ADHD or Burnout?

I have an open position on my team and another colleague out on leave.  Half of the year is gone and we are slightly behind our midyear goal.  As I am trying to decide how to push the team more, and as I pick up some team work to help, my manager tells me I’m doing too much and to slow down. 

I fear if we don’t make goal, my end of year performance review will not be exceeds standards.  I’ve always received an exceeds standards until the first year I started working for her; I got a meets standards.  Still bitter over it—she used you are new to the position; I created the team with no input from her, exceeded goal and saved $200k, and I got meets standards.

At my age, I shouldn’t care.  I’m not smart or bold enough to take a risk in career moves, nor am I sure I would want to.  I’ve built a decent reputation and wonder why make it harder on myself doing something that will eat into my personal time—why not sail through as is, but just slightly better to ensure I’m not on the displacement list.  I don’t know what I want or what I should do, but just sitting is not working for me either. I am twisted in my thoughts of my next move.  Should I stay or should I go?

This article, 8 Signs You’re Over-Functioning At Work (And How To Avoid Inevitable Burnout), caught my eye because I still have a difficult time deciding if my issue is ADHD or overwhelmed/anxiety from being overwhelmed.  But if you ask me, I’d say I’m underwhelmed and I only seem to have an issue when something changes my direction/thought or a personal responsibility is expected of me (graduation party, bridal shower, etc.).

Wow…I’m rambling and I haven’t even read the article yet. On to reading the article and my synopsis…

I can slightly relate to Luciana’s past experience and current – I made work my self-worth while raising two kids and being a wife, sister, daughter and in-law; I did it all and I did it pretty good (not perfect, but not bad).  When I reflect on my past, everything was for everyone else, except me.  Even work.  Although I thrived on work results, I felt that I had to work to support the family.  I needed to work because of the control and results, but didn’t like that I had to work.

When you over-function, you try to “fix” or “rescue” situations and people, because you fear that if you don’t, no one will

Melody Wilding

According to Melody, over-functioners are quick to act because they enjoy attacking a to-do list and seizing control.  She defines signs of over-functioning as:

  • Absorbing the emotions of your boss, team, and family and being overly focused on their problems
  • Worrying about other people’s perceptions of you
  • Changing your opinions and actions in an attempt to make others happy or “keep the peace”
  • Being overly accommodating in rescheduling meetings or giving up your personal time
  • Beating yourself up for never “doing enough” or never being “productive enough”
  • Struggling to relax , sit still, or enjoy downtime
  • Perfectionism, striving to get an A+ in everything you do, and feeling like a failure if you fall short
  • Avoiding asking for help because it will make you appear “weak” or incompetent <- I do not relate to this one for the wrong reasons; if someone knows the answer, I ask so I can save time doing the research.

She states several results of the over-functioner, several I can related to:  1) Even though a leader, prefer to do administrative tasks; 2) Remind team about due dates; 3) Team doesn’t desire the goals as I do. 

I also refer to over-functioning as heroing. You’re constantly in a fear-based, reactive mode trying to “save” everyone around you in an attempt to maintain some semblance of control, validation, or security

Melody Wilding

Does this relate back to my mother’s binge drinking?

How to Stop Over-functioning at Work

  1. Observe your patterns – notice when you are taking on more of the workload/responsibility
  2. Update unhelpful mental scripts – stop protecting others
  3. Teach people how to treat you – respect your time and energy; set and hold boundaries<- if it were only that simple.
  4. Recruit help from others – delegate, coach
  5. Leave unstructured time in your schedule <- and then what do I do?

I recall reading a blog of Melody’s a while ago and thought I’ll have to buy her book, Trust Yourself.  I really need to read the book—but fear this will turn into another purchase in which the book sits, like The Compassionate Leader book, on my table reminding me that I should read it, but never do.  Yet the impulse to purchase the book is so overwhelming, I will go to Barnes and Noble tomorrow and buy it.

What is wrong with me?  How can I be fixed?

Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay

​​8 Signs You’re Over-Functioning At Work (And How To Avoid Inevitable Burnout) — (

​​Trust Yourself Book — Melody Wilding

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