I recently have had a series of coaching sessions with clients that are on the verge of burnout. The sequestration and furloughs have my federal clients challenged, and my private sector clients are burning the candle at both ends. I am the chair of the trustees of my church and our attendance has grown significantly since opening the doors of our amazing new facility, our staff is cheerfully pushing the envelope as new seekers come and stay (a great problem to have we say with gratitude.) I am also a member of my alma mater's Alumni Association, and we are in the midst of a capital campaign for a beautiful new student center. I ran across a blog today entitled The Antidote to Burnout is Progress post by Tomasz Tunguz that really resonated. He writes:
"Andrew Dumont wrote about his grueling schedule at a startup and the lessons on “Avoiding Burnout” which spurred a torrent of comments on HackerNews. For me, the most interesting comment is this one by Daniel Ribeir:
'Burnout is caused when you repeatedly make large amounts of sacrifice and or effort into high-risk problems that fail…You effectively condition your brain to associate work with failure… The best way to prevent burnout is to follow up a serious failure with doing small things that you know are going to work.'"
So there is progress all around me at the moment, and I can really tell the difference in how I am expending my energy. My stress level is healthy and I am motivated. When there is not progress being made, then burnout is a by product.
Where do you get your energy to go on?
I get mine in these ways:
- My family responsibilities. They need me and I need them so I won't let them down.
- I love what I do. Coaching leaders is the best career for me! I am grateful that I can provide and connect with such interesting and intelligent people on a daily basis to help them reach their potential.
- Have some fun. I went about a week one time when I had not laughed. I realized that was not going to work for me any more, and I make sure I have 'fun' planned into the work of my day. And I have an active social life with friends and family. Nothing like sleep overs with my 6 year old's BFF to keep things light!
- Annual traditions like July in Ogunquit, ME. The great thing about my job is I can coach anywhere as long as I have a phone and an internet connection. My family goes to Maine where I can breathe in the sea air, feast on the delicacies of the area, and live in the comfort of a wonderful small home we have been renting for several years.
- Simplicity - when things get crazy, I find the simplicity in whatever I can to get centered and find balance.
- Faith - God has me covered. Not all my business leaders have a faith system to rely on, but most of them do. It is a wonderful thing to be able to integrate spiritual connections to the stress of daily living. This bullet should really go first, but I will save the best for last!