A team at Zaragoza University designed a helpful framework to understand the three types of burnout based on how we cope when burning out.
Beyond the obvious impact on your mental health, burnout can also sap your creativity. Do not try to push through it. Instead, get support, take a break, and make space for self-reflection.
Burnout has been traditionally defined as a combination of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. When we are burned out, we don’t have the emotional energy to invest ourselves into work, we distance ourselves from colleagues and customers, and we may feel incompetent as a result
According to their framework, how we cope with burnout can be used to define the type of burnout we are experiencing: The frenetic worker. You keep on frantically working despite feeling overwhelmed and overloaded with work, overlooking your own needs in order to fulfil your work demands. In the words of the researchers: “The frenetic burnout type works increasingly harder, to the point of exhaustion, in search of success, and presents involvement, ambition and overload.” The under-challenged worker. You can see this type of burnout as the opposite of the first one. You feel like your work doesn’t offer you opportunities to develop your abilities: “The under-challenged type has to cope with monotonous and unstimulating conditions that fail to provide satisfaction and feels indifference, boredom and lack of personal development.” The worn-out worker. You are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. When things at work don’t turn out as well as they should, you stop trying. As a result, you become passive and unmotivated.