Burnout? Oh yes, I’ve been there. Unfortunately, it usually takes someone else to point out to me that something’s wrong and only then do I realise and react to it. Something I need to work on, surely.
Burnout also bothers me because it’s sneaky; it creeps up unnoticed while you do things you love, things you never thought could get you tired or fed up.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my work is the continuous studying and learning of tools and methods to enhance my teaching skills. It’s true though that it can be my one-way-ticket to burnout if not done at the right pace.
When I find myself caught up among too many different new tools, applications and even ideas that all need to be explored, learned and used, I try to pause and take a small quiz I’ve put together to help me avoid being overwhelmed:
1)How important is this tool for my work?
2)Do I need to learn and use it now?
3)Has it got good feedback from peers?
4)How much time will I need to fully explore its potential?
It’s a quick and easy way to prioritize and has so far kept me on track.
To be honest, though, most of the times I don’t realise I’m burned out before it becomes too obvious , so here are my few good ways to deal with it when it’s already underway:
– Spend some quality time with friends and discuss everything BUT work!
– Get blogging. Not only does it help get things out of your system, but it’s also an excellent way to review what you’ve learned, exchange experiences with other bloggers and get feedback on what you’ve been working on.
– Go away for a while. A change of scenery always helps reorganise your thoughts.
Since it’s not always easy to just get up and leave, having a nice picture to look at and travelling there in your thoughts can be equally helpful. This has been my savior many times (and my screensaver for about three months every year!):
The view from my front yard in Corinth