Burnout is something that changed the way I work, relax, exercise, eat, drink… It has changed nearly every aspect of my life.

Burnout is becoming more common within the workplace. A new Gallup report mentioned that 2/3 of employees have felt burnt out.

That’s ridiculous. Not only that, it’s frightening.

For a lot of people, burnout is not at the forefront of their minds until they are in fact burnt out. This is why I am here, to help anyone that maybe walking (or sprinting) down the path to burnout.

Here my Five Things I wish I Knew Before Burning Out.

1) You Can’t Sprint A Marathon. 

That’s right my friends. You absolutely cannot sprint a marathon.

Trust me I tried (figuratively… Not literally).

Goals, deadlines and targets is not a sprinting race. 

The more people I speak to, the more I realise the sense of urgency is taking over.

This is creating situations where people feel pressured to rush absolutely everything. Quantity over quality is now the reality for many people.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It also doesn’t equate success a lot of the time.

Setting goals, targets and deadlines can be achieved at a moderate (dare I say, calm) pace. You don’t have to be a bull at the gates. In fact, you’re more likely to be more successful when you, in fact, slow down! True story.

2) Slowing Down Is Not A Sign Of Weakness.

This is a follow on from You Can’t Sprint A Marathon, however, with a little twist.

I remember thinking that if I slowed down for whatever reason I would not be successful. I saw it as a weakness.

How wrong I was.

This is common practice for a lot of high achievers and top performers.

Slowing down can feel counterproductive. However, slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. That’s the part a lot of people miss. I definitely did. For a lot of top performers and high achievers, they have the “all or nothing” mentality. So it can be seen as though slowing down is stopping.

However, slowing down can give you a better perspective. It gives you the ability to refine your skills and re-think how to do things. It creates a space for reflection, bringing you closer to success.

3) Celebrate Your Wins.

This is HUGE for any high achievers or top performers. It’s okay to celebrate your wins. I remember NEVER and I mean NEVER celebrating my wins.

I didn’t take the time to reflect on how well I had done or how well I was doing. I was crazy, I just wanted to be doing more. It was as though I would tick the achievement off and move onto the next thing. Without a breath.

Thinking back, that is an exhausting mindset.

This is not a good place to be. Celebrating your wins is really important. It provides space to not just BE successful but to FEEL successful. Very different.

Otherwise, you end up feeling empty and chasing goals that have zero meaning or purpose. 

4) “No Rest Days” Makes ZERO Sense.

“No rest day’s” and being proud of it grinds my gears. Probably because I believed this for a very long time and ended up severely burnout and disgruntled.

There are a lot of business owners and motivational speakers who talk about grinding every second of every minute of every single day to be successful.

This does not make sense. 
We are humans, not robots.

We need rest to not only regain physical strength but also to regain mental fortitude. We do not have a limitless pool of energy and resources that we can tap into without replenishing it.

That’s plain crazy to think that. 

Rest is just as important as the work you put in. 

5) Listen To Your Body.

Our bodies will tell us when we’re not coping. All we have to do is listen.

Simple right? Not so simple if you have tunnel vision.

This is something a lot of high achievers and top performers learn the hard way.

Being fatigued, tired, grumpy or becoming sick is our bodies way of saying “hey, I would really like some rest please”. It’s not the signal to work harder.

Most people that end up burnt out, get those little reminders but choose to ignore them. Why? Because they can’t see the long term damage. They don’t see those little reminders as a sign that something much worse is on its way.

Not listening to those gentle reminders will lead you to full burnout.

My advice, listen to your body it does know best! If it’s telling you to take a step back and take a little rest, do it. If you need the afternoon off, take it. If you need to switch off your phone, do it! 

They are the Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

I hope this helps all those top performers and high achievers.

If you’re a manager that has someone in your team that has those traits, come up with an action plan to help them.

It may sound counterintuitive, however, doing so can prevent your top performer being signed off work or even worse, having to quit.