20 ways to go from burnt out to turned on
“I’m burnt out, bored at work, underutilized. My workload is overwhelming, what should I do?”
Listen, even if you don’t say it out loud, deep down you may feel directionless and overwhelmed at times, I totally get it. Sometimes I do too, even with all of my coach training, because, hey we’re both human.
From a leadership standpoint, especially when you are trying to level up your career, dealing with burnout and overwhelm sometimes involves facing hidden mindset habits we may not even be aware we have…and getting to the root of them.
In the end, each person’s ideal recipe for reducing stress and ending burnout and overwhelm is different. This month I have 20 ideas to help you pick and choose the mindset hacks, leadership tips and ontological coaching techniques that are right for you.
And I’ve got 30 days of content on Instagram and LinkedIn…and I’m hosting a live training about this exact topic. If you know you are already a “Hell yes, I want into that free training!” you can sign up right here.
Part 1: Mindset hacks to avoid burn out and overwhelm
1. Are you under-committed and overbooked?
Just commit: to something, anything, and do it from a powerful place. I’m committed to full-expression, can you tell?
Don’t promise to have something done if you know you’re going to have to stay up all night for a week to finish it. First decide how long, realistically, any project should take, then add at least an extra day on it (more if it’s a big project; even more if you have other team members involved).
And don’t take on anything that cuts into your non-negotiable personal wellness, personal development and leadership building time. You are the leader of your life, you are your biggest asset.
Look for alternative solutions to suggest, or spread the work out over your team. You are a leader…you can delegate.
The same goes for your personal commitments. Remember, as a leader you don’t have to do everything yourself.
2. Stop the Hurry Before You Start
Do you rush into the day’s activities without pausing for breath? Literally, not even noticing your are a human breathing?
When you sit down at your desk and begin to work take the first 30 seconds to take 3 deep inhales and exhales, then take a moment to clean up your desktop, close unnecessary browser tabs, if you have left them open. Determine your priorities for the day, pick your top 3…then get started.
3. Does this #SparkJoy?
Clutter can be confusing and distracting. Clean off your desk; either at night or first thing before you start work (whichever feels better to you).
Donate or toss any item on your desktop and in your home office that doesn’t give you pleasure or inspiration, or is not useful. Marie Kondo your mindset.
Consider also donating or tossing any items, books or office supplies that you haven’t used for the last six months.
4. Prepare for unforeseen interruptions
Leave a block of time for the unexpected, in fact, plan for it. That project that’s taking a little longer; the webinar that runs overtime (but it’s really valuable!); spending a little extra time snuggling your kid in bed, chatting to a business client or contact that you really need to speak to.
It opens up additional white space in your day for connection and engagement.
5. Are all those plates you are juggling keeping you busy?
Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be pretty; it doesn’t have to be profound. It can be a Word file, or Evernote that you add too, every day.
Jot down notes—even quick bullet point ones—of key things you did or didn’t do that day. Record useful URLs and list helpful resource people. You’ll be amazed how handy that journal comes in, when you look back over it at the end of every month.
6. Find What Energizes You
Burnout and stress both melt away when you find what it is about your life, career or business that truly energizes you. Once you’ve identified these areas or activities, get rid of the rest—automate, delegate or outsource—and spend more time on the parts of your life that you love, you are more than worth it.
7. Take the time
Ask your body, “How many breaks in a day do you need? How many vacations per year? How long should each vacation be?”
Overly ambitious people and perfectionists tend to skimp, even when they do take vacations. I have a client who (over)committed to a 90-day clean eating challenge and was going to reward herself with 2 weeks in Bali at the end of it. I asked “What for?”
“I just want to feel better about myself.”
“Why not do that today?”
Consider you can create a vacation or break mentality today that will support your body for the long-haul. You can still go to Bali, but not as a reward for something you don’t really want to do in the first place. Generate your well-being today and that will be the best vacation your mind and body will ever need.
8. Editing your feelings
Notice when you are “editing your feelings” then notice what happens next. Do you medicate and dim your feelings with hustle, drinking, performing or however it shows up for you? What if you fully expressed those feelings, let yourself sit in the disappointment of losing that job? What if you truly celebrated that big win you just created with your team instead of saying ‘Yay!” then moving onto the next., whatever it is for you?
One of my favorite things about football is that each team has a goal: make a touchdown. When they reach their goal, they celebrate! With fireworks, wild hooting and hollering and then get back to work. What’s your touchdown celebration really like? Stop editing your feelings and see what it reveals. It may be just what you need.
9. Finding burnout is your go-to?
Get to Know Yourself. What turns you on? What drives you? What are your values? Dreams? Goals? What are your habits? What do you find hard to do and what do you find easy?
Take self-assessment quizzes. Take time to read self-help books. Hire a coach, I have one. Find one who will help you see your blind spots, call you out on it, and be an accountability creative partner with you.
10. Talk about burnout
Create room for your social life: Make sure you have a healthy, active social life—even if you have to structure it. Join that monthly book club. Arrange to meet your BFF for coffee every other Friday at 8am. Volunteer one night a month for a cause that’s dear to your heart—and (healthy boundaries) be prepared to say “No” when someone wants more time then you are willing to give.