These days, many of my coaching clients are telling me that they’re feeling burned out. Nearly everyone I talk to has some version of the same concerns: they feel busier, stretched further and more exhausted than ever before. They’re working harder and keeping longer hours, all under the stress of the pandemic and its personal and economic effects.
As an executive leadership coach, part of my job is helping my clients learn how to refuel when they feel depleted so that they can get back on track. Here are some of the most successful techniques and tips that I share with them:
Regard yourself as priority number one. When people are stressed, they let themselves go and forget how important it is to make themselves a priority. But if you don’t, it becomes progressively harder to replenish your physical and mental energy. When that happens, you lose clarity and focus—and that, in turn, further depletes your well-being. It’s an unhealthy cycle, but it’s one you can end. If you want to stop feeling exhausted, start treating yourself as your own top priority.
Review your current situation. Before you can begin to help yourself, you need to assess your current state. Examine how you’re spending your time and energy. An effective technique for finding out what drains you is to track your activities and rate each one in terms of how much it energizes or drain you. Once you understand where you are, you can begin taking steps to limit your exposure to the tasks, people and situations that drain you and increase your exposure to those that replenish you.
Minimize the attitudes that cause you stress. Everyone has patterns of thought that contribute to their stress. Learn what yours are and work to reduce their influence. For example, if you have perfectionist tendencies, spend some time recognizing that attitude and thinking about the ways it causes you stress. Then make a conscious decision to delegate or outsource some things, understanding that doing so means letting go of your ideas of perfection and control. Turning loose of something you’ve been holding onto tightly makes room for other things you need.
Find your best fuel. We all have different things that refuel us, and to be your best it’s important to know what works for you. If you have trouble maintaining the distinction between your professional and personally life, create boundaries. If you find yourself working all hours, set a time to unplug so you can rest and connect with family and friends. Refueling looks different for everyone—some of my clients exercise, some meditate, others take walks with their loved ones, cook, or just shut off their notifications. Give yourself whatever you need to do to replenish yourself and stop feeling burned out.
Lead from within: Refueling won’t keep you from experiencing moments of stress and anxiety. But it will increase your resilience and your resistance to mental and physical exhaustion.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.