- Burnout syndrome is recognized by the WHO, and symptoms can be caused by workplace stress.
- Bill Gates was confident from a young age that he wouldn’t suffer from it.
- Here are the warning signs of burnout and tips to avoid it from happening.
Staff in any profession are at risk of suffering from problems like fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety.
Symptoms like these can be caused by burnout syndrome, a condition recognized by the WHO.
Burnout is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” according to the WHO.
As well as leading to low productivity, it can also perpetuate feelings of stress or anxiety. Some, however, seem more able than others to cope with the demands of the workplace.
Despite the nature of his fast-paced career, Bill Gates was convinced he wouldn’t ever burn out at Microsoft.
Gates had founded Microsoft by the time he was 20.
In 1984, at the age of 28, he told NBC that Microsoft would reach more than $100 million in revenue that year.
He remained confident it wouldn’t be too much for him.
When asked how he knew he wouldn’t get burnt out in a few years, his response was that every day was different at Microsoft.
“The work we’re doing is … it’s not like we’re doing the same thing all day long. We go into our offices and think about new programs, we get together in meetings, we go out to see end users, we talk to customers. There’s so much variety and there’s always new things going on. And I don’t think there’ll ever come a time when that would be boring,” he said.
Looking at his subsequent achievements, the years that followed only seemed to prove him right.
Microsoft went public in 1986, and he would go on to be the richest man in the world.
How you can avoid burnout at work
Even if Gates’ case is quite an extraordinary one, it appears that avoiding routine, finding new projects, and setting yourself challenges can work wonders when trying to avoid burnout at work.
There are also certain warning signs that can help you identify signs of burnout.
Christina Maslach is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
She’s a leading expert on burnout syndrome and created the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which is the most widely used tool for measuring burnout.
This measurement looks at three main signs of burnout — exhaustion, lack of motivation, and poor work performance.
If Gates’ approach doesn’t work for you, not all is lost.
There are many other methods you can try to get past it.
Finding time to exercise can help to improve sleep, which will be good for both your mental and physical well-being.
It’s also a good idea to speak to people at work, whether it be friends or a manager, and share how you’re feeling.
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