2023 Strategies for Overcoming the Burnout Trifecta 

2023 Strategies for Overcoming the Burnout Trifecta 

With companies aiming to improve their businesses and professionals striving to reach their milestones, the world of work has become a bustling and fast-paced industry. As people continue to pursue their goals, they start to prioritize their productivity and output above anything else.

Although giving importance to one’s efficiency is needed to develop, individuals are going as far as sacrificing their own well-being. This unhealthy habit can lead to many negative outcomes including burnout. But what exactly is being ‘burnt out’ and how can we prevent it? In this article, we aim to tell you everything you need to know about the concept of job burnout.


Understanding Burnout 

Maybe you’ve already heard of the term ‘burnout’ at one point in your career. According to the World Health Organization, it is not considered a medical condition that someone could be diagnosed with. Instead, it is a phenomenon that happens due to chronic workplace stress.¹

It is also referred to as a syndrome that can manifest in different ways. For some people, burnout can cause their physical health to deteriorate which sometimes lead to a variety of sicknesses. For others, they become emotionally tired or unstable. There are also other people who become mentally exhausted which prevents them from functioning properly.


Burnout Trifecta: Three Types and How to Prevent Them 

With variations of the word being in circulation since the 1970s, it’s interesting how the idea of burnout still remains relevant today.² In order to prevent it from happening to you, it’s important that you first learn about the ‘Burnout Trifecta’. Below, you’ll find detailed meanings, causes, possible signs, and how to prevent or overcome burnout.


Type 1: Overload

The first type of ‘burnout trifecta’ happens when a person works too hard to achieve his or her goal. Usually, people with burnout overload dive into their work without even thinking of their physical and mental health. They are fixated on finishing and delivering the tasks assigned to them.



It may be different for every person, but overload often happens to people who have linked their worth as an employee or as an individual to the number of tasks they can get done. The mentality of ‘no pain, no gain’ can also cause this syndrome since they are willingly doing unhealthy amounts of work because they believe it would lead to positive outcomes or ‘gains’.


Possible Signs 

This type of burnout usually affects people who practice unsustainable working habits and can’t set boundaries. With that said, the following are some indicators of this type.

  • You choose to finish a task before meeting your basic needs like consuming food and water.
  • You ignore the things you want to do just so you can meet deadlines at work.
  • You don’t care about your own well-being, be it physical or mental as long as you reach the milestones you set.



To avoid being overloaded at work, you need to create a healthy boundary that can help you meet both deadlines and your needs. Give yourself time to relax and unwind after your scheduled workday. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, it’s also vital for you to learn how to regulate your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.³

Avoid connecting your self-worth to the number of tasks you finish. Try to reframe any negative opinions about yourself and rewrite them in a better light. For example, you can focus on how you finished all responsibilities for the day instead of dwelling on the idea that you could’ve done more.

Read More: The Overworking Epidemic – How to Regain Control of Your Time and Avoid Burnout 


Type 2: Under-Challenge

Many may not be aware but not all burnouts stem from overworking. The second type in the ‘burnout trifecta’ refers to the situation where a person is not motivated enough to actually finish doing their tasks. They feel like the responsibilities given to them are not worth their effort, so they tend to lose all will to finish them.



Every individual who has this type of burnout may have different reasons. One of the possible reasons could be because their job is too easy to the point where they feel bored to actually finish it. Another possibility would be a lack of stimulation which can happen for roles that have monotonous and repetitive tasks.

Employees may feel that their skills are not being recognized or that they’re not being given any opportunities to grow.


Possible Signs 

The second type of burnout focuses more on the perception of people about their potential. Some warning signs that could tell you you’re under-challenged are:

  • You always want to receive more challenging tasks and responsibilities.
  • You feel like you are stagnant and are making no progress in your professional journey.
  • You think your current job is a waste of your talents, skillsets, and potential.



Similar to the previous type, under-challenged burnout is greatly affected by the mentality you foster. When you are feeling demoralized, don’t focus on negativity. You can prevent burnout of this type by motivating yourself to finish tasks. Partner your job with worthwhile rewards for yourself. Instead of objects or tangible things, give yourself the prize of learning something new.

For example, you dread finishing your company’s security maintenance because it is a very easy task for you. Don’t think about how you’re going to work just for a simple task. You can instead think that the more efficient you are, the sooner you can dedicate your time to learning a new skill set that can improve your expertise.

Whether this is reading a new book or learning about a new program, it’s never a bad idea to expand your knowledge.


Type 3: Neglect

The two previous types were applicable to both employees and employers but this specific one mainly focuses on the former. This third type, ‘neglect burnout’ explains the feeling of helplessness a person may have when faced with challenges that are too difficult for them.

It is referred to as ‘neglect’ since that is what employees feel when they’re not given proper aid or guidance when they need them the most.



When a person is faced with demands they can’t meet, they tend to feel frustrated and uncertain about the next steps to take. Situations like these make it impossible to do stress management which leads to muddled critical thinking or problem-solving.

As a result, this leaves the employee unable to finish their tasks while thinking they’re incompetent in their role when they simply needed guidance to follow through.


Possible Signs 

Every employee and employer relationship are different, which means there could be many ways for this burnout to present itself. Regardless, here are some burnout symptoms or signs you can use to spot this last type.

  • Instead of trying to solve the problem, you simply give up when the plan goes awry.
  • When met with setbacks at work, you have no motivation to seek help due to negative past experiences of no one responding.
  • You dread going to work, especially when the tasks you have for the day are ones you haven’t mastered.



Overcoming burnout related to neglect can be difficult since it involves someone whose responses you can’t control. But what can you do? The best way is to not be afraid to reach out when needed. Use your words to communicate to those in charge about your struggles, difficulties, and requests.

Explain in detail the reasons behind your experiences and thoughts. Don’t focus the conversation on anyone’s shortcomings. Instead, have a future-focused conversation on what you need to prevent neglect burnout.

Read More: How to Prevent and Deal with Employee Burnout 



DAVIS Companies is dedicated to helping both employers and employees reach their highest potential in the healthiest way possible. As one of the top staffing and recruiting companies in America, we’re here to help. Whether you’re an employer looking for responsible employees you can delegate tasks to or a candidate aiming to find the right organization.

Through our services of contract, direct hire, and other staffing solutions, we are committed to putting great people together. We provide the best experts to our clients and the best opportunities for our professionals. Slowly but surely, move your way up the ladder towards your success the DAVIS Way. Reach out today to begin!



1 Departmental News. “Burn-out an “Occupational Phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases.” World Health Organization, 28 May 2019, www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international-classification-of-diseases.

2 Malesic, Jonathan. “Burnout Dominated 2021. Here’s the History of Our Burnout Problem.” The Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2022, www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/01/01/burnout-history-freudensberger-maslach/.

3 Wilding, Melody. “3 Types of Burnout, and How to Overcome Them.” Harvard Business Review, 22 Aug. 2022, hbr.org/2022/08/3-types-of-burnout-and-how-to-overcome-them.

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