There is a misconception that burnout is caused by working too hard. However, most people in business I come across work hard.
What actually causes burnout is an inability to manage one’s emotions. Life can be a roller coaster of ups and downs. Building a business can expose the highs and the drops of emotions. If one is unaware of how to navigate this, burnout follows.
As someone who helps leaders focus on mindfulness and their full potential, I’ve found that my clients put an end to burnout when they shift their perspective and manage their emotions.
For those looking to avoid burnout, here are five simple things you can do each day.
Start every day smart
The smartest thing you can do to start your day is to not give away your agenda to others before you’ve set intention, purpose and moved yourself to a clean work day.
If you open emails, texts and social media first thing in the morning, you’ve opened up your life to everyone else’s energy and opinions. Once this happens your own purpose and focus become diffused.
Start with a morning ritual that works for you and is easy to accomplish. For instance, if you like to meditate, read or work out in the morning, have everything you need ready the night before. Remember, your morning routine is not someone else’s. Do what’s right for you.
Understand that your energy goes where your thought flows
What you focus on grows. So, if your focus is on everything that is not working, you can expect those things to expand in your business and stress you out. Focus on what is working, then reboot the places that need attention.
I encourage clients to write out what they want to accomplish. This allows clarity and by writing it there’s a muscle to mental connection plus a stronger sense of commitment to achieving it. This can be done in the morning during your routine, or at the end of the day before sleep.
Stay out of the how
How is an exhausting word for most people. When you ask how, you’ll feel a rush of anxiety going through your system that sets you off in many different scenarios and opens loops. For instance, “how am I going to get this all done?” is quite a daunting question. This is a recipe for burnout.
Instead of how, ask yourself, what needs to happen next? This puts your brain in solution mode. Make a list, and then prioritise. Where there is a problem, there is a solution.
Asking questions around next required actions will keep your brain focused on a solution map rather than spinning worry, which creates burnout.
Create mind space
Agitation is a product of a cluttered and noisy mind. When noise takes over our thoughts, we are no longer in charge and the roller coaster begins. Taking breaks every 50 minutes to stretch, drink water and breathe deeply allows space.
Bill Gates is notorious for taking two ‘Think Weeks’ every year. The seven-day stretch of alone time gives him the opportunity to read, think and strategise.
‘Comparison is the robber of all joy’. When we compare ourselves to others, we’ll likely do one of two things: think negative thoughts about them or negative thoughts about ourselves. This creates a boomerang of low vibe energy and throws emotions into a downward spiral. You can avoid deprecating self talk by lifting others up. Be excited for those doing well.