Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.”
–Michael Gungor

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

This is considered in occupational context and should not be applied to experiences in other areas of life.

Ask yourself, how many times have you felt burnout in your career? Those who are highly engaged in their work are more likely to have burnout, not necessarily people who just “clock in and clock out.” Just because someone is productive does not mean they aren’t at risk.

Why do we keep putting ourselves in stressful situations? Stress can be an addiction.

  • People want to make sure they are good enough and want to feel valuable.
  • It can give you the sense of feeling significant and important.
  • There’s a sense of guilt and fear of not doing enough.

As long as stress is satisfying those needs, you will not get rid of that behavior. Start flipping how you are satisfying your needs in order to get rid of that behavior.


Burnout Signals – Emotions And Feelings

If you are feeling like this every day, you may be burnt out:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Lack of energy
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Lack of joy from things that used to bring you joy at work
  • Diminished connection with colleagues
  • Feeling like you are not contributing anything to your job

What Is The Cause?

Heavy workloads

  • Job insecurity
  • Frustrating work routines (too many meetings, far too little time for creative work)
  • Crunch on downtime that is necessary for restoration


Burnout = High Resources + High Demands


High Resources:

  • Supervisor support
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Self-efficacy and work


Low Demands:

  • Low workload
  • Low cumbersome bureaucracy
  • Low to moderate demands on concentration and attention


What’s Needed?

  • Employee support/high resources
  • Acknowledgment/feel good about work
  • Opportunities for recovery from stress
  • Mental and emotional well-being



  • Zero-base meeting calendar
  • Team up the A-players
  • Culture around “precious time” and wellness


Click here to read the full March 2021 Newsletter