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Know Your Risk Factors for Burnout Before It Happens to You

written by Dr. Tchiki Davis January 10, 2020
Know Your Risk Factors for Burnout Before It Happens to You

Work-life balance is one of the things I struggle with most when it comes to building my personal happiness. Do you struggle with work-life balance, too?

As a happiness writer and program development consultant, I really do try to practice what I preach, but if I’m being honest, I have a tendency to be a workaholic.

I know that I am not the only one that struggles with this because work-life balance is increasingly tough in the age of technology. We are now constantly attached to our work through cellphones and email. And since the great recession, workplaces have increasingly emphasized productivity and speeding up. Let’s face it — we live in a burnout culture.

Risk Factors for Burnout

1. You’re passionate, hard-working, and motivated.

I began to see people struggle a lot more with work-life balance when I entered graduate school, and I’ll tell you why. Universities select grad students who can persevere year after year after year to complete a Ph.D. — a degree that takes an average of ten years to complete. So they pick students who, as a group, tend to be ambitious, focused, tenacious, and even obsessive about their work.

Although some people struggle with setting aside enough time to do work, grad students tend to be the type of people who struggle to set aside enough time not to do work. As a result, they may neglect to eat right, exercise, engage in hobbies, or even see their friends and family.

If you “live to work,” forget to schedule time for non-work activities, and see yourself as someone who is highly motivated and persistent, then you may be at risk for burnout.

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