Let’s assume a situation: your colleague who joined the company a few years ago, roughly at the same time as you have is advancing rapidly from one interesting position to another. But you seem to have stalled even though your manager acknowledges your eagerness. You have a desire to grow, but for some reason, not the strength to do so, its as if something is holding you back from making that final jump towards the desired advancement.
Or you find out that the “company of your dreams” has a job opening “of your dreams” but in order to obtain it, once again you have to sweat? But what sort of a push could be expected of you when you have a fresh stacked up pile of e-mails titled ‘URGENT’ that you had to be done yesterday and yet another one has just dropped into your inbox?
If you are familiar to any of these situations, you could be feeling tired and indifferent to your job, then it's very likely you have burned out emotionally.
What’s wrong with me?
According to research which was showcased in a book ‘Decide’ by Steve McClatchy, more than 60% of working people feel physically depleted towards the end of the day. Rather often an emotional burnout affects the most dedicated workers that have exceeded expectations right at the start of their employment or those whose expectations from their work have not been fulfilled. This is also common for professions are associated with “personal dedication” such as: doctors, teachers, rescue workers, and artists. The amount of energy that a person receives end up being less than what they are putting into their work, this leads to an emotional burnout.
But there’s also a more fundamental issue in play. Historians claim that a human being is not made for sitting in the office all day long. At the dawn of civilizations, your predecessors that were largely similar to us biologically used to spend far less time working. Yuval Noah Harari in the book titled “Sapiens a brief history of humankind” says that humans would typically hunt for only one day out of three, and spend three to six hours a day on gathering activities. The rest of the time people spend on indulging in their hobbies or socializing.
Furthermore, we are experiencing stress far more often that our ancestors did. Our brain just like the brains of any other mammal is constantly scanning the surrounding reality in search for threats. And it doesn't matter if its a physical or social danger – our hormones system follows the same mechanism. Thousands of years ago, our predecessors that were similar to us, were in almost constant danger from large predators. Nowadays, stressful situations are behind almost any corner whether in the form of a falling exchange rate or an angry message from your boss.
Another problem that may not seem like one at a first glance is multitasking. The tempo with which we live our lives is constantly speeding up we now have to make decisions on almost anything within a space of several minutes. As the result of an overload age-related changes in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for cognitive functions) can occur earlier than with people that have not suffered from emotional burnouts.
What to do & how to live?
Hack your “happiness hormones”! Here’s a short list of activities that could help your raise their production levels in your organism:
Serotonin: a new challenge, experience, meditation, exercise, healthy sleep, approval;
Endorphins: spicy food, dark chocolate, funny videos, grueling workouts, pleasant smells;
Dopamine: contrast shower, sun, clear ideas;
Oxytocin: emotional films, massages, presents, group meals.
Sleep more. It’s the most natural way to replenish your energy.
If the first two advices are not of any help, then it’s worth visiting the doctor to run some blood tests and get a subscription for some vitamins. For example, vitamin D could help strengthen the immune system and make you more energetic.
Think of your goals. Try answering with all the honesty, why are you even working? If the answer is money then concentrate on what problem they can solve or what can you purchase for them. If what you do provides you more with emotional satisfaction, then try and remember all those times when people were grateful to you for what you’ve done. Make those memories your “Patronus” when yet another wave of daunting tasks lands on your head.
Also, regarding the small tasks. When you come to your office, start the day off with the most urgent and obnoxious task. Upon resolving it, you will get a boost and a jolt of energy to guide you through the rest of the day.
And finally, talk to your boss. If you have a sane human being for a manager, then perhaps this advice would be the most helpful for you. Ask him/her for more autonomy if you are tired from micromanagement. Talk to them about a project idea you may have, which you would like to become a part of. Do not be afraid of responsibility, being static is the enemy here.