Does it feel like you’ve been very unproductive lately at work? Are you always low on energy and don’t have the motivation to do anything right? Ever wondered what “employee burn-out” really is and whether you’re going through it? Sure, there are days when you’re just exhausted because you didn’t get enough sleep, or when you’re uninspired by the task you’re working on. But if this is how you’re feeling every day, or most of the time, it may be that you are close to being burned-out.
This is when you need a break from the office and from working.
Here are five signs that mean you need to take a break from work:
1. You make silly mistakes
It might be that you’re one hour into your work day, and have already sent numerous emails with silly mistakes which you wouldn’t normally make, like a wrong date, or a grammatical error, or maybe you sent the email to the wrong “Mohammed”. Or did you send a balance sheet to your manager, only to have it sent back to you, because 2+2 does not equal 5? You thought you were having a productive day, only to realize that you literally spent the second half of the day correcting everything you did during the first half? You need a break! Take a lap around the office. Go for a walk outside. Take a day off to re-energize. And if all else fails, take a vacation! It is counterproductive, for both you, and your company, to spend four hours a day correcting silly mistakes that you shouldn’t be making to begin with.
2. You can’t stay focused
It happens to the best of us. We read the same paragraph about seven times without even realizing it. And it really doesn’t matter how many more times you read it, there is still no way it’s going to make sense or sink in. Your mind is simply elsewhere. At the end of the day, when you really think about what you did during your time at the office, you realize that you spent more time watching YouTube videos, organizing your folders, playing games on your phone, and reading irrelevant articles on the web. You’ve done all of that rather than actually being productive. You may have actually attempted to work, but kept jumping from one task to another with no real progress. It’s that feeling at the end of the day, when you’re closer to your deadlines, but not closer to getting those tasks out of the way. When this happens, apply for a leave and go spend your day off doing something new and fun. Or just stay in, watch a movie, read a book, and get the rest that your body may need so badly.
3. You’re constantly overwhelmed
Are you stressed out? Do you feel like there is too much work, and not enough time, so you don’t know where or how to start? Are you procrastinating because you don’t have the motivation to do any of your work? Do you feel like you might lose your cool and act irrationally in the office? Are you constantly irritated by your team? Are you all of the above? Don’t worry. You are just overwhelmed. If you’re getting overworked constantly and people keep telling you you’re making a big deal out of tiny issues, it’s probably a good idea to give yourself some time away. Take a break.
4. You wake up with a sense of dread
If the first thing you think in the morning is “I really don’t want to go to work today,” then you probably need a break to recharge. Dragging yourself out of bed just to go through the motions without any motivation, ambition, or will to engage is completely useless. If you’re not passionate about what you do, nor motivated to do it, and have absolutely no interest in the company’s overall well-being, then you definitely need to take a step away. Refresh your perspective and motivation by taking a few days off and doing something other than work; something that you absolutely love and feel passionate about.
5. You romanticize about quitting
If the only thing you can think about while you’re at work is quitting and never coming back to the office, consider this your brain’s way of telling you that it needs a break! Sure, it’s not very smart to make such a quick decision with an impact as large as that, but it is definitely a good time to take a vacation. There’s no use in sitting around and being constantly unhappy at work, day-dreaming over and over again of hiking a mountain, or relaxing by a tropical beach. Just do it. You’ll come back with renewed energy and a new perspective on everything. And if you do not re-energize after a vacation, then this maybe one of the signs that you actually do need to make plans, and quit your job.
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com.
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