Steve Blank's damn moment came during a sales meeting on Friday afternoon. He split his time between two technical jobs in Silicon Valley, one for a company outside of Palo Alto serving the defense and intelligence communities, and one for a microprocessor maker called Zilog. He was good at his job – even necessary. He used six or seven 16-hour days a week and accepted the crazy schedule.
At the Friday meeting, a colleague "about three-quarters of my working week" reminded him of upcoming classes that he had to teach. "The devil is in the details," advised the colleague. Blank nodded, responding to the defense company's obvious joke: "I can control it as long as the devil coming at me is not an SS-1
Blank later left the meeting and sat confused in his office.
"Make yourself comfortable this weekend," the vice president of sales told him. "You look a bit burned out."
What Burnout Is
Most of what you think you know about burnout is probably wrong. Occupational burnout, as with Blank, is not a simple matter of fatigue or boredom. It is not just tied to the amount of compensation. Heavy burnout can be debilitating. You may become deeply cynical and feel as if you would never achieve anything at work. You can hate your customers and colleagues and strive to find the courage to get out of bed. You may feel disconnected from your life as if you were working with the autopilot. Burnout syndrome can, at worst, devastate workers and even entire companies.
According to psychologist Michael Leiter, Ph.D., 25 percent of the workers he studies suffer from at least one symptom of burnout, and he suspects that this number applies to the workforce as a whole. Burnout does not discriminate and affects people across the board – workers and employees, entrepreneurs, call center employees, technology professionals and teachers. In this ever-changing age, it's not surprising that the problem seems to get worse when you first and foremost read a new email from the boss on your smartphone every day.
"It's cultural – real men work until they drop," says Blank. "I learned it from my boss who learned it from his boss, who probably learned it from a Neanderthal man."
Ron Friedman, Ph.D., a psychologist working with private and corporate clients. Men and their supervisors may have misconceptions about what burnout is and do not know how to stop it. One assumption is that employees crack because they can not handle their workload. This view assumes that something is wrong with you when you have problems: "You must be weak and not competent," says Dr. Christina Maslach, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley. But burnout is not just about being overworked. In fact, researchers have identified several common causes. Here is an overview and especially how to avoid them.
1. They are always connected.
This may be the main reason burnout is increasing. "We are surrounded by devices that attract our attention and make everything feel urgent," says Friedman.
"Before the Blackberry and the iPhone, the default setting was to leave your work in the office. Today we all have our office in our pocket. "In a recent survey of corporate executives at Kronos and Future Workplace, 32 percent stated that" too much overtime / overtime after work "has been a major contributor to employee burnout.
To make it easier to check your smartphone, the Center for Humane Technology recommends turning off the color. Why: Your brain loves color. It reacts to it. It is happy about it. And that's probably one of the reasons why you love your smartphone so much. If you scale the screen to grayscale, you're less likely to retrieve it and spend less time online. For instructions, see Google Grayscale and your specific phone model.