Psychiatrist discusses work burnout and fatigue symptoms

Remember the safety instructions when flying? “If the cabin loses pressure, put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.” 

Start with yourself by setting some ground rules for work tasks and meetings. You need to be in command of your own schedule or others will take control of it. 

Bake in time on your schedule for “work time” and even “think time.” Block out chunks of your calendar during the week so you can accomplish the tasks you need to complete. If not, when you reach the end of a day packed with meetings, you’ll still have work that needs to be done. This is where the job bleeds into your personal life. 

Speaking of work tasks, establish some rules regarding turnaround times and expected deadlines. In today’s world of instant, on-demand everything, we’ve been conditioned to want things immediately. If you constantly drop everything to deliver on “need it now” tasks, you’ll quickly find yourself drowning.  

Set clear, reasonable expectations ahead of time with the groups you interact with on how long it will take to complete a task. “Emergencies” will happen from time to time, but not everything needs to be treated as an emergency. 

Fatigue and burnout: A few tips to guide you through the fog