078 What is Burnout?

Image credit: Nataliya Vaitkevich

Burned out. We’ve been hearing that a lot relatively lately. People ranging from the 9-5 job category to famous YouTubers, celebrities, singers, and those “following their ambition” have shared about their perspective on burnout or have been burned out themselves. Whether you have a schedule that has the power to get filled up by others, or you have your own prioritized and ambitious one, you have a chance to get burned out.

As mental health knowledge spreads, people are starting to get more aware of work/life balance and the effect of burnout if the work portion of the ratio increases too much.

This has made me think about the whole work/life balance thing. Firstly, why do we have something known as a work/life balance anyway? Why can’t we have a life/work balance? What if you “over-lived” instead of overworking? And why can’t work = life, because that’ll just make our lives so much easier!

But I figured that some people need to work to get their “life” part of the pie, healthier. But some work due to their intense desire of doing something of their own. For them work does equal life indeed. But even they seem prone to getting burned out. As with those who have a traditional job.

In either case, what I think leads to burnout is simple. Getting burned out is an effect of getting in so deep that work feels something that you need to do, instead of it being something that you are getting to do. And this is deeper than just money.

Burnout is completely mental, even a whole day of sleep may not be able to solve the problem if you are going to do the same work tomorrow. It’s all about choice in this one. Some people like their work and life pie-chart be a majority of work, and others, a majority of living. It’s really just common sense from then on, to be self-aware and work according to you and your objective.

For me, I like to keep no discrimination between my work and my life. And I like these two equations:
work = life
life = work.

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