Because a major part of burnout is physical and emotional exhaustion, people often think it’s just attributed to having too much work.
But sometimes there’s a more insidious enemy tiring you out, and that’s a value mismatch. Researcher Elizabeth Grace Saunders writes that burnout is not simply about being tired – sometimes it’s about role conflict, being under pressure from a lot of competing demands.
Sometimes it’s competing tasks at work that conflict with each other, unclear priorities, or a lack of guidance. Other times, it’s your values being out of alignment with what you are being asked to do at work. My friend Laura talks about this as living aligned.
There are a lot of exercises you can do to see if this is contributing to feelings of burnout for you or if you’re moving in the right direction, but one of the easiest ones is to take a notebook or card and write down ten words that describe what you value.
If you need help choosing, here are some options:
What did you choose for your values? Why did you choose them?
Are any of them in conflict with the work you’re doing or the life you’re living right now?