2 min read

Burnout at work isn’t a sign of your weakness

Companies have a bias for fixing their people rather than fixing themselves.
Burnout at work isn’t a sign of your weakness
Photo by Kea Mowat / Unsplash

Sustain issue #71 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

It’s easy to feel like a failure if you can’t escape the sludge of burnout. Your executive team likely pronounced workplace well-being a priority at the beginning of the year. They might give you a wellness benefit to fund a gym membership, yoga, or meditation app.

With all that support, it should be easy to simmer down the flames of burnout.




Today is all about permission to say it’s not me, it’s you. Companies have a bias for fixing their people rather than fixing themselves.

Here’s what I mean.

Let’s look at the top 5 causes of workplace burnout (according to Gallup)

  1. Unfair treatment at work
  2. Unmanageable workload
  3. Lack of role clarity
  4. Lack of communication and support from the manager
  5. Unreasonable time pressure

All of these have one thing in common. The organization, the culture, and the leaders control every one of them.

Yoga may help you mitigate the impacts of an unmanageable workload, but it doesn’t decrease the hours you’re expected to work.

That’s not to say you can’t create a system to play defense against work. You can and I teach it through this newsletter, my other newsletter How I Quit Burnout, and new options I’ll share more about in the months to come.

But I wish I didn’t have to create content in this area, honestly. I wish the default was an anti-burnout culture, not one where you have to waste precious time developing a strategic system to play defense against burnout. But we do.

So if you’re shouldering blame or a sense of failure for not being strong enough to resist burnout at work, don’t. You don’t lack willpower. Burnout isn’t a sign of your weakness.

Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to eliminate burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) and suffered deep burnout and came back from it even though I never found a playbook for doing so. So, I'm writing it myself.

✉️ Want my top tips? I share my full step-by-step playbook in How I Quit Burnout, my premium newsletter. Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain