First Step to Mitigate Burnout

Last week, I gave you the very specific signs, the signals to be aware of that indicate you are on the verge of burnout – what to be watching for physically and mentally before you actually hit burnout. Especially if you’re seeing some of those signs happen at a greater frequency, that should be your signal. So today, if you are experiencing those, you’re aware, acknowledging them, you need to immediately change course to mitigate that burnout. Your number one action is to communicate with your manager.

Burnout is a workplace syndrome.

It’s when your work is not under control and you don’t have ways to manage the stress directly, again, tied to work. So your number one first step that you should be taking is communicating with your manager. Do not assume that your manager has any idea of what you’re going through. Not even to know exactly what type of tasks, responsibilities, or what’s on your plate. Even though they have a general sense, they don’t know what you’re day in and day out looks like.

They’re most likely not aware of how many hours you’re working, and much less are they aware of how you’re feeling. So when you go to approach your manager, I want you to think about these three C’s. It’s communicate with collaboration, not complaining.

Communicate with collaboration, not complaining.

So be prepared to come in and say, “Look, I’m really excited about these opportunities. Here’s what I have on my plate. I’d like to talk with you about these so we can collaborate, maybe find out what are priorities, where some things could shift, in order for me to avoid getting really burned out. I’m starting to work extra hours, I’m noticing that I have more anxiety or I’m getting more frustrated, and I want to make sure that we’re not getting to the place of burnout.”

So sitting down to collaborate, stating the facts, how many hours are you working? What are the projects on your plate? And then collaborate on how things could be prioritized or delegated or shifted to another time, delayed in order for you to avoid getting to that absolute burnout. Make sure that in your communication it’s with collaboration, not complaining. You never want to approach your manager by saying, “Oh my goodness, I’m so burned out. I need to do this, I can’t handle this.”

We never want you to exhibit, first of all, signs that might indicate you just can’t handle it. Right? And certainly, if you’re on this verge, it’s not to say that you are not a strong person. But when you approach it via complaining, it can come across that you’re not capable.

Also when you’re complaining, depending on your manager’s personality and how they respond or react to things, they may take your complaining as a sign that you’re blaming them for your situation, or the situation. So make sure that you approach it with facts, state how much you love working there, you love working on their team, but these are the facts of what’s in front of you. And how can you collaborate together to find a solution that’s going to work for you, your manager, and your organization overall.

Communicate with collaboration, not complaining.

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