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Photo courtesy of Darius Soodman

Just Because You Can Do More Doesn’t Mean You Should

In this fast-paced business world, it can be hard just take a moment for ourselves. As executive and leaders, we don’t get many opportunities to reset and relax, especially during a project launch or company shift. You do more and more and, before you know it, you’ve hit a wall. Executive burnout is a very real risk in such a high-stress position but it doesn’t have to be a constant concern.

If you’d like to prevent executive burnout, there are habits you can institute now to prevent yourself from hitting that brick wall in the future. Here are a few ideas, but playing around with what works best for you is always advisable:

  1. Putting out fires vs important work. Problems come up every day that will distract you from your important work; the key is recognizing small fires that can be delegated or assigned to a later date. Taking a second to ask yourself “Is it critical that I do this right now?” before switching to a different task can eliminate stress and improve productivity.
  2. Cut out non-essentials. This is arguably the most difficult habit to cultivate because everything is seemingly so important. But if there is something on your task list that keeps getting delayed, odds are it can be cut or assigned to someone else. Getting realistic with what you’re actually going to do can prevent overwhelm.
  3. Schedule time off. Whether this means you book a 2-week-long vacation six months in advance or you schedule every other Thursday off, take the time to remove yourself physically from work. This goes a long way in giving you something to look forward to during stressful times and also refreshes you.
  4. Encourage open communication. Whether it’s company-wide or within your individual team, encourage people to discuss their projects, their concerns, and even to admit when they’re feeling overwhelmed. This level of openness will make people feel like part of a team and give them more opportunity

Written by

Carl is a business psychologist and leadership development expert who focuses on the development of high performance leaders.

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