How often each day do you feel like an idiot? Hopefully, the answer is “just enough.” I believe that measuring idiotic feelings per day (IFPS) is a decent method of predicting or identifying burnout. Here are your options:
I feel like an idiot all the dang time!
This is likely a sign that one (or both) of two things is happening:
- Your work is too difficult and stressful
- Your self confidence is too low
Either of those things could lead you to burnout, and if you have both, then whoa nilly, watch yourself. Either one of those is a good thing to discuss with your manager.
I never feel like an idiot, idiot!
This probably means that you’re bored, and you’re not being challenged. Being bored at work is another easy way to lead yourself to burnout. You may need to speak up and say that your work isn’t engaging or challenging enough.
It could also just mean that your self confidence is way too high, but in practice I’ve found that to be very rare.
Sometimes I feel like an idiot.
If you feel like an idiot every now and then, particularly when you make a random mistake or encounter something you haven’t done before which is tough to understand, then you may just be in the sweet spot.
Your work is likely just challenging enough that it keeps you interested and engaged but not so hard that it’s driving you crazy. And hopefully your self confidence is keeping your failures under control so that they don’t swallow you up.
Embrace your inner idiot!
So it’s up to you to make sure that the work you’re doing is at the right level to make you feel like an idiot just enough. If you’re too far one way or the other, then reach out to your manager or someone else who can possibly help correct it.