The 6 Key Signs You Have Burnout – And How To Fix It

Each of us tends to push ourselves to the limits sometimes, working as hard and as quickly as possible to get tasks completed. Sometimes you simply have no other choice but to work like this – after all, you can only put work off for so long before it must be done.

However, when this way of work becomes routine, that’s when you need to worry. Nobody can be expected to work at full pelt all the time – it’s not healthy and, in fact, could eventually lead to work-related burnout – a chronic health condition recognized by the World Health Organisation.

This issue has started to become more and more recognized in the workplace over the years, but there’s still a long way to go. While a number of employers are starting to remove the stigma of mental health from work, they are still failing to recognize the signs before it’s too late.

This article highlights some of the key signs to look out for if you think you’re experiencing burnout.

The Signs

  1. You’re always tired. Perhaps the most obvious sign you’ve burnt yourself out is feeling tired all the time. Even when you’re out doing things with your friends and family, you’ll feel drained – and even a weekend off won’t energize you.
  2. You’re not engaged. Being burnt out makes you feel disengaged from your work. It leaves you completely unmotivated to get it done, meaning its quality suffers as a result. This means you finish the day feeling worthless as if you’ve not accomplished anything worthwhile.
  3. You’re working more overtime. Being less motivated to complete your work will mean you take longer doing it. This, in turn, can lead to you needing to work overtime to get it completed in time.
  4. You’re taking regular absences. Having a lack of interest in your work or workplace environment can leave you questioning what the point of going in is, leading to you taking more and more time off.
  5. You’re showing up late. Being disinterested in your job can also make you lethargic, not caring about turning up to the office late or checking out early. Even if it starts by only setting your alarm a few minutes later each morning, it could eventually get worse and worse.
  6. You’re less sociable and more isolated. When you’re at work, being burnt out makes you feel less sociable and more isolated than usual. You spend your days avoiding your colleagues, keeping your head down and out of their way.

What to do

While many people may say they hate their jobs and dread going in, when you start to genuinely mean those things it’s time to stop and think. Employers aren’t mind-readers so, while it’s important for them to recognize when you’re struggling, it’s up to you as well – the more open and honest you are with them, the better.

After all, everyone has their struggles from time to time – it’s part of human nature. Therefore, it doesn’t make you any less of a person holding your hand up and asking for help. You’re not a robot, so if you think you’re suffering from burn out, talk to your boss about what can be done to rectify it.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Schedule a check-in.

It’s important that you let your line manager know as soon as possible that you are having issues with work. A good manager will work with you to identify where the issues are and what solutions can be put in to place to ease the workload.

  1. Take a holiday.

Your annual leave is there for a reason, so make the most of it and use it all up. Your work shouldn’t take over your life, so it’s vital to take time off when you need it most. Whether it be catching up with friends abroad, family at home or just taking a quick break away by yourself, it’s important to get away from the stress of work for a little while.

Plus, when you are away, make sure to turn off your emails and leave your work phone behind. You don’t want to be hassled by work when you’re off trying to relax.

  1. Readjust your work-life balance.

If you’re starting to feel disengaged with your work, and are becoming sick of the monotonous routine, think about what you can do to mix it up a bit. Ask your boss if you can work at home some days, and whether you can undertake training in something you’re genuinely interested in. Having a change of scenery can go a long way towards improving your self-esteem and making you feel motivated to work again.

  1. Get creative.

Being creative leads to increased productivity and is a fantastic way of reducing stress. What you choose to do doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related either – whether it’s a lunchtime walk with your colleagues, a new activity, lunch away from the office, or something else entirely, being creative could do wonders for your motivation.

Plus, it’ll mean you’re socializing with your colleagues, which can only be a good thing – having people to talk to openly about how you’re feeling can often make the biggest difference of all.


Dakota Murphey -

Dakota Murphey has over a decade of experience in numerous HR and Marketing roles. Since becoming a full-time Mum, she enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge through her writing and connecting with like-minded professionals.

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