Surviving Burnout

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[vimeo id="140970096"] One of the hardest things to overcome in any job is burnout. You get no satisfaction out of your work. Your Sundays are ruined because you dread Monday so much. You start wondering how little effort you have to put it. Instead of thinking about excellence, you think about survival. So how do you get through or avoid burnout? Well, here are a few thoughts.

First, recognize that your lifestyle is unsustainable. Burnout is literally when a fire uses more energy than it has. In the same way burnout in life is when you’re trying to use more energy on a daily basis than you can fuel. Now there are always certain times when we have to run at “110%.” Maybe you have a special project or an emergency came up that needs you to invest that extra 10%. But those are only short periods of time. You can’t sustain a “110%” lifestyle.

Secondly, reevaluate what you’re investing into. Write down everything you’re spending either time or energy doing. What are the three things on that list that are most important that you must get done? Those are the three things you need to prioritize. You need to not only have the time to do them but also the energy to do them well. So reevaluate anything that’s not part of those top three. Ask yourself some questions. Why are you spending energy on them? What rewards are you receiving from those activities? Why shouldn’t you cut them from your list?

And lastly, develop a sustainable life cycle. The key to avoiding burnout is life-balance. Our body performs extremely well on a cycle of engage – retreat – recover – reengage. Now if you always engage at 110% you will find it increasingly difficult to move from recover to reengage. Each person’s ideal life cycle is different. So find a rhythm that works for you which balances productivity with recreational activity. Remember, no matter how hard you work you will only get twenty-fours in a day, so use them wisely!

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