Friday, May 22, 2009

Burnout, Fatique, overworked

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. Many theories of burnout include negative outcomes related to burnout, including job function (performance, output, etc.); health related outcomes (increases in stress hormones, coronary heart disease, circulatory issues), and mental health problems (depression, etc.). Although burnout is work-related, most responsibility for burnout currently rests on the individual worker in the United States, as well as the individual company, as it is in a company's best interest to ensure burnout doesn't occur. Other countries, especially in Europe, have included work stress and burnout in occupational health and safety standards, and hold organizations (at least partly) responsible for preventing and treating burnout.

How do you handle burnout! Purely my opinion. (Alison Fourie)

Monitor the amount of work you take in daily. Only take in the work that you can handle. You should know what your coping mechanisms can deal with daily. I know with straight copy typing I can complete roughly 20 to 30 pages per day that is also taking into account telephone calls and interruptions, so with that in mind as my job comprises of mostly typing I know my capabilities daily. I know I can work for 2 to 3 clients on a weekly basis depending on what they give me to do and how I schedule that work and meet deadlines. Do not do too much to the point that you have no idea who you are working for and why.

If a VA ends up with too much work, then you can look towards contractors to assist you. Rather than turn work away a good thing to do is to contract that work out to newbie Vas, which will give them a chance to see they types of work a VA can get in and give them experience at doing that work and meeting your deadline.

What can assist is take a break and get someone you trust to come and sit in for you for a few days to see if that break will assist you. Make sure that if you do this that your stand-in fills in a confidentiality client clause to guard against anyone taking your clients.

Keep a log of all work that comes in on a daily basis that way you will be organized.
It is when your organisation falls behind that you end up feeling trapped and with too much work to do. Once you reach this stage, you would be better off completely stopping what you are doing and reorganise the work you have until you feel comfortable that you know you can start up again.

When things completely get on top of you, stop, move away from your desk and the work, go for a walk, take a break, have some tea, then go back and start again. A good way to do this is to schedule your day as if you were working in a corporate world, take breaks and lunch breaks.

Burnout happens when you feel you have reached the point whereby you feel you cannot do this anymore. Then you need to rethink what you are doing and why you are doing it. Look at the positive aspects of what you are doing, then look at the negative aspects, see what you can put right with the negative aspects to make them buildable to continue and to make them positive. Organise a break from the work and your job, maybe time away will help you decide on what you want to do. Talk to a friend, don’t keep your feelings bottled up, this will make things worse. Talking always helps. Other people and their perspectives can sometimes help you in a difficult time by looking at things objectively. If you really feel nothing is helping you then this is the time to visit your doctor as other reasons maybe behind what is troubling you.

Burnout is brought on by stress so the ideal thing would be to take the stress out of your life and job but how can we do this, that is not the easy thing. Everyone lives with stress, stress is part of our life but if we can find a way to deal with it, work around it, half the battle could be won with regards to Burnout.

Written by Alison Fourie of AMF Typing Services cc

1 comment:

Docpotter said...

Burnout is not cause by a heavy work load. Burnout is a kind of job depression - a loss of enthusiasm. Having a lot of work does not destroy enthusiasm. But having a lot of work where you feel you can't win and there nothing you can do does!

The key is controllability. Many of the suggestions is this article do increase one's sense of control, which I call "personal power" - a feeling of I-Can-Do.

To find out what burnout is and what to do about go to:

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