We are halfway through 2019, and I am encountering two types of business people. Some are saying, “I can’t believe it’s June already!” It’s a sign that the year is running away from them and they are perhaps not on track to meet their objectives this year. The other group is saying “I can’t believe it’s only June!” These are the people who are already exhausted and heading for burnout. For those who have been pushing hard this year, perhaps you need to cut yourself some slack. Slow down a little, so you can turn the corner and accelerate down the road again.
Here’s some advice that you won’t often hear from a business coach, whose job it is to drive and motivate leaders to work smarter, faster and harder. However, businesses simply can’t be run successfully by leaders with burnout.
Tomorrow is another day
We’ve been conditioned to believe that procrastination is the root of all evil. And it is. But you must not confuse procrastination with prioritising and planning to do something the next day. We are only human, and there are only 24 hours in a day. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew, our goals are too ambitious, we overpromise, we are under resourced and over stretched. There comes a time when you need to draw a line in the sand and call it a day before you reach burnout. Because tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity to get things done.
When you try and squeeze too much out of a day, you don’t get enough rest, your mind never takes a break and you will actually be less productive. Do it properly tomorrow, rather than doing a half-baked job today just so you can tick it off your list.
No is also an answer
This is sometimes the hardest thing to say. You want to please everyone, you believe your clients will leave you, you will lose your job and your friends won’t like you. Saying yes just to please, when you really mean no, causes burnout. When is it ok to say no? When the demands are unreasonable, when it’s not possible, when the sacrifice is not worth it, when your family will be compromised, when it clashes with your values, when you simply don’t have time, or when there is an alternative. The world won’t end, and no one will die. By respecting yourself, others will start to respect your boundaries too. It’s a fine line between being reliable and being taken advantage of.
Take a break
Yes, it’s ok to go home after a day’s work and switch off. Watch your children’s sporting activities, lie on the couch on the weekend with one eye on the sport and the other in slumber land. Take holidays, put your out of office message on and leave your laptop at home. To avoid burnout, always have the next break planned so you know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it’s a braai with friends and family, a golf game, a weekend away or an overseas trip. Work hard with the knowledge that you will get a proper break from it all in the near future. And then take the break.
If you feel like you are wheel spinning and losing control, you are heading for burnout. Perhaps it’s time to slow down, have a pit stop, recharge and then accelerate into the second half of the year. It’s only June! Call me and let’s make the most of the possibilities that the second half of the year holds.