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When The Light Goes Out…

Doing research for my last post, I often got the link between exaggerated working hours and unhuman schedules and the burn-out. Well, at the moment we hear about that Mr. Burn-out in every sector.
Stars, soccer players, managers…It spares nobody. As the Aquinian states, Burnout is the prolonged existence of stresses with the prolonged absence of supports.

The symptoms
As the blog „leading people to lead people“states   “It’s insidious, it creeps on you. At first you don’t notice, you brush it off as tiredness or the latent effects of a night out. You can cope, an extra cup of coffee, a Red Bull, a Panadol for the headache and you will be fine.”
They describe the further progression of the vital exhaustion as you wondering why your spouse is giving you those disapproving looks; sure, you have been a bit grumpy but surely they should be supportive, after all your work, all your effort and all the sleepless nights you spent lying in bed with the head in the office. Things start to build up, you can’t clear your inbox or your call list and things start to slip through the cracks. You start to go from crisis to crisis and you don’t know who you are anymore.

The causes
Burnouts from your crafts results when you force yourself to do it even though you’re not inspired.  That being said, it’s important to do your crafts only when you’re inspired to do so.  It’s not as methodical as people thought it was.  Sometimes, you only write one word.  Other times, you could write 100.  What’s important is not to force yourself to work on your masterpieces.  as the Burnout cure goes on.
I really do question how you should be able to influence or rather decide on working  or not. Business is too hard for having the flexibility to work when you luckily found inspiration by coincidence and doing a break when ideas seem to not come that easily. Or is it really that simple?

How to handle it
As  The Burnout Cure  continues it’s important to let your subconscious work on things.  When you rest, your subconscious works for you.

  • It allows your minds to connect things in your knowledge banks that you ever thought of before.
  • It helps you to connect two unrelated things such as paintings with pains that becomes the spark that is inspiration.

Indeed, it is scientifically proofed that people need breaks to regain creativity and especially productivity to add value to qualitative work.
“At the heart of Self-leadership is response-ability which means that you can choose your response. Choose to acknowledge that you are important; that you are the CEO of yourself and that you can say, “yes” to being healthy and say, “No” to becoming a burnt out blob.” advices the blog leading people to lead people  and remarks that the secret is to take control. It is not how long you are at work that matters, it is the quality of your work.

If you are stressed the quality will decrease. You may think you are indispensable, but if you start to show signs of stress your employer may not see this as loyalty but fire you for not coping. Life is not fair unless you take control of your life

How to prevent from it:

* you should go without alcohol at least 3 days per week
* start doing exercise – even a 15 minute walk is a start
* play with your children and make sure they know your name
* try finishing work at 5pm – just one day/week is a start
* start talking to your spouse – not about work
* Take one task at a time and finish it
* Answer your e-mails in chunks rather than as they come in
* Reconnect to why you are doing what you are doing
* Take lunch breaks
* Eat good food
* Breath – take time out during the day for deep (nicotine free) breaths
* Learn to say “No” to the unimportant things, you cannot be everybody’s friend

Leave a comment


  1. Saskia R.

     /  November 28, 2011

    Hey Viola,
    it was really interesting reading your post. Since one of my family members actually experienced a burnout, I am quite familiar with it. So it was especially interesting to read more about it. In my opinion, your blog is well structured and easy to follow!
    Keep up the good work 😉

  2. Hey Viola,

    Excellent blog post and a very interesting topic you have chosen! I liked the way you structured your blog, the headlines and also the advices you gave at the end. It was easy to read through your blog – I like your writing style a lot! Two weeks ago there was a broadcasting “Hart aber Fair” on the channel ARD which I can definitely recommend. http://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/servlet/content/3517136?documentId=8754320
    On the one hand it informed about the typical causes of burnouts and on the other it also gave a very critical perception of the disease. Some of the interviewed guest, among a lawyer for employers, claimed that burnout was just a modern “welcomed” disease for all employees who were lazy and did not want to work anymore. Moreover they showed in the broadcasting some test persons at the doctor who pretended to have a burnout syndrome. The result was shocking! Some of the doctors did not examine the patience sufficiently before issuing a medical certificate.

    In my opinion a burnout is not a modern disease as stated so often in many articles. In former time people also got ill when they were stressed due to hard work and lacking spare time. Probably only the name “burnout” is what makes it to a modern disease. However it can not be denied that companies are demanding nowadays more productivity from their employees which just means that everybody has to produce more in less time. Probably this disease has become worse than in the past. I think nowadays it is really challenging to find the right balance between leisure and work. I agree with the statements you made in your blog. We should really try to take care of ourselves in order to prevent this disease however named.

  3. Mirja Stoldt

     /  January 7, 2012

    This is a great post…I guess I should have read it earlier.

    I loved how you displayed the different sides of the burnout syndrome. On the one hand what we can do to fight the syndrome and on the other hand how hard this fight is, as the mind can be really strong. We all have a lot of stress and pressure and it is always hard to just pull yourself away from the books and do something for yourself.

    It was a great idea choosing the topic, as I think we might all be affected a little bit and it might provide a prevention to everybody.

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