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  • 1.  So...what can we do when we're burnt out?

    Posted 04-14-2021 14:45
    Reflecting on this blog post as well as this prior discussion about burnout, I wanted to share this post from First Round Review called Practical Frameworks for Beating Burnout

    What I liked about the article is that it provides actionable advice on how to recognize the symptoms of burnout before it's too late, and afterwards, how to set up your work/life so you can have more balance. One thing that was hit home was how to recognize the tell-tale signs of burnout, which, for me, manifests itself as a feeling of immobility, tiredness, and an inability to think creatively. 

    Since we all seem to be feeling some sort of burnout or another, I wanted to share some of the practical tips they mentioned to help get ourselves in a better place: 

    • Doing fewer things, but doing those fewer things very well 
    • Creating an understanding of your own boundaries 
    • Going through a prioritization exercise (explained in the article) to understand if your time is being spent on things that can be delegated, scheduled, or dismissed altogether 
    • Communicating your prioritization decisions and boundaries to others, whether that's your boss, a colleague, or a direct report 

    Lastly, they had this cool sand analogy that talks about the little tasks throughout your day being like sand whilst your big rocks are the strategic things you need to move forward. If your work were to fit into a jar, it's easy to get filled up with sand while your big rocks never make it into the jar. However, if you make the time for the big rocks, those can fit into your jar more easily, and then the sand can still fit in thereafter. 

    Do you ever feel burnout coming, and what do you do to help yourself not get trapped in it? 

    Nicole Daines

  • 2.  RE: So...what can we do when we're burnt out?

    Posted 04-15-2021 12:27
    Edited by Quinn Drew 04-15-2021 12:28
    Thanks for this, @Nicole Daines! Strangely enough, I was also thinking about @Lindsay Griswold's blog and discussion recently because I was totally nerding out to a Brené Brown podcast while running the other day. (that's right, @Amy Hopkins, I said Brené Brown).

    ​Brené with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle

    What I loved in particular was that they talked about the differences between stressor (something causing the feelings) and stress (your body's physical reaction to that stressor). We so frequently think that the stress is done when the stressor has been eliminated but that's NOT immediately true. Your body, for instance, doesn't know that when you complete your taxes, that stressor is gone. You have to tell your body that it's done in order for the stress to dissolve. Or, as Emily puts it, imagine you're being chased by a hippo... 

    "And imagine you managed to run away from the hippo because hippos actually don't have a lot of stamina, so you run all the way, and somebody waves you into through their door and you close it and you shut it and the hippo gives up, and it's like, "Never mind," and just runs away. And you look at this person who just saved your life and you feel this rush or just exhaustion but this joy to be alive, and it seems like the sun is shining brighter and you love your friends and family, and you're so grateful to be alive. It's easy to think that it is the hippo going away that made that happen, but it's not, it's the running and the connection. Your body only knows what those behaviors are. Those behaviors are what say to your body, "You have escaped from this stressful situation and your body is now a safe place for you to be." It is the behavior, it's not the change in your environment that triggers the physiological change."

    So how do we complete the cycle? The best ways are: 
    1. Physical activity
    2. Breathing 
    3. Positive social interaction
    4. Laughing
    5. Hugging/physical affection
    6. Crying
    7. Creative expression
    Personally, I find that physical activity is my most effective way of completing the stress cycle and allowing my body to "reset." 

    To answer your question, Nicole - I am not always great about feeling burnout coming on, but I am getting better at recognizing the symptoms. For now I'm really working on setting and holding to boundaries (and balancing that with my desire and need to see/interact with people), and figuring out ways to complete my stress cycle once I know it's there. Since I can't always get out for a run or a ride, I've been trying to get out for shorter walks in the morning and afternoon. 

    What about everyone else?

    #burnout #stressmanagement #professionaldevelopment

    Stay awesome,