Burnout does not just happen to us. It’s a result of increased job-stress overtime where we are no longer able to meet the increased demands of our jobs. Burnout can be especially high for high-performing professionals and executives who are working in their ideal careers (e.g. a career that brings together their expertise, strengths, innate talents and career passions) if they are not delegating, setting boundaries and saying “no” when necessary.
Here are four strategies to help you avoid burnout.
- Increase your self-awareness. When you are constantly feeling irritable, indecisive and having difficulty concentrating on your work, these are key signs that you are heading toward burnout. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Being able to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as your impact on others, is critical to your success as a leader. It’s also the first step toward making positive and proactive changes for the better.
- Let it go. You’ll need to let go of your need to be perfect and your need to be liked by everyone if you want to make changes in your career. Not only are these impossible needs to be met, they will sabotage your growth and success. Begin by putting all non-life or death issues on hold including emails, phone calls, voice messages and text messages. You’ve probably unintentionally created an unhealthy culture at work by being the “go-to” person for every single issue and decision. You need to change these dynamics by changing your mindset, behaviors, actions and habits.
- Move your body. A simple 20-minute walk outside will help you clear your mind and help to release the strong negative emotions that have been building up inside over time. As hard as it may feel to get up from behind your desk and computer to do some form of exercise, do it anyway. You’ll feel calmer, clearer and more confident once you return to begin making small yet significant changes to how you currently experience your day-to-day job.
- Analyze your current responsibilities. What tasks can be automated? What responsibilities can be delegated? Which projects can you take on a lesser role? You need to get serious about identifying what you can delegate, where you need to set boundaries, and where you need to say “no” to avoid burnout. Your primary focus, time and energy need to be on higher-visibility and higher-impact work that play to your expertise, strengths, talents and career passions. By creating systems and structures to help manage what’s already on your plate, you’ll lighten your load and be more effective in performing at your optimal level.