Banishing Burnout: Tip #1—Give yourself a break.

Yesterday, I advised a good friend who is on the verge of burnout. I could see the telltale signs in her eyes and could hear it in her voice.

What is burnout? It’s when stress or overwork cause you to collapse physically and/or mentally. You feel overwhelmed, exhausted, unmotivated, unloved. You just want to curl up and away from everything. Unlike straight-up stress, where you can see your way out of it, burnout causes a sense of hopelessness—like there’s no way out.

Often, the warning signs of burnout go undetected until you’re right in the middle of it, especially as it primarily affects perfectionists, over-achievers and control freaks. You’re just too busy—and burned—to notice.

One way to regain your balance and banish burnout is to slow down and give yourself a break.

Take things off your plate by employing the 4 D’s—something I learned from organizing doyenne Julie Morgenstern:

  • Delay (Do it later)
  • Delegate (Give it to someone else)
  • Diminish (Don’t do–or overdo—everything to perfection)
  • Delete (My favorite–Just get rid of it!)

It may seem hard at first, as you’re so used to delivering—over-delivering, in fact.

But now you need to deliver to the most important person of all—you.


Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

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