Top Tips to Effectively Prevent Burnout

The warning signs of burnout often go unnoticed until they seriously impact your life and those around you.

You’re snapping more at people around the office, and those open conversations and meetings you used to welcome have been replaced with hesitant knocks on your office door and people starting conversations with, “Sorry to bother you.” The meetings you used to rock - now you’re looking at them on your schedule with dread. There’s a constant knot of tension in your shoulders and you keep a bottles of ibuprofen stashed to battle the endless dull headache.

Burnout has been a serious issue for executives for decades, and it’s only getting worse. You’re under more pressure than ever to lower costs, raise profits, and improve productivity while working with fewer resources. The 8-hour day is a thing of the past, replaced with 10-12 hour days, plus the post work emails and phone calls. You’re always connected to work, with no time for exercise, sleep, or decent meals.

This is all the recipe for burnout. So, how do we fix it?

First, clear your schedule for two weeks. Next, book a flight to Tahiti...Yeah, sounds great, doesn’t it?

If you can’t disappear from your life for a few weeks, try these fast hacks to reduce burnout and get your brilliance back.

Reduce the Workload

How much of your day is doing stuff that is, to put it bluntly, “below your pay grade?” When we get stressed, too often we just get in the mindset of “I have so much stuff to get done,” and it becomes a type of tunnel vision. Take a few minutes each day and look at your to-do lists and schedule and see what you can shift down.

If you have trouble letting go, think of it this way: How are you better to your company: focusing on growth, creating strategies to raise profits, or negotiating deals, or are you better off dealing with spreadsheets and admin tasks? Delegate!

Focus on Your Basic Needs

Even if you’ve tuned them out dozens of time, you’ve heard the flight attendant say “Put your mask first before helping those around you.” That’s what I’m talking about here. If you’re running on fumes, you’re not sleeping, you’re fueling your body on coffee, takeout, and snacks, and that exhaustion and poor nutrition only makes your burnout worse.

Focus on caring for yourself, including:

  • Eating an overall clean diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats and cut much (if not all) of the sugar, fast food, and processed food out of your diet.  

  • Sleeping 7-8 hours a night in a cool, dark space.

  • Getting physical activity, whether it’s a workout or just a brisk walk each day.

Meeting your basic needs means you’re replenishing yourself and will be in a better frame of mind to handle work and life without the burnout.

Avoid Sedatives and Stimulants

You’re drinking coffee or energy drinks all day to make it through your day, and when you get home, you relax with a few beers or wine with dinner. Or maybe you rely on 5-Hour Energy shots during the day and have a prescription to help you sleep at night.

While you may feel you need these things to keep you up or help you unwind, you are damaging your sleep cycle and the sleep you do get won’t be as deep or as effective. Eliminate the sedatives and stimulants (unless you are under care of a doctor, in which case, speak to him or her) and allow your body’s Circadian rhythm to get back in alignment.

Get Away From It All

While you may not be able to get on a plane and head straight to Tahiti, if you have vacation days, use them. In this country, 658 MILLION vacation days go unused, (and we wonder why we’re suffering from burnout!) and why? We’re afraid the office can’t run without us, or there’s always some emergency that needs dealing with.

Here’s the thing, breaks give us the opportunity to come back refreshed and with a clear perspective. When you truly take time away from the office, that separation lets you recharge your batteries so you’re NOT snapping at your team, falling asleep at your desk, and daydreaming about throwing your cell phone out the window.

Whether you just need a long weekend or a week-long vacation, schedule it, take it, and separate yourself fully from the office - no phone calls, no emails. Your office will thank you for it.

Create the Job You Love

If your burnout stems from simply not enjoying the work you do, how can you change it? As an executive, you’ve got the ability to effect change in the company, now you just have to determine what change you want to see. Feeling unfulfilled? How can you add philanthropy into the company. Want to see more programs for your team to encourage growth and development? Talk to your HR and People Operations.

Be the change to create the job you want, and you’ll get your Fire back.

If you add these changes into your life, and you still feel exhausted, stressed, and burned out, you may be suffering from a hormonal disruption. Get back in alignment with Our Elite Coaching Program for Male Executives so you can get your energy, focus, and drive back, both in work and in your personal life.

If you’re ready to invest in wellness solutions that will have you experiencing peak performance, click here and schedule a Free 15-minute Video Consultation. Spaces are limited, so don’t delay!

Dr. James Leonetteburnout