3 classic “cure” for burnout. Simplicity and complexity in practice

Hello dear friends.

Today we will look at the most common steps that many people take in situations of burnout.

Here they are: 1. Quit, 2. Take a long vacation, 3. Get permission from management to delegate everything that is possible.

In fact, there is no secret in them, this is a natural reaction to work
with prolonged loads. This is what common sense, intuition, analysis, advice from friends or recommendations taken from psychological magazines suggests. Such decisions can even be made instinctively – when a person tries by any means to stop the blackout (or rather, the external manifestations of burnout).

As a rule, most stories (where a person gives his or her experience of burnout
in and out of the past) revolves around these 3 steps.

The main motivation for all 3 steps is the same – to remove / stop what is slowly destroying a person (turn off this mode at least temporarily).

In each of these steps there is an effect – real and visible, but there are also pitfalls that are worth mentioning.

long vacation

As a rule, in a burnout situation, the attitude towards vacation can be diametrically opposed (depending on the context of the story). A person either constantly puts it off, explaining that the required number of tasks has not been solved, or vice versa – he waits and tries with all his might to bring it closer, because. work has already begun to bring disgust and vacation becomes the only time when you can feel more or less normal.

This step is the most common (which is understandable). In some stories it actually works. Why? – It starts recovery, energy grows, the constant negative background decreases, the emotional sphere evens out a little. The person, as it were, cools down and to some extent recovers.

In many cases, a vacation changes a person’s perspective on a situation. By the end of the holiday
he recovers to some extent, his energy grows – he sees the difference between his state before the vacation and now – and draws conclusions. A person realizes the damage, begins to take steps towards maintaining his (energetically filled) state and begins to get out.

Another effect: there are real examples in customer stories – when a person left
on vacation and saw that during the vacation nothing collapsed or collapsed (i.e., his illusions that everything holds up only when he is at his workplace – they are removed, and there is progress – a change in the regime). Such awareness changes a person’s attitude to work and his approach quite strongly.

In what cases will this step not work? – A person goes on vacation and outwardly everything can go well. But if he pulls this mode with him: either externally (if he is pulled from work, or he himself continues to call, solve problems) or internally (if there is an unresolved problem, and he continues to worry, scroll through the consequences, options, etc.) – in this case, there will be no recovery as such (the same work, only in light mode).

In this case, it makes sense to first change the format of working with the problem – at least through the preparation of an approximate plan for solving it (set at least the direction of the solution, this will already redirect energy from experiences (destruction) to creation – with this attitude, you can already go on vacation, and he will work as a plus).

What is the difficulty of this step? – In many cases, a person may be under the illusion that a vacation will solve the problem of burnout – the energy will be restored and everything will be fine (as before). This is the most common illusion, it persists, among other things, because the vacation actually has an effect.

But the fact is that burnout is not a lack of energy. This is the included energy overspending mode (energy overspending vector), which a person holds. Therefore, just a vacation (even a regular one) without changing the regime and your own settings will only give a temporary effect – it will delay burnout.

Sometimes a person after a vacation does not want / is afraid to return to work. Why?
– In a situation of prolonged burnout (taking into account the action of all markers), a person, as it were, enters a disconnected (sleeping) state (in “stupefaction”). It acts as a kind of anesthesia – a kind of reaction of the body to the regime of constant overload, it seems to dull pain, stress, etc. in it. (try to do hard monotonous work for a long time – this effect will appear; remember any employees who work “on their feet” for a long time, on the street, in conditions of great physical exertion, cold
or a long working day – they are not in a hurry, do not immediately respond to questions, etc.)

A long vacation gradually increases energy and this sleep mode is removed by the end of the vacation (the situation has become more comfortable, the mode is no longer needed). As a result, a person
on the one hand, can for some time again feel joy, inspiration,
but on the other hand, he knows that he will soon return to work and repeat overloads, and he already perceives them without this anesthesia, respectively, there may be an unwillingness to return to this situation, which in turn can provoke irritability, aggression, depression, etc. d.

Conclusion: If burnout has not yet started and there are still reserves of energy, a vacation can start a chain of changes (naturally, if a person draws conclusions and makes the necessary decisions), and a person, as it were, begins to rebuild the situation in small steps.

This step works best when the main causes of burnout are external:
there are objectively many tasks at work, (there are skills, there are results, but too
large volume of tasks and requirements).


It looks like the most environmentally friendly and effective method – to shift the extra burden off yourself, remove processing, free up time / resources, reduce the length of the working day, increase rest and thereby improve the situation. It would seem – nothing but pluses, and to some extent it is.

In almost all stories, one can observe the illusion that burnout is caused only by overloading (secondary) tasks – if you remove them and everything will work out right away – the person will rest, recover quickly and come to balance. When starting delegation, a person usually expects a sharp improvement in his condition (and in general the situation
in general) – this is a clear decrease in load, a decrease in energy costs, i.e. exactly what the person really wanted (and there really is an effect).

This step really works – it gives real visible relief, and it can really start the recovery from burnout.

When delegating, part of the load goes away, a person feels uplifted, it is postponed inside that there are actions that can change the situation. A person seems to see their real effect and begins to move in this direction – to rebuild other areas, normalize efforts and gradually level the situation.

What is the difficulty of this step?

“Theoretically, everyone is subject to burnout, and few have the right to delegate (management permission). Therefore, advice from books on psychology sometimes looks mocking (if a person is an ordinary specialist or it is accepted in a company, etc.). Not everyone can afford it, no matter how beautiful it may sound.

In some cases, delegation can give rise to the illusion that everything has improved – some tasks have been removed, it has become easier, time has appeared, etc. Awareness is extinguished, the person again plunges into the previous mode and often again comes to the same symptoms.

Also, sometimes a person may have an obligation that now he is obliged to cope with the work. The management approved the delegation, unloaded it, which means that now there is everything in order to successfully complete the tasks, otherwise it does not work well – such logic can be present both in the person himself and in his leadership, and this can give additional emotional stress.

Delegation will work well when a person knows how to do his job effectively, knows algorithms and technology well, and the problem is pace and load – too much loading with tasks that he knows how to complete, but there are too many of them (a person can overload himself with tasks) . Delegation helps to turn off non-core waste of energy (remove spraying) and concentrate the flow of energy on key tasks.

Delegation reduces the number of current tasks that lie on a person,
but does not remove responsibility for key KPIs (what management expects from him), so if the main area is stalling and this is precisely the source of stress and overwork, delegation will only slightly alleviate the situation.

Strategically, if the reasons for entering burnout are not clarified, the internal setting for overexpenditure of energy is not removed – delegation in itself will only give a temporary improvement and delay burnout.

Conclusion: Overall, this is a very good tool to gather resources for change.
and rearrange your routine. But it should go as an addition to changing the format of work. Delegation will release some of your energy – then the question is where you send it – to change the regime or, again, to race for your own illusions.


Obviously, if a person has come to such a decision, burnout has already passed
to the advanced stage. The blackout has reached certain critical values, burnout markers are fully manifested. A person comes to a certain limit when he realizes that he can no longer physically pull or does not see the point in it.

Each situation is unique, but basically a person puts an end when the reserves are used up.

As a rule, dismissal is a difficult step, so a person decides to take it only when the damage is already clearly visible and cannot be hidden by any illusions.

A person’s awareness that he is seriously considering a decision for himself
about dismissal (if these are not random thoughts, but conscious thoughts) in a strange way enlightens.

At the moment of such awareness, a person, as it were, turns off from that constant race in which he has been lately, and feels this stop – a certain relief comes, emotional stress decreases (it’s like pressing the “mute” button on a TV). There is a kind of removal from this work (dependence on it decreases) and much is seen from the outside. Illusions in which a person could have been for a long time are crumbling, an understanding of the damage comes, a sober assessment of his worn out state (to which a person came in the course of burnout). The degree of awareness rises sharply (as often happens during periods of crisis): some things are highlighted so that they can no longer be seen – and the situation is seen as close to objective (although such a vision can be very painful).

The internal permissibility of dismissal is a milestone after which many things are difficult to win back (but not impossible). Therefore, it makes sense not to postpone actions according to the burnout exit model until the moment when the desire to leave appears, but to start
in the moment – as soon as the markers were noticed.

What is the difficulty of this step?

– In many cases, after dismissal, a person feels relieved. This is natural:
at one point, constant daily overloads are removed, the body abruptly goes into rest mode – there is a feeling of euphoria / renewal (in some stories, clients write that this period is much better than a vacation, and this is true – an increase in energy after a deep blackout gives a feeling of a sharp surge of strength, uplift, enjoyment).

Having suffered burnout (especially ending in dismissal), a person may then begin to fear setting high goals and objectives. Taught by the experience of de-energizing and working on strain, a person can subconsciously avoid goal-setting, tight control, time management (oddly enough), multitasking – everything that provokes obligations for high energy costs – the sensations of de-energization are alive in memory and a person does not want to repeat them ( even at the expense of efficiency).

Although this inoculation (the experience of burnout) then persists for a long time (precisely at the level of sensations), the difficulty is that awareness can be lost. The notion may remain that burnout is only due to overtime (although overtime is only an unfolding of this burnout mechanism). The mechanism itself can remain, as it were, undiscovered for a person; the internal factors that pushed a person into burnout mode may not be identified – and alternatively may play in the future – if the context of the situation provokes it and the vaccine weakens over time.

Conclusion: On the one hand, the situation was not resolved (there was no way out of burnout
“in the moment”), on the other hand, even after leaving, a person still changes his attitude
to the mode of operation. The transferred situation gives changes, even if a person does not consciously work on it – he still subconsciously takes this experience into account in the future. The question is what changes a person will consciously carry out further and how he will build the expenditure of his energy.

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