Unit 16 :
Burnt out at work




Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

1. burnt out (phr.)
ill or very tired from working too hard

2. exhausted (adj.)
extremely tired

3. piling up (phr.)
objects positioned one on top of another

4. mood (n.)
the way you feel at a particular time

5. relieve (v.)
to make an unpleasant feeling, such as pain or worry, less strong 

6. time off (phr.)
a period of time when you do not work because of illness or holidays, or because your employer has given you permission to do something else

7. unplug (v.)
to take the plug of a piece of electrical equipment out of the place where it is connected to the electricity supply

8. easier said than done (phr.)
said when something seems like a good idea but would be difficult to do

9. positive (adj.)
 full of hope and confidence, or giving cause for hope and confidence

10. match up with (v.)
if two pieces of information match up, they are the same

11. values (n.)
the amount of money that can be received for something

12. start with (phr.)
to begin doing something



Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



We could grab a beer. It’s been a while.

Yeah, it has. How’re you doing these days?

Actually, I think I’m getting burnt out at work.

Oh really? Just exhausted?

It’s not just that. I’m always stressed. The work keeps piling up and that makes me even more stressed.

Hmm, that’s tough. How much sleep are you getting?

Like five or six hours a night.

Oh, that’s probably not helping. Getting enough sleep and exercise will boost your mood and relieve stress.

Okay, thanks. I was thinking about taking some personal time as well.

That’s a great idea. Take some time off and unplug. And turn off your phone, too.

That’s easier said than done, but I’ll try.

Good. And, find something to be positive about before you get out of bed in the morning.

Okay, I’ll try that. And if all this doesn’t work?

Then it might be something deeper. Your work might not match up with your goals and values.

Okay, well I’ll start with the sleep, and go from there. Thank you!



Read the article with your teacher.

Signs you’re burning out at work


What exactly is burnout?

Burnout is “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.”

 Signs you may be experiencing burnout

1. Exhaustion

A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.

2. Lack of motivation

When you no longer have that internal motivation for your work, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing burnout. It may be harder to get going in the morning and to drag yourself into work every day.

3. Cognitive problems

Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to concentrate. When we’re stressed, our attention narrows to focus on the negative element that we perceive as a threat. This narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.




Answer the following questions to your teacher.

1.Has someone you helped ever taken credit for your work?
2.How do you deal with the time pressure/deadlines at work?

Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. “I think I’m getting burnt out at work.”

2. I’m always stressed because the work keeps ____ up.

A. piling
B. filing
C. pacing
D. picking

3. Getting enough sleep and exercise will ____ your mood and _____ stress.

binge / jump / receive / low / relieve / boost

4. “ I tried to boost his ego by praising his cooking. “

A. I tried to teach him how to cook.
B. I wanted to taste the food he cooked.
C. I thought his cooking is not good enough.
D. I tried to make him feel more confident.