Even though people use stress and burnout as synonyms, these words refer to different aspects: stress implies a physical state where your body is overly taxed, whereas a burnout defines a state of depression that is mostly caused by an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. Nonetheless, stress is known to be one of the leading causes of several conditions, including work burnout. Given the current frantic economic fluctuations and intense competition, it is safe to assume that almost all managers are under a lot of stress and therefore more likely to experience burnout. Because both will affect an executive manager’s capacity to run an organization effectively, it is important to take action immediately; following is a list of 5 tips on how to deal with work-related burnouts.
1. Make realistic to-do lists
As the CEO, it’s very likely that you have an interminable to-do list that gets bigger and bigger each day. Without denying that those tasks have to get done, they don’t have to be done all at once, but rather gradually, particularly if you don’t have the physical time to finish them all. Since the mere sight of an endless list could add to the stress load, it is recommended to start making smaller and more manageable lists.
2. Take some time for yourself
If you are unable to remember the last time you took your family out to dinner or the last time you spent some quality time with your spouse, then you are experiencing burnout. While you are an indispensable man for your company, don’t forget that those countless sleepless nights and stress could have already taken their toll on the other important aspects of your life. The solution is to take some time off and meet with the people you love on a regular basis. However, make sure you are truly “away” from work by leaving your laptop and phone at the office.
3. Reevaluate the deadlines
Although you are under a lot of pressure to reach deadlines, it is never a good idea to overpromise on the delivery date. Not only will you and your team be under a lot of stress, but the final product could also be subpar to the company’s standards. An effective approach in this case is to allow for some leeway time, so the consequences are not so tragic if you don’t meet deadlines.
4. Make sure you have sufficient resources to get the job done
Closely related to successfully meeting deadlines, incorrectly estimating the resources you need to get the project done constitutes another source of burnout. Despite the fact that some projects are urgent, dedicate some time to evaluate exactly what you need and even get additional resources before you get started. On a side note, it’s a good idea to consult with your staff when establishing the required resources for a project.
5. Understand that sometimes you need to say “no”
While most managers can’t even imagine turning down a project, it is important to note that if you don’t have the time and resources for it then it is OK to refuse that task. In addition, you can also decline going to meetings that don’t really concern you or say “no” to your boss or colleague if they come in unannounced and interrupt you constantly when you are busy. As an executive, CEO or other professional remember you’re the boss!
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Lucy Smith is currently learning to manage stress in the workplace. She chooses running to help manage her stress and improve her health and wellbeing. Lucy can’t wait to run her 8th marathon this year!