Book 1.5 – The Problem
from The One Minute Minister: Restoring Spirituality to Time Management
It was raining hard the following Wednesday, so that meant the park would not be that pleasant a place to spend an hour. He had had trouble keeping his promises lately with so much to do, but it felt important to him to keep this one. But how?
He decided to keep his promise by going to the mall; it wasn’t quiet but it would be sufficient. He would just be surrounded by human nature rather than nature.
He picked up a tray of his favorite food at the food court and began to observe the river of people flowing down the walkways of the mall. The burnout test from Frank lay beside him on the table. His score put him in the danger zone, with the only blessing being that his marriage and health had not yet been significantly affected – yet. He had far too many “5″ answers for “Usually true.” He definitely had a problem and he definitely had to do something.
The test was pretty straightforward and convincing. He reviewed the questions and his answers again.
____ 1. I feel tired when I’ve gotten adequate sleep.
____ 2. I am dissatisfied with my work.
____ 3. I feel sad for no apparent reason.
____ 4. I am forgetful.
____ 5. I am irritable and snap at people.
____ 6. I avoid people at work and in my private life.
____ 7. I have trouble sleeping due to worrying about work.
____ 8. I get sick more than I used to.
____ 9. My attitude about work is “why bother?”
____ 10. I often get into conflicts.
____ 11. My job performance is not up to par.
____ 12. I use alcohol and/or drugs to feel better.
____ 13. Communicating with others is a strain.
____ 14. I can’t concentrate on my work as I once could.
____ 15. I am easily bored with my work.
____ 16. I work hard but accomplish little.
____ 17. I feel frustrated with my work.
____ 18. I don’t like going to work.
____ 19. Social activities are draining.
____ 20. Sex is not worth the effort.
____ 21. I watch TV most of the time when not working.
____ 22. I don’t have much to look forward to in my work.
____ 23. I worry about work during my off hours.
____ 24. Feelings about work interfere with my personal life.
____ 25. My work seems pointless.
25-50 You are doing well.
51-75 You are OK if you take preventive action.
76-100 You are a candidate for burnout.
101-125 You are burning out.
You are burning out. He got a refill on his drink and watched people for a while. He suddenly noticed how few of them showed any signs of happiness or enjoyment. Their faces were either set in a look of grim determination or lost in a vacant passivity. The passive ambled as if unsure of their direction. You are burning out. The grim ones marched forward as if expecting a battle at any moment.
He found it amusing until he realized that they seemed to be mirroring his dissatisfaction in life. After a while, without consciously realizing it, he began to pray for them and, eventually, also for himself. You are burning out. The hour passed very quickly.
QUESTIONS FOR MEDITATION, JOURNALING OR GROUP DISCUSSION:
When is the last time you gave yourself an hour or more just think without an agenda?
Where would you choose to spend that hour?
How did you do you on the Burnout Test? Are you burning out?
The source of the “Burnout Test” is http://www.dstress.com/burnoutq.html.