Today with text messaging, instant messaging, and online communication, we all have to firmly establish where our time and energy goes. A strong sense of self is the key to connecting to the people that lift us up in relationships comprised of building value in each other. A barrage of distractions is always going to be there – look to better yourself, or climb the ladder to whatever success you define as your goal.
We live in a hyper-productive world – juggling jobs, side jobs, relationships, and expectations from all areas of life, as well as keeping up with an ever-changing business world.
Here are some things you can do to avoid burn out:
- Know your own limits and watch your own signals.
A red light in traffic means stop, and so does one’s frustration level. If you feel you are in the red, then follow your own traffic patterns. Make sure you watch out for the signals of others as well, because running a red light causes damage. Try to catch yourself and others when frustration is at a yellow light; if frustration is building, step back into the audience of the play instead of being one of the actors. This will allow you to flow with the green lights. Ask questions instead of assuming, don’t blame, and don’t expect others to read your mind. Be specific in your communications and with your goals; if you generalize too much, you will overlook things you can improve on and create more stress.
- Practice being good at your most important duties and goals.
If it does not support the good of your time, then detach and seriously look at what things you are doing that are stressful or unnecessary. This could be engaging in certain people and/or responsibilities you put on your plate that need to come off.
- Set boundaries.
One sure-fire way to tire yourself out is by being available for everyone all the time or putting too much thought into those that give you no time.Your time is valuable, and if you devalue yourself then your time will be rigged and uptight. We have formed habits and patterns of striving to answer every phone call, help every person, and work day in and out to complete every assignment on our to-do list. Set certain times to do time-consuming activities such as checking e-mails and returning phone calls. Be intentional with your time.
- Know when to slow down.
Even the fastest animals in the wild know how far and fast they can run before they need to rest. If you are overworked or unrested, you will not be able to operate at your full capacity. It is crucial to have down time. Go for walks or meditate during the day. Take full days off for self-care and rest. After each long period of work, do something enjoyable.
- Say no.
Over-achievers and successful people have a tendency to be “yes people.” It is important to say “yes” to trying new things and to helping others, but when your schedule is overflowing, it is perfectly fine and necessary to say no. If you say yes too much, you will burn yourself out, and will not be able to show up reliably. Keep a safe distance from toxic people. Know when to walk away.
- Celebrate small victories.
Instead of working vigorously on huge, unattainable projects, break your large goals up into smaller steps. This allows you to feel accomplished throughout the process, and not overwhelm yourself with the magnitude of your work. Plan ahead. Planning ahead helps with preparation, which allows you to define your goals and reduce stress. Be patient. Urgency propels success, but expecting too much too fast creates burn-out. Stay the course.
- Do you take everything onto your own plate? Another tendency of intelligent people is the habit of trying to do everything on their own. However, we are meant to collaborate. If you focus on the things that you love and excel at, and delegate everything else to team members or employees who specialize in those skills, you will be much more efficient. Donate your tasks to others. This will also free up more of your time, thus lessening your chance of burning out.
In order to truly progress and live your best possible life, you need to have the right kind of energy to stay sharp, motivated, and healthy. The most important thing you can do right now is reverse burn out. This will completely change the game.
– Tim S. Marshall, Author of “The Power of Breaking Fear”
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