What is Causing Burnout on Your Job?

by Miranda Marquit

It is not uncommon to feel a degree of burnout on the job. After awhile, it’s difficult to go in to work day in and day out. Additionally, you might find yourself feeling sluggish, and unmotivated. Feeling burned out happens to all of us sometimes. I work from home, and there are times that I feel burned out on writing. I like what I do, but sometimes I just feel unmotivated.

preventing job burnout

Are you flaming out?

The good news is that many of us go through spates of job burnout, and then recover. Others, though, find that it’s a little bit harder to recover from feelings of burnout on the job. Some of the reasons that burnout can become a real and lasting problem. As you contemplate how your work might be holding you back, consider whether or not you are experiencing burnout as the result of one of the following:

Working Overtime

Sometimes it’s not so much the work, as the amount of it that you are doing. Perpetually working long hours is a way to experience burnout. If you are 50, 60, or 70 hours a week (or more!), your job begins to feel as though it is taking over your life. A few months ago, I realized that I didn’t have time to do anything for me because I was working so much. Being able to step back and reduce my workload really helped. You need to have a life outside work, and working so much can start to wear you down.

Repetitive Tasks

Many people prefer work that allows them to do different tasks, and provides some variety in their day. When work becomes to repetitive, and loses its challenge and interest, it’s easy to become burned out. Consider your career strategy. It might be that you are failing to prepare yourself for the next step, and that you have become stuck in a job that looks the same every day. If you are feeling unmotivated and burned out, it could be due to the repetitive nature of the work.

Office Politics

Even if you love your work, it’s possible that you can become burned out if the people around you are difficult to deal with. Office politics can cause burn out. Trying to keep out of the fray, and trying to maneuver the political landscape at work can be emotional draining — not to mention a real damper on productivity. Many people find ways to be productive and avoid office politics by telecommuting at least two or three days a week. With technology being what it is, it makes sense to consider whether or not you could telecommute and avoid some of the burnout from office politics.

Balancing Your Life

In a lot of ways, burnout is about an imbalance somewhere between your life and work. Take a step back and try to pinpoint what, exactly, is bothering you about your job. If you can find a way to decrease the problems you are having, there is a good chance that you will be happier in your work, as well as in other areas of your life.

Photo credit: shoothead

Published or updated April 29, 2012.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

When I was working in the corporate world, I realized that the repetitive task and schedule easily bores me and burns me out. Hence, when I decided to work from home, I knew then that I need something to break my routine. Good thing I receive invitations for product launches and press conferences. I gained more friends and it also helped my network grow.


2 Ryan Guina

I had the same experience in the corporate world. Some of the projects I worked on were fun, but much of it was repetitive and not very challenging. I listed “cubicle farmer” as a former occupation on one of my social media profiles. That about sums up my experience with some of my former jobs. 😉


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