BURNOUT—we’ve all heard about it. Many have experienced it. Everybody tries to avoid it. Most don’t understand it or see it coming. The occurrence of fatigue, complete exhaustion and ultimately, a possible lack of concern for your work, job or project can be a debilitating circumstance for any person in the business world. 
Sales jobs always seem to be the chief culprit in developing this affliction that affects workers’ productivity and success rates.  However, burnout is not something that is completely isolated to sales.  It can take place in any line of work. 
The definition for burnout describes it as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” 
Simply put, burnout is a progression that is initiated with disproportionate and protracted levels of job stress. This stress then creates tension in the worker and often in the workplace. Often, the outcome demonstrates the worker having difficulty coping with his or her task or project, which, in turn, creates apathy, boredom and lackluster performance.
Burnout on the job can be derived from many sources. In some cases, it can be self-inflicted (bad health, stress at home, too much outside of work). Many times, it can be due to an overbearing boss or the job description itself (stringent work schedules, unattainable quotas, excessive travel, inferior product/service, etc.). In certain instances, burnout can be a result of work environment (constant repetition of daily tasks, bad co-workers, or uncomfortable working conditions). 
Burnout doesn't take place all at once. In almost all cases, it has a slow, snowballing effect, establishing modest warning signs along the way. If left unattended, these indicators can progress into intense and enduring issues, such as the mere thought of going to work each day. However, there are some things you can do to delay or even prevent burnout from sneaking into your work life. Here are a few simple suggestions to help in steering clear of the dreaded misery of burnout: 
  • Leave your work at your place of work.  When the clock indicates the official work day is done (regardless if your projects or all your daily to-do items are incomplete), head for home.   You may not be able to pull this off every day, but once or twice a week makes a huge difference. 
  • Set a cut-off time for all electronic devices.  Most of us are seemingly incapable of putting down our smart phones during the day, and many of us have trouble doing it even after we get home for the night. Try setting a time to turn off phones, laptops and tablets, even for enjoyment purposes. Staying away from these devices allows for personal time with family, friends, neighbors and/or a good book. 
  • Stay in shape / take care of yourself.  The last thing you need when quotas and deadlines are hovering around you like vultures is to be tired, out-of-shape, undernourished or sleep-deprived. Make time for a proper night’s sleep, hit the gym, exercise, and find the time to eat sensibly. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you’re rested, fueled-up and strong in mind and body. 
  • Take a vacation.  You deserve it just like anyone else, so take advantage of some well-deserved time off when the signs of burnout begin to appear. Even if it is a “day-cation” or a long weekend doing things you enjoy, time away from the daily grind is vital for the long haul in business. After all, your career is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Change your monotonous routine.  As afore mentioned, changing up your daily tasks, the order in which you do things, or even the route you take to work each day will benefit you, as change is always fresh and invigorating. Working from home provides even greater latitude, so exploit this option to the maximum level possible. Shake up your day. Change the time you get in the morning, the time you finish work, and where you go for lunch. A change in routine eradicates the rut you may be in and delivers a new way to the finish line.
Trying out different ways to do things or shaking up your pre-programmed schedule of events could be a simple solution in avoiding burnout.   On the other hand, it could take a more aggressive approach or possibly a longer time of different combinations in beating back the burnout demons. 
So, what's the solution after multiple attempts of a re-fresh/makeover of your daily grind are not successful? What if your job no longer excites or motivates you?  Have you found yourself spending your days clock-watching or having difficulty in focusing on tasks at hand? If so, it may be time to examine a job change or even an entirely new career.
Identifying the indicators of burnout and taking action at the appropriate time can possibly make the difference in your career and even in your life. It could be instrumental in maintaining your sanity, keeping the peace at home, and making you a more productive person in society. 
If the problem is severe, do not be afraid to reach out to professionals trained to help analyze your issues, and subsequently help you overcome these negative aspects of a working career. Psychologists, life coaches, sales coaches, and even human resources professionals can be fundamental in facilitating your quest to stay on top of your game. However, a simple dialogue with fellow colleagues and other professionals in your industry (or even within your own company) may be the key element in defining the most solid approach to defeating burnout.
Regardless of the industry, many burnout symptoms (and their causes) will share common ground, and some of those cause-and-effect issues will be exclusive to your type of work or specific job description. The key will be identifying your burnout threshold and taking action prior to it taking over your life and career.
There is no single cause of burnout and there are multitudes of remedies for defeating it and even avoiding it altogether. Your goal should be to identify the signals of burnout, work to steer clear of the potential pitfalls that lead to it, and then maintain an approach to keep your job and daily routine fresh and exciting at all times.