I am burned out from reading articles on being burned out. The theme is dominating mainstream media and all my social channels. Frankly, it’s exhausting. Fixing burn out is not easy but let me offer up some suggestions on how to refresh, even if only for a few minutes.
One of the sources of burn out is not attending to small, personal matters. You get into bed and realize that you still did not call the dentist or drop off the Amazon package you are returning. Trying to fall asleep while you are berating yourself is pretty tough.
Pick one of those small tasks. Only one. Look at your calendar for tomorrow. Find 15 minutes. Make a meeting that includes not just the thing you need to do but also the details. If the task is calling the dentist, make sure the phone number is in the meeting.
When that times comes tomorrow, do the task. Feel accomplished. Add a task for the next day. See what you did there? Getting personal shit done without disrupting your business life.
The other big contributor to burn out is the loss of random social encounters. Remember when we could bump into someone at the coffee machine or in the elevator. Just a 10 minute catch up put a real bounce in my step. It was out of routine. It was positive. It had a great return on investment.
Think of a couple of people you have not spoken to in a while. It could be someone you see on Zoom group calls but never get a chance to speak to or maybe the person with the new puppy who works in another department.
Pull up the old calendar and create a meeting. Drop their name in the attendees section and then open the Scheduling Assistant. Find 30 minutes when you are both free. Make sure it is not a day when you or the other person have back to back to back meetings. That is certainly not conducive to a catch-up call. Use “Catch Up Call” or “Miss You Call” in the subject line. That way they know there is no agenda and nothing to prepare.
Maybe you like it so much, you set up a once a month call. How wonderful would that be?
These two strategies may be small, but they pay big dividends in restoring your mental energy and zhuzhing up to your outlook.
Thank you to my excellent colleague, Nancy Gore, for some great suggestions on this topic.