There are many obvious signs that you are experiencing some form of burnout. But by the time you are seeing the obvious signs, it can be a little harder to fix.
It’s important to watch out for the slightly less obvious signs you might be working in a way which is leading you to burnout…….
- Every year you crawl to the finish line towards your summer holiday in desperate need of a break.
- You spend your weekends just recovering from the work week.
- You spend more than 4 hours a day in internal meetings.
- You cancel things at the last minute – everything from meetings to social engagements.
- You are prone to headaches, irritability, cynicism and losing interest in activities that usually interest you.
- You feel overwhelmed a large portion of the time and your self-efficacy is decreasing.
- You are super tired at the end of each work day – in fact you think “that’s just the way it is”.
- You are usually doing 2 to 3 things at once for example in a meeting and keeping an eye on email. This is called continuous partial attention and neuroscience suggests this is draining our energy AND our productivity – double whammy!
- You use social media during the day as a “break”.
- You are having work dumped on you at the last minute, or you are dumping work on others at the last minute – generally due to someone else’s lack of accountability and planning.
- You have meetings back to back with no break to go to the bathroom or decompress. As a result you are consistently running late to meetings.
- You don’t know when your 4 most productive hours are and even if you do, you don’t match your tasks accordingly.
- You work on the next most urgent thing that needs to be done instead of thinking about what is most productive for your cognitive energy.
And the ONE overarching chicken and egg cause of the above…
Overspending cognitive energy!
It’s that simple. In most cases burnout is caused (and yes in most cases unnecessarily) by overspending cognitive energy. In NEP speak – that’s overspending energy credits.
And working in the above way, also means that it’s harder to work in a way that optimises energy credits. A nasty little downward chicken and egg spiral.
Avoiding burnout is not something we do on the weekend or with a token fruit bowl and a quick lunch ‘n learn.
Avoiding burnout requires us to systemically change the way we operate at work, by understanding how to optimise cognitive energy and how to spend less of it unnecessarily.
This leads to a better culture, better physical and mental health, more energy, and ultimately more productivity, profitability and better staff retention.
People are tired of being tired. Life is way too short for that.
Leaders – it’s important to show your team how to work in a way they don’t need to “recover” from.
If work feels really hard, you’re not doing it right.
What are you doing to help yourself and others to optimise their cognitive energy during the hours they are working?
Of course if you are interested in setting yourself and your team up with a sustainable high performance culture, to help you to skip instead of crawl into the holiday season next year, why not book your Performance Call with us?