What steps can employees take to avoid burnout in their jobs? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Andrew Chapin, Founder & CEO of Basis, on Quora:

In my experience, burnout comes from one of two things:

  1. Working on things you don't find meaningful or in an environment you don't enjoy.
  2. Working too many hours for too long.

Number 1 is much more common in my opinion. It's not realistic to expect to love your job every moment of every day, but the potential for output and job satisfaction is significantly higher when you really care about the outcome you're working towards and the people you're working with. In the early days of Uber, the team was so passionate about making the product work that people happily worked non-stop. Once the company got big and the challenges less existential, those same people were much more susceptible to burnout.

I've also been in the situation where I've spent so much time at the office that basic elements of maintaining my life were neglected. When office time precludes basic things like sleeping 7-8 hours per night, doing laundry or returning calls from your parents, you're probably flirting with burnout if you're not there already.

Start by reflecting on what's causing burnout. Does it fall into one of the two categories I mentioned? If it's the first bucket, jot down a list of ways that your current work situation isn't meeting your needs and try to problem solve around them. If it's the latter bucket, then consider how practical it is to reduce time at the office and what the trade offs might be. No simple answers here, but self awareness and reflection are good places to start. Talk to someone (like a Basis Specialist) if you need an objective third party to help you work through it.

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Published on: Mar 28, 2019