Saturday I went to a family gathering about 2 hours away from my home. Had a great day until the drive home. I was about 1/2 hour from home, signalled that I was changing lanes when my car experienced some electrical craziness. The radio and air conditioner went out and I lost my dashboard indicators. I figured I’d drive another 15 minutes to the next large town and stop to get it looked at. Unfortunately, about 3 minutes later I lost the ability to accelerate.
I quickly pulled off the highway and called for a tow truck. I couldn’t start the car, or get enough power to close my windows. While waiting for the tow truck, a nice guy stopped with his tow truck to help out. He helped jump the battery so I could close the car windows. He suggested we charge the battery for a few minutes, then try starting the car. I was a bit skeptical, but it worked. Twenty minutes after pulling over, we were on the road again with everything working. I picked up a new car battery yesterday and haven’t had a problem since.
This got me thinking. Is burnout the equivalent of the car battery problems I had? Excessive use (or abuse) causes the battery to no longer hold a charge like it used to. I think we experience this problem and unfortunately we can’t just replace our internal batteries and keep going.
Here are some resources on burnout:
- Burnout (Wikipedia)
- Preventing Burnout, American Society for Quality
- Burn Out, by Tom Pryor (Activity Based Management perspective)
- Preventing Staff Burnout, by Katherine Spencer Lee (CIO Update)
- How to Prevent Staff Burnout (and Your Own!), by Hillary Retig (Inc.com)
- Overcoming Burnout, (Inc.com)
How not to react: Stress man at office (YouTube video)
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