Let's Handle Boredom & Burnout

You start out on some venture or join a job with passion in heart, smile on your face and flight in your steps. Everything seems to be going very fine for some time. But as time passes, your interest and passion starts waning. Instead, boredom creeps in place of passion, stress replaces excitement, fatigue spreads over energy, and disillusionment surrounds your interest. You feel no joy in doing what started with so much gusto. You find your precious time getting wasted away doing nothing worthwhile and still feel exhausted physically and mentally. Worst of all, your health also starts feeling the pinch. This means you have been gripped by boredom and burnout.

You aren’t alone in going through such phases of life. Every person, especially those who crave for win in life of their choices and ambitions, have experienced such crippling and frustrating moments at some point of their pursuit of happiness and success when feelings of boredom creeps in and starts eating into their excitement, passion, energy and momentum. When this momentary boredom is ignored and not laughed away it starts staying longer and grows into more sinister form of burnout.
In a person’s life boredom and burnout strike him at both the personal and professional levels. At professional level boredom occurs when we find our work monotonous and unchallenging. On the other hand, feeling of burnout results when our unreasonable expectations and ambitions don’t materialise despite of our giving it all. Smelling contradictions here? In fact the level of satisfaction and joy in one’s work and life depends on his personal nature, both physiological as well as psychological.
In his best selling book ‘The Acorn Principle’, author Jim Cathcart says that every person while doing work performs best at a personal velocity or pace which is a combination of his energy patterns and drive. Jim has arranged this velocity in three categories: high, low and moderate. Persons of high velocity are generally workaholics and like challenging work and competition. On the other hand, low velocity people generally find work uninteresting and would rather prefer play, leisure and personal interests over work. Long term projects deflate them. Persons of moderate velocity like a good balance of work and play. They set reachable goals and have moderate aspirations.
Cathcart says we all need to know what velocity works best for us. According to him, “When we exceed it, we start to experience burnout. When we don’t even approach it, we experience boredom or depression. The key for all of us is to identify and stay within our zone.” In whatever field you are, if your work is not in line with your natural velocity, it will be difficult to win and enjoy in life and the resultant boredom and burnout will make your journey extremely arduous.
Hence if you are already feeling boredom and burnout then it becomes necessary to first acknowledge the natural pace at which you normally like to work. By doing so it becomes easier for you to deal with boredom and burnout and prevent them in future. This will involve observation of previous and current patterns of your body mechanism and psychological set-up (including mind, spirit, values, talents and interests).
Well, it’s almost a cliché that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. So, to deal with boredom and burnout also it is important to improve physiological factors by taking nutritious diet, proper physical exercise and adequate rest and sleep. At an equally or more important psychological level in both your professional as well as personal life you have to find a career which suits your values and interests. Though it is also true that only few persons are able to make their hobbies as their career, however you should make it a point to pursue your hobby reserving some time from your unwanted pursuit of career. And at a personal level, it is imperative to spend time with your family, friends and relatives etc.
The key to deal with boredom and burnout is to maintain a proper balance in life’s different sectors i.e. personal and professional.

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Written By:  Mayank Bansal

Photo Credit: Flickr

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