You thought the 7-year itch was just a myth, but it’s actually a real thing. However, unlike most 7-year itch scenarios, this one isn’t referring to your life partner. It’s the nonprofit board you serve on.

Here are some telltale signs that you’re feeling the itch:

  • You are bored and have been for quite some time. You’ve learned the organization inside out, given your all, and don’t feel like you’re gaining or giving any new insights.
  • You fantasize about cheating. What would it be like to serve on another board? Or how would it feel to have some more free time all to yourself, to do what you want and perhaps even pick up a new hobby? Imagine that.
  • You have been MIA. You are committing the cardinal sin you once loathed when other board members seemed absent. Now you’re the culprit. You miss more board meetings than you care to admit and the delete key has become your friend when it comes to the bi-monthly email updates from your Executive Director.
  • You judge the quality of your board meetings by how quick they are. You’ve got better things to do than sit through another yawner meeting!
  • You’ve grown apart. At one time you enjoyed the critical thinking, strategy work, and governance work that board service requires. Now all you crave is no paperwork, no decision making and more hands-on volunteer work where you can interact with the end beneficiary.

Do any of these strike home, even just a little? Admitting this is half the battle. Nonprofit board service is tough, time-consuming work when done well. There is a reason term limits exist, one of which is to introduce fresh blood—new people who felt like you did once upon a time. You owe it to yourself and the mission you care about to take an honest look at your energy and commitment levels. If you’re trending downward and have been for some time, it might be worth bidding adieu and opening up your board seat for someone else who is as passionate as you once were.