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