What you need to know:
- For Ms Nuwamanya, taking a few weeks off her work, and adjusting to grappling with pressure and making decisions as a new entrepreneur played the trick.
- According to Mayo Clinic, this is not a medical diagnosis but whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health.
Have you ever been emotionally and physically exhausted at work? You feel unproductive and would rather spend the day doing everything else but work. Well, that could be a case of work burnout!
In a Forbes Magazine article, David Ballard the head of Psychologically Healthy Workplace Programme at the American Psychological Association, described job burnout as, ‘An extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance’.
He writes that a lot of burnout has to do with experiencing chronic stress.
“In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors,” he noted.
Ms Eve Nuwamanya, who decided to quit her job as a banker to concentrate on her new found passion in tailoring fashion and design, shares her work burnout experience.
“I quit my job to concentrate on my business at Cham Towers. However, at the time, (early 2018), my plate was full. I was pursuing a contract to design a new hotel that was opening soon in Rwanda and I was also studying a short course in interior designing, because I needed the skills. A burnout was inevitable. At this point I wondered if I’d made the right decision to leave my job,” she says.
For about three months, I was under pressure to ensure that my business stays afloat, that I secure the much needed contract, and also finish my course. I was soon fed up with everything. I became irritable, was angry with everyone and all the time. Looking at the sales records of my store made me angry, customers were annoying, I was hardly eating and didn’t care about my appearance anymore,” Ms Nuwamanya adds.
According to Ms Evelyne C. Kharono a counseling psychologist at Talk Therapy Uganda, burnout occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands and deadlines.
“The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life—including your home, work, and social life,” she says.
According to Mayo Clinic, this is not a medical diagnosis but whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health.
When asked about some of the things that could cause one to have work stress and burnout, Ms Julia Kushemererwa, a human capital specialist at Success Africa concludes that it all comes down to too much work!
“The nature of the work also matters, for example people who work in emergency situations share in the stress of the people they are attempting to help. In addition, incompetence to perform assigned tasks will have you burnout,” she says.
Telltale signs of job burnout
Ms Kushemererwa says indicators of work burnout include forgetfulness, fatigue even early in morning, and frequent errors in performing tasks, unrelenting headache and edginess.
She warns that work burnout is not a call to change jobs.
“If you are passionate about your job, (if you don’t like your job and it is also causing you to burnout, that’s double tragedy.), burnout is seasonal. If you have been recently promoted for example and the pressure is mounting because you are not fully-equipped, you are better off getting equipped rather than throwing in the towel,” she shares.
So, what do you to do when you notice that you are burnt out?
For Ms Nuwamanya, taking a few weeks off her work, and adjusting to grappling with pressure and making decisions as a new entrepreneur played the trick.
“Take leave. Speak to your supervisor to allow you time.
Most leaders want team members who are at their best and your supervisor might be understanding,” she says.
She also advises one to reduce distractions so they can finish work early or on time and as such get sufficient time to rest, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, plan your week ahead, prioritise and constantly sharpen your tools so you can do your work better and faster.