When people feel pressured to work long hours, and maintain an accelerated pace of work over the long haul, work becomes a form of drudgery that leads to stress-induced burnout. Workplace burnout kills the creative spark that fuels inspiration and passion. I know executives who have quit as a result of burnout, and I find it shocking when a high performer is replaced by two —and in one case, four people to do the work.
Avoiding burnout doesn’t require sending stressed out execs to a retreat, says Dr. Leiter, director of the Centre for Organizational Research and Development at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., “It requires discussing the risk openly in the workplace and placing limits on expectations. Executives have to make a decision that there is only so much that they can do and eliminate or delegate non-critical work, so they get out of work at a reasonable hour and set up limits on working at home.”
Dr Leiter also says, “There is also a need for deep reflection on what you are accomplishing and what needs to change. That kind of reflection is most effective in a group, getting feedback from those you work with and coming to basic understandings about what may not be working and putting priorities on what is important. You don’t necessarily throw out your core values, but look at reality and the opportunities you have to let go of old ways of doing things and reduce your stress.” Source The Globe and Mail.
7 antidotes for workplace burnout:
- Practicing mindfulness through meditation to overcome mental fatigue and boost your brain power. Being in the present moment and allowing your inner wisdom to guide you. Meditation makes you more creative
- Developing creative resilience, through creativity, improvisation and resourcefulness.
- Knowing the limitations of your energy and making sure you get enough rest and exercise. According to research it’s best to take a short break every 90 minutes to maintain your energy
- Brain-Promoting Nutrition: Choose from this list of 24 health-promoting foods and avoid processed food.
- Maintaining an enjoyable social life and time for play. Face to face time with friends is so important to maintaining a sense of well-being. Beware of isolation —to much of it is destructive.
- Taking time out for reflection and contemplation, especially in nature.
- It’s also important to keep a journal of your progress. Writing about your hopes, fears and feeling of burnout will help you de-stress and re-energise. For tips on journal writing read The Progress Principle and the Power of Small Wins
Revised Feb 20, 2014
One more thing…
Coaching for creative resilience
If you or your team needs some coaching to help you process burnout, revive your creative energy, and re-ignite your passion, I can help. Please contact me for a consultation.