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I just read an article about someone’s totally bogus opinion of “job burnout.” It made me realize that some people actually are (or think they are) “burned out.”

A quick search on Amazon revealed 580 books that contain in the title or address the subject of “job burnout.” Yikes!

The article I read proposed a remedy of “do less and you’ll avoid burnout.” It also recommended you avoid excessive workload, don't be overly accommodating, avoid people who drain your energy, do not overwork yourself, and they threw in job disillusionment. In other words: You’ll still hate it, but you’ll hate it less.

Why do people claim they’re burned out? It’s a self-inflicted thought wound based on taking inappropriate action, the false feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed out, having a negative work atmosphere in general, not really loving your job, not believing in what you do, and having a boss who is somewhere between a jackass and an idiot.

While burnout and stress are real, often they’re self-imposed feelings that you can overcome. Burnout manifests itself in your daily talk until it’s embedded into your psyche. Not good.

Start here: Begin your self-actualization by asking reality-based questions of yourself. Write down the answers.

Question one: Ask yourself how much you love your job?

Question two: Ask yourself what’s the BEST part of your job?

Question three: Ask yourself what would you rather be doing?

Question four: Ask yourself where would you rather be working that could afford you the same or better opportunity (not just money).

Question five: Ask yourself if the grass is really greener on the other side of employment.

Being or feeling “burned-out” or “stressed out” is not a problem; it’s a symptom. “Why” you feel you’re burned out is the heart of the situation.

Once you ask yourself these questions, it’s time to do something about it. Relief begins when you identify a cause and continues when you create your own answers and your own truths. And change your thought pattern from burnt-out to on fire.

Action one: Write down what you believe is causing the stressful feelings.

Action two: Write down what you believe the remedy could be.

Action three: Beside each remedy, write down what you or others could be doing.

Action four: Write down the likelihood of these remedies occurring.

Action five: Write down your ideal job or career, and then write down what you have to do or learn to get there.

Decide if you are in or out. If in, rededicate yourself to personal excellence. If out, get out quick.

Reality: Based on your present situation (family, debt, obligations) you may just have to endure it for a while, but if you have identified causes and remedies, calm begins to occur. You have it under control. You’re making decisions.

Your present circumstance has to be measured against your present situation and future hopes and dreams.

Here are a few suggestions for what will take you from burnout mode into a more positive and hopeful frame of mind:

1. Start your day with the three most important things you want to accomplish.

2. Cancel all stupid and time-wasting meetings.

3. Stop talking about things that don’t matter, especially other people.

4. Focus on outcome, not just task.

5. Dedicate at least fifteen minutes a day to thinking by yourself.

6. Get rid of three major time wasters:

-- Facebook notifications at work (unless it’s business Facebook).

-- Personal emails and personal calls.

-- Negative water fountain chit-chat.

7. Go home from work and read instead of watch. Start with my Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude.

7.5 Review your accomplishments at the end of each day — to both praise yourself and challenge yourself. Write them down.

Re-start your personal fire. Give yourself a chance to become “BEST” at your job and your career. Never give in to self-defeat. Decide every day that you can only be your best by doing your best.

Become BEST not burnt.

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Editor of Billings Business, a publication of The Billings Gazette.