Burnout in Project Management: – Are you stressed and under pressure at work? Are you exhausted and anxious? You suffer from anxiety and insomnia? You are probably the victim of a burnout-related burnout syndrome. For some, it is the evil of the century because the cases continue to multiply. In a world where we must do more and better and faster, it becomes more and more difficult to bear the pressure at work. Discover the symptoms and causes of burn out, how to avoid it and how to cure it.
What is Burnout?
True psychological distress, burnout or burnout syndrome affects tens of thousands of employees from the worker to the entrepreneur, in all fields of activity. Today, this disease is still not recognized as an occupational disease, although the debate has been going on for several years. According to business experts, “burn out is a state of emotional, physical and mental fatigue, characterized by lack of motivation and performance after months or even years of overwork.” The symptoms of burn out are numerous and fall into three categories:
- Physiological : loss of energy, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, insomnia, various pains (stomach pain, tendonitis …);
- Psychological and emotional : hypersensitivity, depression, lack of concentration, negative self image, lack of self-confidence, state of sadness and anxiety;
- Behavioral: irritability, impatience, decreased productivity and loss of motivation, increased abuse of toxic substances (alcohol or drugs), aggressiveness, impulsivity, withdrawal.
The burn out should not be taken lightly as the consequences can be serious for you as for your loved ones. Loss of motivation and decreased productivity lead to depression. In some cases, burn out can even lead to suicide.
The Causes of Burnout
Burn-out is an emotional shock, physical and mental. You crack because your body is no longer able to withstand the pressure and stress suddenly daily at work. Burnout is associated with jobs with responsibilities, positions involving strong mental, emotional and affective solicitation, but also when the objectives are difficult to attain or even impossible to achieve. This evil is caused by several simultaneous factors: the individual, the working context and the management mode. Among the main causes of the burn out, one distinguishes:
- A constant and prolonged exposure to stress
- Long working days
- Pressure to keep the deadlines and / or to
- A monotonous work
- A lack of autonomy in its tasks
- An imbalance between the efforts made and the recognition obtained
- Insufficient communication
- Low social support
Burnout essentially affects people who invest their bodies and soul in their work.
How to Avoid it?
Burnout is a severe condition that must be taken seriously. It is therefore essential to listen to the signals that send your body (pain, heart palpitations, and loss of sleep …) and to act before it is too late. To avoid too much negative stress at work, you must radically change your habits:
- Clarify the boundaries of your position and responsibilities: With the help of your manager, define your role in the project accurately and please stick to it.
- Learn to say no to extra tasks when your schedule is already overloaded.
- Review your priorities: Set achievable goals to avoid discouragement, overwork, and exhaustion.
- Log out as soon as you leave work: turn off your phone and leave your computer in the office. Do not check your emails or your messages; they can perfectly wait the next day or Monday.
- Effectively manage your time and stop overtime: if you have not finished your work during the day, you can continue tomorrow. Otherwise, here are some tips to improve your productivity in just 6 days.
- Communicate: Speak regularly to your project leader or manager to determine your priorities. If you feel overwhelmed or overworked, it is there to help you manage your workload better.
- Have leisure or a passion outside of work: something you care about and for which you like to take time to change your ideas and not think about the job.
It is clear that these changes will be difficult to implement and will not happen overnight. Do not give up and remain steadfast and uncompromising in the face of your superiors’ thoughts (they will quickly disappear) because your health depends on it. If nothing changes and you are not taken seriously, perhaps it is time to resign and look for a new employer.
How to Recover from a burnout?
If it is already too late for you, know that one is recovering from a burn out thanks to the rest, a lot of rest. You must disconnect completely from your work. Count between 9 months and 2 years to recover. Drug treatment is often necessary (antidepressants), so it is imperative to consult your doctor. Finally, to understand the reasons that have led you to burnout, you will rebuild and avoid repeating this in the future, it is important to consult a psychologist or a psychotherapist.
Managing multiple projects at the same time can be a source of stress. If you recognize the symptoms listed above, act urgently. Consult your doctor or psychologist and take the necessary steps before it is too late. “The art of resting is part of the art of working” said by experts.