Executive burnout continues to affect more and more professionals as the pressure to perform, succeed and adapt builds. The high demands and responsibilities that leaders are faced with can lead to problems in the individual’s personal and professional life – burnout can and does affect it all. Avoiding burnout as an employee requires prioritizing yourself, managing your workload, and leaning on others for support, along with additional solutions we will discuss in this text.
Set Clear Expectations
Executives are often guilty of blurring the lines between work hours and personal time because of heavy workloads and the pressure to get it all done. This leads to the feeling of being constantly “on”, and for those who are working from home, this can be especially difficult. It is essential for individuals to set clear boundaries and start designating specific hours when they are unavailable to be reached or can “clock out” on work-related matters
Prioritize Self Care
Investing in yourself is something that is easy to overlook but really makes the difference. Your physical health, emotional well-being, and mental sharpness are all connected and visible in the way you act both at and outside of work. It’s important that you take time for yourself and focus on your personal needs before they are pushed aside and forgotten about. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep may seem small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things – but it affects every other aspect of your life. Don’t neglect what matters to you as you chase success, and remember what makes you, you.
Delegate Tasks Effectively
Effective leadership starts with the ability to recognize that you can’t, and shouldn’t, do it all yourself. You’ve heard it before – there’s no “I” in team. Building a strong team is the foundation to a healthy workplace, a healthy mind, and avoiding burnout. Having people that you trust and can fall back on to delegate tasks and responsibilities not only contributes to avoiding burnout, but empowers your people. When they feel confident in their work, they also feel the push to grow and develop so that you don’t feel the stress of having to complete every task on your own.
Seek Mentorship or Professional Support
Having the support of a professional executive coach can make all the difference in regard to your mental status, as well as dealing with conflict and resolution. They are able to provide you with valuable perspectives that you might be missing due to your stressed, burnt-out state of mind. Having a safe space between yourself and your coach allows you to share such experiences and visualize the path you need to take to get to the solution. It serves as a source of understanding, so that you can set aside the time to really focus on yourself, and what you need. With this clarity, it becomes easier to avoid burnout because you know what triggers it and what you need to get out of tight spots.
Take Regular Breaks
Did you make use of all the vacation time you were allotted in the past few years? Ensuring that you set aside this time for yourself to go on vacation, or simply take short breaks from your workload throughout the year can help you avoid that feeling of burnout. Different from what we previously mentioned as setting boundaries, taking regular breaks leans into the idea that leaders need that time away. This downtime is essential to assisting your mental well-being so that you can reset and recuperate when you start feeling overwhelmed. We often see leaders neglect this guaranteed time off because they have “nothing planned”. It’s really all about time spent where your mind isn’t interrupted by thoughts of work. It provides the necessary time for reflection and slows the seemingly never-ending cumulative stress that leads to burnout.
Recognizing the early signs of burnout is the key to avoiding this state of mind, and being proactive in adopting these strategies assists executives in maintaining their physical, mental and emotional well-being while still effectively leading their teams to success. Additionally, utilizing the work of professional executive coaches gives such leaders the outlet to express their concerns, insights and observations to find the root of their discomfort so they can then make changes for themselves.