Office Burnout

I have job burnout, at least I think so.  I’m becoming cranky nearly all the time – but don’t show it – and I avoid talking to people in the office, even those I would consider friends.  It’s really tough to go to work!  What would you suggest?
I would say you are exhibiting a couple of the more common symptoms of burnout: increased irritation and a declining interest in any kind of social life. 
To be frank, however, you could be approaching burnout but are probably not there yet. The fact you are able to diagnose your condition would seem to indicate you are still emotionally stable and capable of completing your work responsibilities.
It is nonetheless good to be aware you are not well and that you need to attend to your physical and emotional health.
In many instances, burnout can be directly associated with stress.  While we all experience stress, it can grow slowly to the point when we are suddenly aware of its influence over us.  We can feel paralyzed with no apparent way out.
If you are experiencing a corresponding sense of stress at this time, it would be good for you to determine what responsibilities or duties can be re-assigned to a colleague at least temporarily.
You may also have burnout for more subtle reasons.  For example, perhaps there is a task you need to complete but there are insufficient resources available.  You could also be missing a key skill that is required to do a particular job even though management believes you are up to the task.
Burnout is almost certainly making you less efficient and you may even be experiencing guilt.  You lack the energy and capacity to make a change, so you are worried that management will discern your diminished productivity.
If you have any perfectionist tendencies, you should be especially aware that your burnout will be magnified because you are never really satisfied with your work.  This further strain could aggravate your condition.
Hoping to “ride it out” is not a solution.  In fact, the consequences of burnout can be potentially more problematic than you might appreciate. Speak with your supervisor – or an HR staffer – as soon as possible and be candid about your situation.
Be specific in identifying your issues and what you want changed, even temporarily.  If you would like some time off, ask for it.  If you need someone to assist you with an overload, ask for that, too.  Demonstrate how your healing will ultimately benefit the company.
Don’t be ashamed of burnout.  Get the support you need and be prepared to enter a more peaceful phase of your life.  You have a great career ahead of you – be prepared to confront burnout so you can return to work with more energy and commitment than ever!

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