laptop-3087585_640I looked at my colleague who used to feel passion and excitement for her job. Now, all she can do is make it through the day. Something has changed. She is disconnected and flat in her conversations. She has all the signs of burn out and needs recovery. It could happen to any of us if we aren’t careful. So here are a few ideas to hopefully prevent burn out.

  1. Balance your workload. High achievers tend to be conscientious and expect long hours in order to keep up with multiple expectations and demands. Constant attention to the schedule and self-compassion is needed. Competent people often have difficulty saying NO. Taking on too much leads to being overworked, less productive and exhaustion. Ways to help this include:
  • Say no to work overload or ask for additional staff, a contract stating reasonable expectations, study leave, vacations and sabbaticals
  • Insist on keeping your days off and protect those days
  • Look for resources to make the work less energy and time consuming
  • If you can, be selective in giving out your cell number
  1. Have choices and control. Avoid the extremes –don’t be a dictator or abdicate control.
  • Make role expectations very clear
  • Extend trust -if it becomes a problem, allow people to earn it back. Trusted people can help cover the load
  • Stop micromanaging
  • Collaborate on the development of policies  and share tasks

3. Build a sense of belonging and community. When there is a breakdown of community, teams don’t function. You being to isolate rather than do life together. A colleague uses the phrase, “Better Together.”

  • Accept people for who they are and offer much grace
  • Value diversity and opinions of others
  • Operate with fairness—transparency and mutual respect. No secret meetings, distribute rewards fairly, look beyond the bottom line when cutting staff and downsizing.
  • Be value based in all you do
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