Interesting article in this week NY Magazine on how to manage burn-out or how, in a culture where work can be a religion, burnout is its crisis of faith! Very good reading and very relevant from an entrepreneur perspective on how not to burn yourself, or the people working with you...
In 1981, Maslach, now vice-provost at the University of California, Berkeley, famously co-developed a detailed survey, known as the Maslach Burnout Inventory, to measure the syndrome. Her theory is that any one of the following six problems can fry us to a crisp:
- working too much;
- working in an unjust environment;
- working with little social support;
- working with little agency or control;
- working in the service of values we loathe;
- working for insufficient reward (whether the currency is money, prestige, or positive feedback).
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Maslach’s research is that burnout isn’t necessarily a result of overwork. It can be, certainly. Michael Leiter, a lovely Canadian fellow and frequent collaborator of Maslach’s, has elegantly called burnout a “crisis in self-efficacy,” which to me suggests that head-banging feeling of struggling mightily for too little or (worse) nothing in return. Ayala Pines, a researcher in Israel who’s looked at burnout in all sorts of inspired contexts (including marriage), rather heartbreakingly sums up the problem as “the failure of the existential quest”—that moment when we wake up one morning and realize that what we’re doing has appallingly little value.... ... And Farber often calls burnout “the gap between expectation and reward,”
=> Happiness equals reality divided by expectations !!!