Burnout vs Laziness


Rosa Shvartsman, Staff Writer

“If you feel burnout setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is for the best, for the sake of everyone to withdraw and restore yourself,” said Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader of Tibet. Burnout is a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been managed properly. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive, prolonged stress throughout this state, you may feel overwhelmed, drained of energy, and unable to meet high expectations set by yourself. In addition, signs of burnout include the mindset of “everyday is a bad day”, 24/7 exhaustion, and being set on tasks that in the end seem like a waste of time. This state causes feelings of depleted energy, exhaustion, mental distance, negativity, and cynicism. On the other hand, many may confuse this as laziness, but laziness is defined as a state where one may be unwilling to spend energy on a specific task. Even as many think they are the same thing, in the end, being burnt out shows a sense of drainage, unlike laziness which shows the characteristics of not wanting to put in the effort to do something. 

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you,” said Anne Lamott, a public speaker. All in all, ways to prevent burnout include reaching out to people, reevaluating your outlook on the world, reevaluating your top priorities, and having healthy physical and dietary plans. First, reaching out to people helps you become more sociable, eliminate negative people, and find new friends who may boost your spirit. Then, reevaluating your outlook on life may help find a sense of balance in your life along with the value of work. Furthermore, reevaluating your top priorities helps you set boundaries, make time for relaxation, and nourish your creative side. Lastly, exercise is important due to endorphins given off during physical activity, and a healthy diet plan may help increase energy and benefit your current mood. For the most part burnout may provide a sense of losing yourself, but in the end, nourishing yourself will help bring back a sense of purpose. 

  Unfortunately, many not knowing the true state of burnout confuse it as laziness. A trait of laziness is someone being capable to carry out a certain task, but willingly puts it aside and does not pay attention to it. In addition, laziness stems from procrastination and idleness which can be resolved over time. Procrastination slowly falls into laziness by postponing a task in favor of others, showing that it is less important or urgent. In conclusion, laziness is different from burnout without a doubt based on the mental and physical aspects of the two, but may be confused as both states show exhaustion and lack of capability in everyday life. 

Many may say that burnout and laziness are the same and are caused by a bad attitude, but are different due to the mental strain and stress that caused burnout while laziness is stress caused by one’s self. In conclusion, burnout and laziness are different in many ways, but with both circumstances, it’s important to take care of yourself and treat your mental health.