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A Realistic Plan for Telling Your Boss That You’re Burnt Out and Need Personal Time

By | Steve Errey |

One day you’re crushing it. Delivering projects, sharing big ideas in meetings, making things happen.

Next thing you know, you’re crushed. You feel lost, confused, and unable to find your way out. You’ve completely lost your focus, and you’re just so exhausted.

Burnout generally happens after a prolonged spell of working as hard as you possibly can—either without being invested or engaged in the work (i.e., you’re just calling it in) or because you intend to deliver above and beyond expectations. Both of these situations are problematic.

Feeling like you’re personally contributing, connecting with others, leveraging your creativity—or whatever your role means to you—is an anchor for the work you do. It’s why you do what you do. Without personal meaning, you’ll start to wear down from relentlessly throwing yourself into the churn and pulse of things. You can’t sustain this kind of disconnected, meaningless work for very long.

If you’ve made it your mission to work as hard as you can to exceed the expectations of your role and your organization, you’re bound to fall into the habit of doing your work to please everyone around you and tick off all of their boxes. Always focusing on proving yourself and delivering in line with expectations will leave you struggling to keep up. It’s exhausting.

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