As a leader, one of the critical components of battling burnout is your ability to manage and deal with stress appropriately. After all, burnout arises due to the accumulation of various stress factors over a given period. Therefore, your workplace success hinges on your mastery of effective burnout management techniques.

Burnout can result from the intersection of demands at the workplace and your response to such demands. Even the most well-managed organizations offer a healthy level of stress because its absence would eventually result in complacency and less than stellar performance among the workforce. 

Indeed, things can get out of hand if you let stress take over events in your life. When under undue pressure, you are more likely to experience emotional imbalance, such as panic and anxiety attacks. 

Identifying your triggers

Think of your daily routine at work and pinpoint elements in your day that make you worried or uneasy. Is there any specific person you find challenging to deal with or talk to? Does a particular task cause you to think of an easy way out? Does talking with team members make you anxious and visibly nervous? Do looming deadlines cause you to space out? 
Indeed, knowing what stresses you out is the first crucial step in dealing with stress. Understanding what is stressing you out should be followed by developing effective responses each time you find yourself dealing with any of your stress triggers.    
Keeping track of time

Managing stress comes hand in hand with proper time management. Much of the stress you are experiencing is attributable to the fact that you have to make do with too little time to finish too many tasks. Dealing with a situation like this can indeed be very stressful, particularly when your mindset is fixed on your assumption that there is no way you can finish everything within the prescribed deadline. But can’t you?
Time management entails the wise and efficient use of your time to avoid cramming in all of your tasks within a limited timeframe. A vital component to this is your ability to organize your tasks according to a logical hierarchy. For instance, your tasks can be arranged according to complexity, the time required to finish them, urgency, or the number of resources required to get them done. 

Doing away with procrastination.

Indubitably, one of the biggest challenges associated with managing time is procrastination. Creating a working environment that allows for greater productivity to combat procrastination is necessary. This means removing all possible forms of distraction from your immediate reach. So be self-aware of the things that can distract you. For example, if you are a news junkie, it would be good to remove newspapers or magazines from your desk or get the TV out of your office to avoid the temptation of tuning in to the newscast. 
Most importantly, set deadlines and strictly adhere to them. It is so much easier to muster the drive to do your tasks when you have a clear idea of how much time you have before handing in your work. 

One task at a time

Instead of doing multiple tasks simultaneously, try to focus only on a single charge and proceed to the next after you are done with the first. Many people assume that they can get more things done by multitasking, but numerous studies have shown that these people are accomplishing lesser tasks in the process than they would like to think. This is because multitasking causes your brain to split its attention among many things, causing it to function at a less than optimal state. 
The result? You either end up with incomplete work or poorly executed tasks that negate to be repeated, which can heighten your frustration and stress level along the way. On the contrary, doing one task at a time allows you to focus and pay adequate attention to what you are doing, enabling you to accomplish your tasks correctly and with as little stress as possible. 

Easy relaxation techniques

Learn quick and easy relaxation techniques to help you ease anxiety during difficult situations. For example, instead of bottling in your negative emotions due to stress, channel greater positivity through simple methods that provide quick relief and instantly allow you to calm your nerves down.
Foremost among these techniques is through deep breathing. Taking a prolonged inhalation through the nose followed by exhalation through the mouth helps you collect yourself when you feel agitated or worried. When you are under stress, your heart tends to beat faster, which makes your body’s respiratory system grasp for more air to supply your body with more oxygen. Taking deep and slow breaths slows down your heartbeat and brings it back to normal levels, helping you breathe more normally. 

You can also try other methods, such as yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi. These activities focus on clearing your mind from negative thoughts that become manifest in your disposition and attitude toward your work. Admittedly it takes constant practice to get any of these things right. But when you do, you are guaranteed a safe refuge and haven from stressors at work that might otherwise make you feel inadequate and burnout.  

Learn to say ‘no’

Related to knowing your limits is your ability to say no. When you are inundated with tasks that came about because you just kept saying yes to all of them, you are setting yourself up for frustration, disappointment, and failure. Be fair to yourself. If there is no way that you can add one more task on top of your current stockpile, then have the heart to refuse it. Doing so spares you from being burned out and the organization from dealing with a poorly executed or incomplete task.

Inspiring greater positivity

Foster positivity in your life by drawing lessons from your past and integrating these same lessons into your daily activities. Aim for constant personal development by harking back on your past experiences to improve your present circumstances. Were there techniques and strategies that had helped you deal with a significant problem in the past? Was sporting a confident outlook toward a particular task helpful in easing the stress and pressure? 

It also helps to use humor now and then to help you deal with your situation. Laughing helps lighten up the mood in a tense situation and allows you to feel more relaxed. Taking everything too seriously can create enormous stress and pressure that could eventually bite you back. Take it easy and have some fun.

And finally, create a robust support system. Surround yourself with family and friends to inspire you. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and steer clear of individuals whose negativity is contagious. 


  • Dr. Tomi Mitchell

    M.D | Leadership Coach| Wellness & Productivity Coach

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell, MD, empowers executives, lawyers, doctors, business owners, and other leaders to eliminate burnout and increase workplace productivity and relationships.  She uses her three-step framework, Embrace, Evaluate & Energize, to empower her clients to have clarity. 

    As a public speaker and trainer, she brings energy to the crowd, captures their attention, and gives them clear, actionable steps to apply immediately to their life. Dr. Tomi Mitchell believes in getting to the root causes of life's challenges, instead of taking a temporary BandAid approach to life. She is a writer, with a book coming out in Summer 2023. She is also the host of The Mental Health & Wellness Show.  To learn more about her framework, check out the following link: Learn More.