What to do When Feeling Overwhelmed or Burned Out

According to a Harvard Medical School study, an astounding 96% of leaders said they experience feeling of burnout. 

One of my favorite quotes:

"When I found my why, I found my way.

When I found my way, I found my will. 

When I found my will, I found my wings."

Good news: If you are feeling overwhelmed or even a bit of burnout, realize "you're in the game". You are not a spectator. Leadership influencers take a lot of pride in their craft, their personal development and client engagements. We are not given a hard-book on how to lead ourselves and others. It's challenging, it's a quest. 

I am going to suggest a few things I have tried to do over the years when I feel overwhelmed. Simple, yet powerful things. 

1) I go to the Rock.

It's an actual big rock, a boulder that is on the back trails where I walk. Sometimes I just need to go, sit and think. Clear my head and my perspective.  

Question: Where's your rock? Leaders need to take time to think. 

2) I seek wisdom.

Whether I pray or seek out the wisdom of others, it always refreshes my feelings and emotions. Most leaders don't struggle finding opportunities. They struggle on focusing on the BEST opportunities and wise choices chart out the best use of time. 

3) I sweat.

I've noticed stress has layers. It's subtle and builds over days. It's essential for me to overcome feelings of burnout through rigorous exercise. If I'm inconsistent and not pushing myself, stress can recycle quickly and it creates a fog of toxic emotions and bad feelings. My positive moods are often dictated by my commitment to sweat. 

4) I review the 7 Habits of Highly Productive People

  1. I cut away the unimportant time-wasters.
  2. I allocate breaks strategically.
  3. I tap into inspiration. (I'm reading Phil Knight's Shoe Dog)
  4. I create barriers of entry and I don't allow others to derail my focus. 
  5. I optimize time pockets. I make the most of every minute.
  6. I set deadlines. Every 40 days I reset a punch-list of accomplishments and goals. 
  7. I delegate. Outsource -> delegate -> eliminate what I am not good at or is not a priority for me to do. 

5) I remind myself I can't do it all, but I can do my best. 

I recently watched a father lift what appeared to be an adult child out of a van and into a wheelchair. He looked to be in his 60's. He was weathered, but fit and most importantly loving and tender towards his daughter. God is my witness that this simple encounter snapped me out of the little funk I was in. It was a great reminder that I've been given so much. That father and daughter truly inspired me. 

Sometimes I need to remind myself I simply can't do it all. I'm not called to do it all, but I can do my best. 

Here's to reenergizing this week!


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It was such an honor to be with the U.S. District Court, Alaska Division this past week, presenting Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership. What an AMAZING group of leaders! 

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The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance.