Burnout is a killer. I’ve been working as part of a team putting together a conference. I’ve never done this before and man did I underestimate the effort. Sound familiar? Well, I wasn’t even taking on the biggest load, but the conference ended today and I feel wiped. I know I can start controlling my time now, well as much as I’ve been able to control it in the past. And I enjoyed the conference, getting a ton of great ideas and advice from the speakers.
The problem is that today I have little or no perspective. I see all the tasks I’ve let slip in priority. I look at the pile of new work I have to do and it seems like a mountain. Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic. In my head I know I’m in control, but my tiredness is weighing me down. It’s not so much physical tiredness, more like my sense of direction is gone.
So when your team has pulled a huge effort to meet a deadline, and you’ve celebrated with them, thanked them, and congratulated them, remember that burnout can linger for days.
Tips for burnout remediation
- Don’t launch into talking about the next exciting challenge – it can seem like a never ending demand on people
- Don’t expect them to give 110% percent the next working day – they may not have the energy
- Do be clear about the next immediate priorities and what the expectations are for the next few days.They’ll need some perspective
- Do review the plan with the team – seeing how far they’ve come can re-energize them for the next effort
- Do continue to acknowledge the success – it will help them build a platform to launch from next time
Final burnout tip
Remember that it will affect you as well as the team. Take time to disconnect from the last effort before you jump into the next one. If you run from heroic effort to heroic effort, you may find a point when you can’t re-energize.