feels like even the smallest bumps in the road can get you out of your tracks.
If you notice that even the little things get you extremely frustrated at work or in daily life, chances are you’re experiencing burnout. Here are the most common tell tale signs to help you recognize it:
Emotional exhaustion is an inevitable part of the whole burnout experience. Feeling irritated, grumpy, and anxious all the time may be a sign that it’s time to take a step back and slow down. If the frustrations coming from work start to affect other areas of your life, then you definitely are going through one of the stages of burnout.
The psychological symptoms caused by burnouts include anxiety, depression, need for alienation, as well as being aggressive and easily provoked.
Once you’re past the initial stages of burnout and all those minor warning signs, you’ll start noticing the more serious effects of this condition. The physical symptoms that may occur due to a burnout include frequent headaches and migraines, fatigue, insomnia, hypertension, gastric ulcers, and possibly other health issues.
If you start noticing your physical well-being deteriorating due to chronic stress, then it’s definitely time to start practicing self-care more seriously.
On top of affecting your mental and physical health, severe burnout will most likely get you to distance yourself from people. You’ll find yourself being unable to relax even in the presence of your family members and loved ones. On top of that, you’ll start dreading the time spent with your co-workers or anyone who’s in some way related to your job.
This is one of those signs that will help you distinguish burnout from laziness. A lazy person is socially active and open to activities that are fun and entertaining—they’re just lacking productivity and discipline. A burnt out person, on the other hand, will seek alone time and stay away from social activities.
Lastly, you’ll notice yourself struggling even with the simplest tasks at work just because you don’t feel like doing them. There could be several reasons behind this most, including a lack of motivation and the inability to find meaning in the work that you’re doing.
Burnout can make it extremely difficult to focus and get things done without feeling immense amounts of frustration. If you recognize these symptoms, know that there’s a way out and that even the most severe burnout can be cured (even if that means getting a new job).
Now that we’ve gone through the signs that will help you recognize you’re burnt out, we need to look back at what causes burnouts in the first place. Having a high-stress job doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bound to feel burnt out all the time. There’s usually a more precise reason as to why you’re not getting any satisfaction out of the work that you’re doing.
It’s also important to keep in mind that burnout can occur even if you’re absolutely in love with the work you’re doing. Too many stressors can easily push you into a state of burnout even if you’re passionate about your job.
Those stressors could include:
This brings us back to the distinction between burnout and laziness—a lazy person would feel completely detached from these issues. A burnt out person, on the other hand, would start feeling high levels of stress and develop physical symptoms as well.
That’s how you can tell if you’re burnt out or simply lazy and unmotivated.
Our final question is—what do you do when you recognize that you’re burnt out? Is there a way to undo it?
The answer is yes but it might take some time. Depending on the level of burnout you’re experiencing, you might need the help of a health professional. A lot of people manage to dig themselves out of a burnout by taking some time off work and reevaluating what their work truly means to them.
If you’re able to take a break and dedicate some time to wellness and self-care, you might be able to reverse a burnout on your own. However, if the physical and psychological symptoms have already kicked in, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help.
Either way, experiencing this state once can help you prevent burnout in the future simply by recognizing the signs early on.