How to Take Control and Stop Burning Out

We hear it all the time – find your work-life balance! Easier said than done, right? Society defines success as money and power, we sleep with our phones, and we glorify being busy. Whether you are the boss, or you have a boss, there will always be pressure to be productive and successful. For many of us this leads to an imbalance. Not only will your relationships and health suffer, but ultimately, the excessive time spent working will also affect the work itself. It is imperative that everyone finds a work-life balance to prevent everything from burnouts to breakups to balding. Brian Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca-Cola, explained it like this:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends, and spirit—and you’re keeping all of them in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

So how do you get to this place of perfect harmony? Let’s explore three solutions that will put you on the right path.

Get Clear About Purpose. Determine your purpose both professionally and personally so you can better prioritize your life. Let’s say you love your current job because the work you do is valuable to the community and aligns with your personal values, but you recently received a job offer for a position with higher pay, a cool office downtown, and great insurance. While the added benefits sound enticing, the job itself would not allow you to impact your community like you are now. It’s time to define your purpose. Is your purpose to have a job that provides emotional fulfillment or monetary fulfillment? There’s no right or wrong answer – you just have to figure out what is most important to you at this stage in your life. Click here for a quick activity to determine what benefits mean the most to you. Identifying these benefits will help define your purpose and lead you to the next step.

Set Realistic Goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. When you set realistic, achievable goals, you will enjoy a feeling of success rather than disappointment. Part of setting these realistic goals means mapping out how to achieve them. You may have a goal to bring in over $100,000 in sales for the year, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get there. Looking at such a large number can be overwhelming and hinder success. Instead, set monthly or even weekly goals in order to move you in the right direction of achieving the ultimate goal.

Establish Boundaries. Identify the line between your personal and professional time, and make sure people at work and at home have clear expectations on what to expect from you. This step is so important to finding the perfect work-life balance. Maybe you live on the East coast, but your boss is in Seattle. Make sure he or she knows that after 6:00 p.m. (your time) and 3:00 p.m. (their time), you cannot respond to emails or answer phone calls. Of course, there will be exceptions, but make sure it is known you have set dedicated time for your family, friends, and self. In like manner, your personal contacts should know that communication will be limited during work hours. If you’re constantly texting while at the office, your work will suffer.

Finding the combination that achieves an ideal work-life balance will look different for everyone. It will take time and effort to get there, but once you do, you’ll be so glad you valued yourself enough to make it a priority.

About FUEL it

We ignite organizational results with strategies, training, and performance solutions. We exist to help power the transformation that drives your company's growth and success by aligning your goals, processes, and activities to a framework that generates results. If you want to learn how to apply these leadership and management skills in your organization, contact us today. We offer a variety of custom and ready-to-use content, delivered online or through a series of facilitated workshops.