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Is it Burnout or Boredom?

It's easy to misdiagnose your malaise. And boredom is easier to fix.

I’ve recently heard some interesting debate relevant to the Great Resignation we are experiencing. Many folks fleeing their jobs are citing burnout as a primary cause. I can relate.

Many times in my career I have felt burned out. For me it feels like:

1. I just can’t take another “problem”

2. Every email is annoying

3. My team has an “agenda”

4. I’m tired, can’t focus on tasks

5. Nothing seems worth my time

The journal of the world psychiatric association defines Burnout as: “A psychological syndrome emerging as a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are an overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. “

Being burned out can have severe negative personal and organizational/team implications. Things can get toxic quickly.

But I ask to you consider, could it be boredom?

According to a study published by Udemy, 43% of workers report feeling bored at work. The research found that more women than men report workplace boredom (48 percent vs. 39 percent) and Millennials are almost two times as likely to be bored. 51% of respondents who described issues with boredom stated they feel this way for more than half of their work week.

What??? Half the week????

The result of boredom can be feelings of irritation, cynicism, and worthlessness. This can easily be misconstrued as burnout.