Usually, Product Manager realizes and diagnoses the 🔴burnout🔴 in retrospective, which is too late.
First of all, establish the practice of your routine tracking. The diary will help you to feel the sense of the optimal workload. At the same time, not only the list of tasks will be helpful. If you would make notes regarding your overall feeling and other remarkable events, it will help you with the general retrospective as well.
If you notice that your workload increases, you need to track carefully this process because it could a temporary workload increase or a permanent trend. If it a temporary thing, then it should return to the comfort level in several weeks. If the workload still increases, then try to analyze your thoughts. If you enjoy additional workload because it makes you feel like a superhero, then you are on your way to the burnout.
🦸♀️At the moment when thinking about yourself as a superhero, you lose a sense of reality. Your adrenaline rules your mind, it means you less fill the fatigue, your emotions are at the high level of satisfaction, you try to ignore the stress. Probably, you even hear from your colleagues that they worry about you. Another aspect to take into consideration – when was your last vacation? If you didn’t have a vacation this year – it’s a sign that you might be on your way to burnout.
Adrenaline cannot last long, so soon enough you might start feeling stressed, but again you feel about yourself as a rock star. That’s why you put more and more efforts to remain at the same level of performance. The next stage is where you cannot remain as productive as you were before. The past success would not allow you to ask for help. You think it’s just a bad day. It will be better, it must be better tomorrow. You start falling in the dark world of burnout.
❓ How to diagnose burnout❓
When you are close to burnout or already there, it is hard to understand that, because there are so many tightly connected feelings. The first step is to stop blaming yourself for low performance and start to listen to yourself, your body, your feelings. It is a process, give yourself time. Try to hear and understand each emotion, each feeling inside you. This is my list that may lead you to the conclusion that this is burnout. Become cynical or critical at work. Сynicism is cancer within an organization.
- Irritable or impatient
- Lack the energy
- Lose focus
- Lack of satisfaction Insomnia Rethink the work issues. “I should say this and that”
- Cannot stop thinking about work
- Gnaw pencils
- Unexplained headaches, stomach problems
- Feel relief if you have a sick day off
❓How to avoid burnout❓
This is a very important question. Unfortunately, we tend to start asking this question after the burnout happened. And the question is really: how can avoid the burnout next time? But we need to start asking this question before the burnout happened. It would be great to have it as a college course. But nobody tells you that this is coming.
🔴 Work on purpose. It’s funny, but doing things you love for living drastically reduces the risk of burnout. It is a proven fact. We have one life and everybody deserves to do something that brings joy. The most frustrating is to understand that your work is worthless. The most inspiring thing is to see that you make the world a better place. I always share the feedback with my team, these moments are always so touching.
🔴 Recognition at work. If you feel that your work is important and recognized, it gives energy. To avoid burnout, try to feel your life with something that gives you energy, not takes the energy away.