Are you mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted? Are you stressed by your responsibilities at work or at home to the point that you can’t seem to move forward? It’s time to act before burnout gets the best of you.
Although it can affect anyone in the workplace, I’ve found that leaders and entrepreneurs like you and me have distinct personality traits that can contribute to burnout. Such traits include perfectionism, the urge to control everything, reluctance to delegate to others, and a high-achieving, Type A personality.
As a result, many of us, including myself, have been burnt out in the past or are constantly on the verge of that dangerous state. Many of the strategies I now personally use and provide to clients are based on my experience:
Redefine what “Success” means to you. The first thing you can do to avoid burnout is to stop being obsessed with perfection and ask yourself:
What do I really care about?
How can I live my life with minimal regrets?
What makes my life and my work meaningful?
Is my work currently in line with my values?
Learn How To Say “No”. Define what are the most important tasks to your success. We know that 20% of our work creates 80% of the results. So focus on the top 20% of activities that are critical to your success. Cut out anything unimportant or unnecessary. Every ‘yes’ adds more to your plate and takes energy from you.
Embrace a morning ritual. Start your day in a positive, grounded way. Strategies I use for myself and my clients. I always feel better when I start the day this way:
Set your intention for the day using the 5-minute journal
Clear your mind by journaling – try Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way” to get started
Make exercise apart of your morning routine. Even 15 minutes can put you in a good headspace for the day.
Make downtime a daily ritual. Take time out everyday to reconnect with yourself and the world.
If you have time, get out into nature or the local park. Even a 5-minute walk around the block can help you get out of your own head and reconnect with yourself and the world.
Practice self-compassion – be understanding of others and find something to learn from individuals who are in your life, from coworkers to family members.
Get creative – allow yourself the time to Paint, draw, photograph and create. Creativity inspires, invigorates and helps you remember what matters most.
Make time with friends and family – allow yourself the time to connect with the people you love everyday.
Meditate – there are so many meditation resources available now. Try them and see which one you like – a favorite of mine is Breathe.
Build your support team and ask for help. Having people that can support you on your journey is essential to your success. Start building your support team so that you have trusted people to talk to when you feel close to burnout. Reach out and tell those around that you are looking to be proactive and not allow yourself to be defeated by stress. Share these strategies with them and support each other, especially if they have similar high pressure roles or ambitions. I’ve found this is one of the best strategies for beating burnout and it’s an area we place a lot of attention on at The Inside Academy.
What do you think of these strategies? What have you found helped you prevent burnout?
If you are already experiencing burnout, recognize it and allow yourself to experience those feelings. Know that you will have to change something and start limiting the activities that led you to burn out in the first place. Make space for yourself. Step 1 – take a vacation!
Ultimately, burnout teaches us about ourselves. It allows us to understand our own needs as leaders and entrepreneurs and give us the skills to succeed in a sustainable way.
About the Author: Alexandra Kinloch is a serial award-winning entrepreneur and business coach. She is the Director of The Inside Academy, has worked with large Silicon Valley firms as an innovation consultant and run a successful tech startup. She was named in the ‘Top Australian Female Entrepreneurs Under 40’ in both 2014 and 2015 and now uses her experience to help aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs create businesses they love.