Burnout is a rampant condition in the workforce these days. According to a recent study, more than a quarter of the executive workforce is working longer hours than they did before the pandemic, and more than ¾ of the executives report physical and mental health concerns related to work.
Even under normal circumstances, the job of a CEO, CFO, or board director is tough. However, as we move forward in a post-pandemic world, we encounter new challenges due to the transformed workforce environment. Executives now have to face long hours and rising levels of stress that are not sustainable in the long term, ultimately leading to burnout.
So, here’s how you can help yourself and fellow executives deal with burnout in the workplace:
Start Building Your Support Network
If you have acclimated to working overtime, you may also need to get used to building person-to-person connections on a priority basis. Start going on lunches and meetings with other CEOs to learn how they’re handling their work-life challenges and adjust your work routine. You can also try getting in touch with your old boss, who mentored you during your transition to CEO, and get some insights.
Being a CEO, CFO, or board director can often be lonely when you’re facing the kind of pressure business leaders are under today. However, no leader accomplishes everything on their own. You need people around you and in your life during moments of critical transition. They can be your staunch support while you delegate responsibilities and take a step back to deal with burnout.
Try to be open with them and yourself about what you’re thinking, how you’re feeling, and what you need to feel better professionally and personally. This clarity will guide you when you’re dealing with burnout and help you get back to normal quickly.
Step Down For A Moment And Delegate
Many leaders and executives are so worried about being strong, calm, and collected in times of uncertainty and stress that they don’t have time to be vulnerable and honest with themselves. They perceive executive stress as a weakness that can only be dealt with by working even harder. However, this will only rebound and make you burn out faster. We’re living in times where it’s okay to seek therapy and help to deal with stress. So, you need to take a step back and reevaluate.
Your business does not need you to be the next Avenger; it needs a leader. And part of leadership is to set a big vision that you can pursue with enthusiasm and confidence. If you feel stressed and unsure about your vision, your team may not feel confident about your leadership. So, you’ll need to work on conquering EQ skills or magically learn to conquer burnout if you can’t say to yourself, “I’m burnt out. I need a break.”
You need to allow yourself to be a human. When you begin to think about self-care, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of burnout as soon as the signs begin to appear. You can address them quickly and continue to be the enigmatic leader your organization, employees, and subordinates need you to be.
Moreover, if you show a compassionate and imperfect leader to your employees and customers, they may be able to connect to you on a more personal level. This connection will ultimately be good for your health, business, and company culture.
Clear Your Head By Doing Something You Like
If learning how to play the guitar or training for American Ninja Warrior seems like an impossible task and time commitment, go small. Look for less demanding ways to deal with burnout. Set small, achievable self-care goals that can improve your mental health and well-being, like exercising. Try getting up an hour hourly to ride a bike or go running in the morning.
If you are micromanaging and unable to stop antagonizing your employees, work from home 2 days a week or take a lunch break and walk in the park to clear your head. You can also try attending webinars, seminars, or reading for pleasure to build your business knowledge, skills, and expertise.
It’s crucial that you build a custom routine. Don’t try to jump on the latest fitness trend or hobby of the year just because you see other CEOs, CFOs, and executives doing the same and posting about it on social media. During burnout, you don’t need a demanding activity. It won’t help you heal. All you really need is some change in your routine. It can be as small as having a cup of coffee in the afternoon, turning off your phone, gazing at the skyline, and having a few moments of peace with yourself.
Find The Source Of Your Burnout
If you can find the origins of your burnout, you can work on alleviating your stressors for that specific element. For example, if you’re stressed about a potential future partnership, set aside some time to focus on small tasks that need to be done for that partnership or deal. This may include making notes for any future meetings, drafting a project timeline, etc.
So, when looking for the source of your burnout, take some time to meditate and practice mindfulness. This can help you cultivate a sense of control in your life. And if someone recommends you go on vacation to deal with burnout, you can. However, it’s not going to help deal with your burnout in the long term. It’s just going to give you a break from your routine, but you can use that time to figure out what’s bothering you and stressing you out.
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