Management Burnout – Part 2: How to Reignite the Drive in Yourself and Managers
This is the second part of the two-part series on Manager Burnout. Here is Management Burnout – Part 1: The What and Why.
Ready to stop feeling over-tired, stressed, and completely burnt out?
Start feeling happier, inspired, and ready to lead in your career!
I previously discussed why managers burn out, the negative effects it can have on a business, and how to detect the warning signs. This week I am sharing my most trusted methods on how to stop yourself or your managers from reaching complete burnout.
Here are my top five tips for stopping burnout TODAY:
- You are Not Your Best Thermostat
Most leaders do a poor job of assessing their own current emotional state since it is their nature to adhere to a tenacious “Gotta power through it!” mentality. If you are a manager, ask your spouse, a trusted colleague, or your long-time mentor to be your “external thermostat” and help identify the signs of burnout in you. Review the main signals of manager burnout together and ask for their honest feedback.
If you are responsible for managers, then keep a good eye out for anyone showing the signs of burnout and have open conversations about the cause, effects, and solutions when necessary.
- Acknowledge that Burnout Can Happen
It is easy for hard workers and people with a strong sense of duty to think burnout is just an excuse or that it won’t happen to them. Set managers, or yourself, up for success by acknowledging that burnout can happen and that it is okay for people to take the time or space they need to recover. If you are in HR or have managers reporting to you, a great time to go over management burnout is during the onboarding process. The point is to make managers feel like they are not failing and that it does not mean they will get fired if they do reach burnout. Make it clear that you care about their well-being and know that this is something that will pass, so you want to take the right steps now to ensure that the company and manager has a clear way of navigating through the issue to the other side.
Are you a manager that is feeling like you are almost at the point of burnout? A great first step is to talk with someone in HR about the options provided for managers dealing with burnout. It is important to remember that you are an asset to your company and that it is more beneficial for a company to help you get back to your typical high performance rather than let you go.
- Rotate out of stressful circumstances
It is easy to continually put top performers on the hardest projects with the highest level of stress. While they may be able to get the job done, these high-stress projects can eventually take their toll and accelerate the burnout effect on managers.
For example: I like to rate projects as High, Medium, and Low Intensity. If a manager has back to back high-intensity projects, I make sure to rotate them to a medium or low-intensity project next. Keeping this overview may seem simple but it really can have a positive effect on your team.
If you are a manager; it is hard to say no to big projects, especially ones that will get you noticed and potentially rewarded or promoted. It is important to be strategic about your yearly objectives and the size of additional projects you take on. While some cannot be avoided, others can be postponed or transitioned to another team. Take a moment to plan out your year. Try not to schedule two big projects back to back or overlap projects of high and medium intensity. Instead, focus on splitting up the year by scheduling easier or smaller projects between the harder and more rigorous ones. You can also split up and delegate more tasks throughout your team or take on additional team members wherever possible to lighten the workload.
- Let Your Ship Sale Sans its Captain
I constantly hear managers state that they absolutely cannot take time off because of a project, a deadline, or their team needs them too much. A main component of being a good manager is empowering those around you to take ownership of their role and its responsibilities. If you are effectively managing your team, you should be able to take a step back for scheduled PTO without any negative discourse.
It is very important to have the ability to take an afternoon off to relax to attend a special event like a ball game or an opera. It is even more important for managers to take planned vacations and disconnect from work so they can recharge their batteries and head off any signs of foreboding burnout.
Pro Tip: Can’t take a full week off from work? Deadlines keeping you from taking a three day weekend? Try setting aside a few hours either at the start or end of the workday to meditate, workout, go shopping, or get a massage. Regardless of the length of your time off, taking care of yourself can do wonders to reinvigorate your drive.
- Know Your Worth
It is always more difficult for us to ask “Am I doing a good job?” rather than to ask “What am I doing wrong?” Because asking these questions can be hard, it is important to have self-confidence in your own work. Remember, you were hired because of your experience, intelligence, and innovation. We all have hard days and mental blocks. In order to get over these hurdles, you must have the confidence to ask for help or to ask for the time off you need to maintain your proven abilities.