Last week, we discussed how our attitudes predict, prevent, and overcome burnout. Today, we will discuss our approach. We must address our attitude first because, without the proper attitude, our approach will not be as effective.
When I talk about our approach, I am referring to the following:
How we plan our time and prioritize tasks
How well we can focus
How we choose who we work with
How we integrate our careers, relationships, physical health, mental wellness, and emotional needs. We will go into detail on these later. For this discussion, we need to have a balanced approach to maintain effectiveness and prevent burnout for the long term.
Since burnout results from stress and frustration, the better we plan our time, the less stressed we will be, and the more we will get done, which is a great antidote to frustration. Let’s be real, as leaders, these plans will get ruined sometimes (maybe most of the time), but an interrupted plan will always lead to more productivity than no plan at all. The better we can focus during the day, the less frustrated we will become, and the more time we will have to enjoy life.
Our approach to who we work with also has a huge impact on us because when we work with the right people, we can delegate properly, grow personally, and most importantly, avoid having to fire people.
Many things can lead to burnout in our careers, and there is a lot in our personal lives that can cause stress and frustration. Even though people like to say, “Leave your personal life at the door when you get to work,” there is a tiny percentage of people who are actually capable of doing that (and I guarantee they will lose it eventually). Therefore, it is important to improve our self-awareness and empathy. When we understand what we need to stay cool and understand how we can support other people, these frustrations turn into opportunities to grow and live a more balanced life.
Below are a few tips that you can use to stay cool by adjusting your approach:
Plan your day before it starts. You can write your to-do list, add your tasks to your calendar (my favorite approach), or use whatever method you like, but get it done before your day starts.
Schedule times to check email, social media, and whatever else sends the lovely red circle to your iPhone. This allows you to stay in a proactive mindset, which lowers stress. I like to respond to anything that takes 2 minutes or less right away. If something is going to take longer and you want to save it for a later time, add it to your to-do list and get it done when the time is right. I am still working on not checking my phone until the designated time, but hey, we all have something that we can improve!
Hire right! This one is huge for so many reasons. I love using assessments to get to know your current top talent so you can replicate them when hiring (not clone them...yet). I base about 30% of the hiring decision on the assessment (if it is a good one). Have a few interviews in different settings to truly get to know the person and consider past successes (personal and career).
On average, dedicate some time each day to personal relationships, your career, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. The time you spend on each one will depend on the day, but you will also have more success in each of them when you are balanced in all areas.
I would love to hear about your approach and how it is working for you. Please email me and let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org