Many people who enter the business world are hard driving go-getters. They want to succeed, and are willing to push themselves in order to gain this success. In the business world, this type of attitude is generally applauded. After all, who wouldn’t want to go into business with someone who is hardworking and proven their business hustle?
As with all efforts, however, there is a price to pay. Even if someone enjoys their work, constant work and stress definitely has consequences. The tricky part about these consequences, however, is that many times they are cumulative. In other words, it takes a while for their true effects to be seen, and their source may not even be obvious because they’ve slowly increased over time. What is the actual source, however? The answer: burnout.
So what is burnout, exactly? In her article in Psychology Today, Paula Davis-Laack defines burnout as being out of sync with one or more aspects of your life chronically. Many times in business, this means that your work is taking over your entire life, and other aspects of who you are could be threatened and neglected. The article cites research that showed how work over-load was one of the common ways that people reach burnout, among other reasons.
In many ways, what relates the different paths to burnout is similar: chronic stress. Stress can come from a variety of sources, be it relationships, careers or negative encounters with people. With the level on connectedness that technology offers today, many people are simply overwhelmed by thousands of small stresses that occur over the course of a day. When days add up into weeks, and then months, the level of stress can build to a burnout. Burnout can have negative impacts on relationships and motivation due to its affect on your body and mind.
Because of how long burnout takes to develop, it can remain hidden for quite a while. Soon enough, however, the negative consequences of constant stress on your health and state of mind, as well as relationships, will start to show. At that point, its best to take a pause, relax and evaluate your life. Do you really need to be working 75 hour weeks? Are there toxic relationships you need to cut out or drastically modify? These types of questions can help recenter you on what is important and what is not.