It’s a common conversation especially among highly-motivated individuals. When you’re singularly focused on making big things happen, sometimes you can start to feel a fatigue set in. Health problems might start to resurface and it might get harder to take care of personal matters. But if someone is dying of starvation and they need food, and they’re willing to dig through a wall to get to it, they don’t really care about their fingernails. If you’re chasing a goal that actually matters to you, you’ll be willing to burn the candle at both ends. but knowing how to prevent burnout is still essential, and it’s all about your mindset.
It’s important not to see burning out as a sign of weakness and to not see yourself as a victim. It just means it’s time to make some changes.
How To Prevent Burnout: Assess Your Situation
If you’re burnt out chasing after a goal you don’t really want, who’s fault is that?
You either need to get more fired up about what you’re doing, or you need to reassess your situation. If you’re in your ideal career and you feel like you’re at your wit’s end, it’s time to recalibrate. There are always resources available to you, whether you realize it or not. It might be time to take a day off. Maybe even a week off. There’s no shame in giving yourself a break so that you can come back to work ready, refreshed, and reinvigorated in your commitment to accomplishing your goals.
If you’re shouldering too much responsibility and there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, you may need to delegate some tasks to your employees. And if those employees are in the same boat, it’s time to hire someone else. Whatever you can do to alleviate that pressure is worth a try. Even if it’s just a temporary hire, it could be a huge help to optimize your efforts and clear out the pipeline.
There’s a lot of different things to do when you’re backed into a corner. You have to own the responsibility and make a game plan. Get together with your close collaborators and communicate. Chances are, your team is either feeling the same way or they can at least understand why you feel the way you do. And if you don’t have a team that you feel can have this conversation, that’s a sign. Pay attention to that.
How To Prevent Burnout: Be A Rebel With A Cause
You always have to be a rebel with a cause. That means that there’s always a reason why you’re doing the thing you’re doing. There’s always a deeper purpose, a North Star. There’s a problem that you’re trying to solve or a solution that needs innovation. The ends have to justify the means – you need to feel like you’re working towards serving the greater good. If you don’t know what that guiding light is, find it.
The other part of the equation is being a rebel. Sometimes you have to go against the status quo of what everyone is thinking or doing. A lot of people talk about work-life balance, and I think that idea is based on a somewhat flawed premise. If your work is your calling and what you feel like you’re meant to do, it is your life. And if you’re making strides in your work and truly devoting yourself to it, you will find the fulfillment and purpose you need to keep going. Remember that how you do anything is how you do everything, and that work and life are always connected in this way. If you’re struggling at work, you’re probably also struggling at home. And if you notice this trend, it’s time for a reinvention.
How To Prevent Burnout: Reinvent Yourself And Your Situation
Let’s say a manager is struggling, but refuses to change the way they’re doing things. They’re frustrated, but they’re too stuck in their ways to consider changing course. Either they haven’t bothered to educate themselves on different approaches, or they’re ignoring the advice of others. The bottom line.. They’re stuck.
If you’re not getting the outcome you want, you need to change what you’re doing. It’s as simple as that. It’s way easier to change what you’re doing than to expect the world to change around you. The number one cause of burn out is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It’s also the definition of insanity.
I’ve been stuck like this before, and the only way to shake myself out of it is to completely change the way I’m living. I’ll start waking up at a different time, going to the gym at a different time, dressing a different way, driving a new car, or living in a new part of town. Now, not everyone has the resources to make seismic changes like this, but the point still stands. You need to make significant changes in your lifestyle so that your subconscious understands that you’re serious about changing your perspective and changing your outcome.
How To Prevent Burnout: Create A System of Wins
When you refuse to change your ways, you start to lose self esteem. You build this whole other strategy that makes you feel worse about yourself instead of changing course and manufacturing wins. And that’s the thing…you can manufacture wins. You can create a system around you so that success is always within reach.
You need to set goals for yourself, big and small. They need to be clearly outlined and visible to you at all times. Take control of your schedule and your expectations so that you always know exactly what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to get there. If you want to run a marathon, you have to run 6-10 miles per day to prepare. You’ll get in the rhythm of accomplishing your goals, and start training your brain to feed on success.
Recap: How To Prevent Burnout
The bottom line is that If you’re burning out, look in the mirror.
You’re not a victim. The world isn’t happening to you. If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s time to take control of your life and shake things up.
- Assess your situation and use your resources to adjust
- Be a rebel with a cause – chase after your North Star by whatever means necessary
- Reinvent yourself and your situation to change your outcomes
- Create a system of wins and rewards to train your brain for success
You’re more than capable of pulling through. You just have to have the mindset that you’re in control. Once you recalibrate your goals, reinvent yourself in whatever way you see fit, and figure out where you’re headed, your outcomes will start to change.