Have you ever felt an unceasing and persistent exhaustion that no amount of lazy weekends at home can fix? This is usually coupled with feeling like all the life has been sucked out of your body and only a shell of your former self remains...it all sounds dramatic but that is what is termed as 'burnout'. Failing to spot and address burnout signs will leave your workplace performance with much to be desired.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines burnout as "exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration", a very precise explanation of a crippling state. Burnout, unfortunately, will affect a lot of us at one point or the other at multiple stages of our career. Like any constant factor in your life, your office will bring with it its on share of stress triggers that, if you continue to ignore, will pile up into one ugly burnout. Eventually, this will have a direct impact on both your mental and physical power, debilitating your ability to make it through a normal work day. Some of the burnout signs that may be easy to spot are; reduction in motivation, emotional detachment from your work/workmates, decrease in motivation & zeal, deteriorating attention to detail, forgetting to do tasks, always feeling tired and so on. In short, your performance at work will drop and hence lead to that dreadful appraisal score you have managed to elude for so long.
Its not all gloom and doom, there are a few things you can do to ignite that flame in you that got you your job in the first place. For starters, try to remember why you chose your career. Usually its an issue of just adjusting and re-aligning our personal values with the work you do. However, if the burnout was triggered by certain 'flaws' in your work relationships or processes then it might help to sit down with your supervisor or Human Resource department to create a more conducive environment.
Sometimes a simple week-long vacation can be the gas you need to refuel your tank. Removing yourself entirely from work, with no access to phones or email, can draw you back to earth. As an extreme last resort, it might simply be time for you to change your job. The same routine year and year out can lead to burnout therefore changing your environment all together may be of great help.
However, you can only know what solution to apply if you take time to figure out the cause of the burnout. Luckily its Friday, take the weekend to have a conversation with yourself about what could be wrong then the right remedy will be easy to find.