When the Flame Flickers

Last time, we took a few minutes to talk about burnout, and the significant impact it’s having on our corporate culture.

As we discussed, the prevalence of new tools and technology in our current work environment has proven to be a double-edged laser, and our increasing difficulty in “unplugging” has been a large contributor to the burnout epidemic.

But the “B” word is not inevitable. Here are four other “B” words that you may want to keep top of mind when you feel your own flame starting to flicker.

Balance. First and foremost to keeping your daily activities in perspective is maintaining a sense of balance.  Step one is pretty basic–virtually every job description that exists includes some reference to arrival and departure times. Pay attention to these!

These are the bookends for your work life, and although we’re not recommending that you drop everything every day at 5:00 and race for the train, do recognize that that evening whistle is a signal to shift gears and start slowing down.

After all, there’s a reason that old saying about “all work and no play” has stuck around for hundreds of years—except now the ramifications are a heck of a lot worse than just being “dull.”

Breaks. Allow yourself small breaks often; as long as you keep them short, they don’t need to impact your workflow.

Whether you’re doing your work in an office or a home environment, you need to get up and walk around periodically, simply for physical reasons.

Forcing yourself to crank out hours of work before finally taking a lunch hour (or skipping one altogether, to do more work!) doesn’t do you any favors.

Remember, it’s a cliché, but it’s true: nobody on their deathbed EVER wished they had spent more time in the office.

Big picture.  One of my favorite wall posters shows a rendering of the Milky Way galaxy, with a little tiny arrow and dot reading “You Are Here.”

Never lose sight of the big picture, and your role in it. We all play our parts, but what we contribute is just one part of a frequently massive whole.

I like to remind my sales clients that there’s always time for “one more call”—but on those nights when you’re really feeling the “burn”, it’s also important to remember that that one call won’t make or break the organization, if you’re honestly not up to it.

And please note that word: “honestly.” Only you know the difference between when it’s earned and when it’s a fib. Be true to yourself, work hard, but cut yourself some slack when you honestly need it.

Belief.  And this may be the biggest one. Believe in yourself, your talents, and your abilities. Just as every day is a chance to add to your legacy, you’re rarely starting from ground zero.  Know your value, know your worth, and remember, you don’t have to prove to the world you’re a Wonder Woman or a Superman.

Our output and accomplishments can be a tremendous source of pride, and they should be—but you are not your job. You are you: an individual with certain skills and gifts that empower you to do your job, most likely, pretty well.

But not at the expense of your fundamental wellbeing. If you truly believe in yourself, you believe in a being that deserves to be treated well, and not run into the ground.


Especially by you.

Grow Big or Go Home!