How to avoid “burnout”


When the monotony or tedium of your life seems to overshadow things that used to bring you joy and satisfaction, you may be suffering from what is commonly referred to as burnout. This state of mental exhaustion can have a severe impact on your relationships and career. In this article, Joey Klein, Inner Matrix Systems CEO, talks about some of the warning signs that you may be experiencing burnout, how to avoid it, and what you can do to bring joy and satisfaction back into your life. 

Warning signs

Being burned out in your job can manifest itself in various ways. Here are some of the classic signs that you need to make some changes in your life.

  • Daydreaming – Everyone likes to spend a little time fantasizing about the “what ifs” of life, but if you find yourself spending too much time constructing complex escape fantasies, you may be burned out in your day-to-day routine. 
  • Uncharacteristic irritability – We can all get a little grumpy sometimes but being unsatisfied or burned out in your career often manifests as being short-tempered with coworkers and family members. When small things start to feel like a big inconvenience, take a look at your burnout quotient. It may be time for a change. 
  • Exhaustion – Being tired and worn out from too much exercise, a late night at the office, or a night out with your friends is one thing, but experiencing long-term physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion is not normal or healthy. It’s a warning sign that something is out of balance. If upon reflection, you note that you spend an inordinate amount of time focused on a single aspect of your life, you are in a burnout danger zone.

How to Avoid Burnout

Variety is often the best antidote to burnout. If you focus too much on one aspect of your life, work, for example, you may begin to lose your enthusiasm for what used to bring you great satisfaction. The proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” is often repeated because it is true. Jack, in this case, is burned out. 

Schedule time daily or weekly for various things that you enjoy so you make space to recharge your batteries. You may be the very best accountant, plumber, or doctor in town, but you are likely to experience burnout if that is all you do. 

Since we’re talking about proverbs, consider “A change is as good as a holiday.” Many people find that creating a balance across a wide range of interests keeps them refreshed, motivated, and moving forward in their careers.

What to Do if You Are Burned Out

If you have the classic symptoms of burnout, here are a few things you can do to turn them around. 

  • Ask for help – Don’t be “that guy (or gal)” — the one that never asks for help because you can do it yourself. Yes, maybe you can turn it around and find joy in your life again. But, if you find that what you are trying is not working, get professional help. Almost everyone can benefit from professional help at some point in their life. 
  • Prioritize physical health – A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you pull out of a burnout slump. If you have sacrificed healthy eating and exercise for more time working, undo that bad habit. 
  • Mindfulness meditation or inner training – If you have never tried meditation, you may be amazed at how it can improve your perspective, give you more energy, and help you attain mental discipline. 
  • Focus on contribution – It’s a bad habit to focus on what is not going well in our lives or wishing we were doing something different.  It’s imperative to redirect ourselves when we are thinking this way to align with a place that supports us to create what we want. When you are engaging in work, and you’re starting to feel the tell-tale signs of burnout, focus on the contribution you’re making, the relationships you’re building, and the benefits your job affords to help stay focused and passionate.
  • Add new interests – Whether it’s a new hobby, sport, or carving out time for family and friends, spending time with mental and physical diversions can rejuvenate work performance and help you find what you used to love about your career. 

About Inner Matrix Systems

Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).