Are you perpetually sighing, “I’m tired of working”? You’re not alone. Many employees today echo these words, feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of their work environment. The feeling of weariness can be a daunting hurdle to overcome. But fret not. Drawing on our experience and due to our practical knowledge, we can guide you through this challenging phase of your career.
Understanding Job Burnout
According to the World Health Organization’s 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), occupational burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job and reduced professional efficacy.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, you might be experiencing job burnout, a condition that makes you exclaim, “I’m tired of working!”
Analyzing the Causes
Understanding the causes of your fatigue is the first step towards resolving it. The 2018 study “Job Burnout and Depression: Unraveling Their Temporal Relationship and Considering the Role of Physical Activity,” by Bianchi, Schonfeld, and Laurent, revealed that overwhelming work demands, lack of control, insufficient rewards, workplace community issues, value conflicts, and inadequate fairness are all factors contributing to job burnout.
Drawing on our experience, here are some concrete steps you can take to alleviate your exhaustion and rekindle your work passion:
One of the most effective ways to counter feelings of fatigue is by seeking social support. Whether it’s from colleagues, friends, or family, being able to discuss your feelings can have therapeutic benefits. A 2007 study, “Social Support and Resilience to Stress” by Southwick, Bonanno, Masten, Panter-Brick, and Yehuda, highlighted that individuals with strong social support networks are more resilient to stress, which can help manage feelings of exhaustion.
Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of fatigue.
One such example is the study “Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults” by Cramp and Byron-Daniel, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2012. This research found that exercise can have a significant positive effect on fatigue in patients with cancer, which aligns with the broader point being made about the positive impact of exercise on fatigue.
In the context of occupational fatigue or burnout, research such as “The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials” by Lauersen, Bertelsen, and Andersen, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2014, has also found a positive effect of exercise on overall health and well-being, suggesting that it could be a useful tool in managing work-related fatigue.
A 2008 research study “Effects of Exercise on Fatigue, Physical Functioning, and Emotional Distress During Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer” by Mock, Frangakis, Davidson, et al., suggested that exercise can reduce fatigue and improve emotional well-being. Try incorporating simple activities like walking, yoga, or cycling into your daily routine.
Pursue a Hobby
Pursuing a hobby outside of work can create a refreshing break and reduce burnout. According to a 2015 study “Work Engagement and Occupational Burnout: The Role of Leisure Activities” by Chen, Westman, and Eden, engaging in leisure activities can reduce occupational burnout by creating psychological detachment from work, which helps in recovery from work stress.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance
Creating a healthy work-life balance is crucial. A study by Kossek, Baltes, and Matthews in 2011 “Innovative Ideas on How Work–Family Research Can Have More Impact” suggested that maintaining a work-life balance can increase job satisfaction and reduce job burnout. Strategies could include setting clear work boundaries, not taking work home, and scheduling regular time for relaxation and social activities.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be beneficial to seek professional help. Psychologists, therapists, or career coaches can provide strategies to cope with job burnout and provide guidance on how to improve your work situation.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Remember, your thoughts have a significant impact on how you feel and behave. A positive attitude can help you navigate through the complexities of work-life balance. As highlighted in a 2010 research study “Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being” by Conversano, Rotondo, Lensi, et al., optimism has been found to be associated with better physical and mental health outcomes and can even increase longevity. So, hold onto a positive outlook. Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to find aspects of your work that you enjoy and give them more attention.
Investing in Personal Development
Due to our practical knowledge, we highly recommend investing in your personal development. This could mean learning a new skill, attending workshops, or even going back to school. Research suggests that continuous learning can have a positive effect on job satisfaction. In the 2018 research study “Lifelong Learning at Work and at Home” by Van der Heijden, De Lange, Demerouti, and Van der Heijde, it was found that employees who engage in continuous learning are less likely to experience job burnout. Moreover, gaining new skills can open up opportunities for a job change or a role shift within your current organization, which can reignite your passion for work.
The Power of Saying “No”
One of the leading reasons for job burnout is an overwhelming workload. It’s crucial to learn the art of saying “no.” Prioritize your tasks and learn to say no to unimportant tasks that drain your energy. As highlighted in the 2012 research “The Power of a Positive No” by Ury, it’s completely acceptable, and often necessary, to decline additional responsibilities if you’re already feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, feeling tired of working every day is not a permanent state. It’s a signal for you to pause, reflect, and make necessary changes. You have the power to transform your work life. By understanding the reasons for your exhaustion and actively taking steps to address them, you can reinvent your career and rediscover your passion for work.
Remember the words of the famous poet Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” If you’re saying, “I’m tired of working,” perhaps it’s time to explore what you really love and create a career that doesn’t feel like work. Stay positive, continue to learn, and take control of your work-life balance. Here’s to a brighter, more fulfilled career path ahead!