Burnout is real and combatting it isn’t a simple 3-step plan. If you’re going to help your team (or yourself), you’ll have to start with the basics–which are easy to say and hard to do.
Begin by setting a reasonable expectation for your pace. Both at home and at work.
I don’t believe in “balance” but I work really hard to create rhythms. I believe mind and body work at their best when I allow my life to have rhythms that ebb and flow with seasons and stages. That mindset helps me determine where to draw the line with work.
When thinking about rhythm, think about all of it – both personal responsibilities and income-earning tasks. Both take significant mental and physical commitment. One great tool to is to commit to a specific number of hours for personal and work priorities based on current needs. I sense a difference in my personality when I stick to my schedule. Then, try to avoid blending the two. For example, when I am “at work,” I avoid taking too many personal calls/texts. I focus on the work.
When it’s time to shut down for the day or for a time period, try to put aside all work-related tasks and focus on your family. That approach allows you to give full attention to your personal responsibilities. Teams can help each other with this by communicating their commitments and working hours to each other, and then honoring them.
Most of us want to be dependable and available to the important people in our lives. So your calendar is your greatest tool. Everything goes on one calendar and one to do list. That may sound like a weird strategy for combatting burnout, but it let’s your mind off the hook for remembering it all.
Combatting burnout really does require a commitment to paying attention to our health and well-being at all times. We manage life responsibly in order to avoid getting overwhelmed, not to try and prove that we “have it all together.”
In reality, when our priorities lack order, when our schedules lack structure and ownership, and our work and family are bleeding together, that is when we are most prone to feel burnout.
So, as much as you may hate to hear it, good boundary setting is a necessary skill to develop.
If career burnout is your main struggle, increasing your internal, self motivation needs to be a target because it helps mitigate the external circumstances having so much impact. The primary way to heighten your self-motivation is to choose a goal (or set of goals) that resonates with you deeply and stirs you to want to accomplish great things. Think about your own life and career in terms of personal success.
What do you really, truly want to accomplish? Not someone else’s definition of success. Yours. Connect this to your life’s purpose and burnout becomes less intrusive.