Last week was my university's first week of classes, and today is the Labor Day, which means we have the day off. Given that I have a MWF teaching schedule, this is a nice stroke of luck, as the sudden change of workload from summer break last week hit me like a ton of bricks. I usually don't have any problems with motivation, but to be honest I was already feeling pretty worn out...just one week into the academic year!
I'll probably adapt to the change in a week or two, as it's always difficult to get back into the swing of things. But it got me thinking about something I was warned about during the tenure and promotion process at my university: burnout. This was something I was warned about several times, both during my 3-year review and the final tenure process--and by both my department and college T&P committees. Each time, the committees noted that I had taken on a lot of optional responsibilities beyond research and teaching, and they warned me to ease off to avoid burnout. Naturally, I didn't listen. I've only taken on more responsibilities this year. But what do you know? I am beginning to wonder whether I may have finally taken on too much...and have wondered what, if anything, I should do to make sure I don't burn out.