Burnout can happen at any stage of your leadership career – and some days it may feel like you are treading water to stay afloat without really achieving anything positive. Your energy levels may be dwindling, and you feel like you are running at full capacity. However, despite your efforts, you don’t feel like you are making a real difference, and your confidence is running at an all-time low.
How can you avoid burnout while remaining fully engaged and energised? How can you ensure that you are working to your full capabilities?
Take a Rest Day or Two
While a holiday may be off the cards, taking a day or two for a quiet day at home can work wonders and helps to revitalise the body and the mind. Why not take a Friday and a Monday off to make it a four-day weekend and spend the time focusing on yourself. When was the last day you did nothing except rest? Chances are if you are reading this, then it was quite a while ago. Your health is important and time out will allow you to see things from a new perspective. Make time now before things get out of hand and you require more than a day or two to recover from your efforts at work.
Say No to Constant Demands
It is sometimes hard to say no to those who consistently turn to you for help. But sometimes it is necessary to get through the day and save your sanity. While it feels good to be needed, sometimes the end result can leave us stretched in all directions, and our overall health and work performance can suffer. Set limits, decline meetings and keep time so you can get your own tasks done. Be realistic about how much you can fit into your day and allow quiet times to acknowledge and recognise your achievements.
Add some fun into the Work Day
When was the last time you let your hair down at work? It is okay to pause and enjoy life over morning or afternoon tea. Working hard from morning to late afternoon without a break will not do you any favours. Chances are if you are feeling like you are reaching a burnout point, then others may be in a similar boat. Take the lead – grab some doughnuts or chocolate cake and give you and your team an opportunity to pause work, at least for a moment.
Delegate to Others
No one said that being a leader is without its challenges, and thankfully you have a team in place to ease the workload during particularly busy times. You may find that others will be only too happy to learn new skills and stretch their area of knowledge to reduce your burden. Give them the basics they need to carry on with the tasks and let them get on with it. If they make a mistake, they can correct it. Micromanaging does not help anyone.
Focus your Awareness to Avoid Burnout
While rest is all well and good, a mental shift needs to occur to stop the prospect of burnout from happening again. Read our whitepaper on The Curse of Capability and learn how understanding that you can do so much more than what you are currently doing, will better your leadership performance in the long-term. It is not uncommon that many people one-day stop and realise that they no longer like the role they find themselves in and want to change it.
While you may feel that your energy is in short supply, that won’t always be the case. Overextending yourself is nothing to be embarrassed about and pretending it isn’t happening is the worst thing you can do. Never feel embarrassed to ask help from others. Once you find yourself energised, you will find your confidence returning in no time at all. And don’t forget to read our white paper, it is never too late to realise the success you have within you.