Annamaria Garden is a expert in the field of organisation behaviour, and a prolific author, including a biography of her father: Oscar Garden: A tale of one man’s love of flying. Annamaria talks to NZ Booklovers about her new book about burnout.
Tell us a little about Burnout and the mobilisation of energy
This book is aimed at helping individuals and organisations get out of burnout and keep out of it. Burnout is identified by severe energy depletion, energy fluctuations, being unable to do simple things like listen to music or talk to people. It is different from anxiety and depression. The book uses research, theory and consulting to explain what it is. Mobilisation of energy is explored separately at first and then comes together with burnout. It is the natural activation of energy. It is close to the idea of intrinsic motivation – being motivated from within rather than from without.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired watching mental health professionals do their jobs. There was a mix of people complaining about burnout and others doing a demanding job who weren’t anywhere near burnout. I decided to write the book at that point of realization because I had spent nearly 40 years off and on researching, studying and consulting about burnout. I had never written a book about what I knew and at that point I decided now was the time.
What research was involved?
(i) My PhD was on burnout and the effect of personality
(ii) My consulting research and practice included case studies and clinical interviews
(iii) M y mental health sample of 20 which included in-depth interviews
(iv) My study of and writing about my own burnout
What was your routine or process when writing this book?
I adopted the routine of getting up at 4am and then, if I was working that day, I would stop writing at 12pm. Otherwise, I would keep writing till 1 or 2 pm.
What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?
Writing it at 4am was what I enjoyed. Also, linking together burnout and the concept of mobilisation of energy.
What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?
I’ve forgotten. I usually do celebrate so I must have done something.
What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?
Flourish by Martin Seligman (who wrote Authentic Happiness.) Why? – because he is able to junk what he has written about before and write something completely new.
What’s next on the agenda for you?
I am in the middle of my next book: Beyond Positive Psychology. For this, I get up at 3am but, even so, it has been over a year that I have been writing it. It is the hardest book I have written.
Burnout and the Mobilisation of Energy by Annamaria Garden, Austin Macauley Publishers, RRP $32.50. More information at www.annamariagarden.co.nz