Burnout is now an official occupational phenomenon recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
You read that right.
Experiencing burnout has serious effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Which, let’s admit, undoubtedly impacts our financial health…which, in turn, impacts our mental health. It’s a vicious cycle. One that’s a struggle to get out of.
If we don’t have the energy, focus, or ability to ‘get the job done,’ it impacts every area of our work and life wellbeing.
The WHO states, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:”
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- reduced professional efficacy
Given the events of the last three years, can we finally admit that the “Workplace” no longer only means being away from home and “at the office?” Nowadays, home is often a workplace for your job, for a stay-at-home parent, caregiver taking care of elderly parents…or a plethora of other ‘unpaid’ work. The lines have blurred, and this has become fuel for the fire.
We have the power to start tipping the scales in favor of a healthier approach to work and life. It starts with CLARITY of what we want; goals for what wellbeing looks and feels like- at work and at home.
Think of your goals as a compass to guide you, or as a map to help you navigate your path to success** while keeping your wellbeing as your north star.
We need clarity so we can understand how NOT to be overwhelmed.
Here are 3 areas to help you find your compass, today. These will guide you to find the clarity you need so that you can unhook from the guilt about all those things you’re NOT getting to, and focus on what, and who, is most important– without apology.
**Success according to what is to you, not what others and society expects, defines, or demands it to be.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
From Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Your vision is your north star, your GPS, your compass, your co-pilot.
It’s your purpose for all of your goal-setting activities.
We need a longer-term vision so that our shorter-term actions are in alignment with where we want to go….so we know why we’re adding things to our already overscheduled calendar or saying NO.
Find a quiet space to relax and be curious about your vision for your future, your relationships, and your wellbeing.
Journal on one, or all, of these questions to help you start gaining clarity of your vision for what you want this one big beautiful life to BE for you:
Where DO you want to get to?
When you imagine your life + work in three, ten, or thirty years from now, what’s your ideal vision? Who are you BEing? What are you DOing? Or perhaps even more importantly, what are you NOT DOing?
What legacy do you want to leave?
Knowing this will help you live on purpose.
What is exceptionally important for you to achieve this year?
Get as specific as possible with this one.
How much is enough?
This is a big one. Until we’re clear on this, it’s far too easy to keep adding and adding to our never-ending to-do list for more, bigger, faster.
Ask your children or family what’s most important to them, and make those things a priority.
Know how much money, clients, or “giving of yourself” is enough…so you can pause and enjoy what you have rather than ticking off a box and moving on to the next in a blink of an eye.
Know how much is enough so you can relax, enjoy, and even celebrate your successes instead of constantly focusing on more. This will actually help you achieve more, btw.
If your vision is why you’re DOing what your DOing, your values are how you’re BEing along the way.
The roadmap to work + life wellbeing starts with knowing your core values.
Your values will help you be more intentional in your choices, guiding you to focus on what and who is most important.
Knowing your values helps you to set boundaries, with less stress and angst, so you can unhook from how the other person will respond.
There’s always a tradeoff. A “Yes” to one thing will require you to say “No” to something else. There are 24 hours in a day. That is non-negotiable.
When you’re clear on what your core values are, it’s much easier to discern between an opportunity and a distraction, and saying “NO” doesn’t feel so complicated and heavy. Bonus? You’ll be less apt to overload your plate with a pile of shoulds that keep you on the hampster wheel running towards burnout.
7-Elements of Wellbeing
With a clear vision, and knowledge of your core values, the next step is to clarify that one lead domino that will help set you up for success.
The 7-Elements of Wellbeing are the most important areas of our life that lead to a life of wellbeing, at work and at home.
Which one of the seven elements, if you were to focus on it, would make the most impact on you and your goals?
Heads up, it may not be what you think.
I’ll offer myself up as an example.
As a business owner, my focus is constantly on growing my business and bottom line. Laser-focused on what I need to DO to reach my goals.
So, I believed the one area/circle that would help me reach my business goals would be to focus on my work, my business.
But what I found over the years is the more I doubled down on building my business, the more I was in the hustle and grind mentality… the less I enjoyed my business because I wasn’t having any fun.
The harder I chased my goals, the further away (and more exhausting) they felt.
Until I realized something that seemed so dang counterintuitive. Slow the bleep down, and have some FUN. Yup, fun.
When my days, weeks, or years were all about DOing more, everything else became less…including less time with my family. My work-life wellbeing was way out of whack, and it was not sustainable.
When I’m all business and no fun, it’s the worst thing I can do to grow my business.
For one of my clients, self-care (physical) is her circle that made everything else easier.
Another client– it’s scheduling regular getaways (personal) with his friends.
Another– focusing on one date night a month with each of her kids (key relationships).
So, I invite you to think outside of the box. More work isn’t always the answer to more success. Which circle will you support you to walk, not run all day long?
Is it personal, like mine, and fun is the driver? Key relationships? Financial? Or is it spiritual, a deeper connection to something bigger that inspires you?
When you’re clear on which area, which circle, will help you to achieve success– without it consuming you– saying no to all those things you don’t really want to do becomes easier.
So put the boulder in the steam…meaning, schedule Thinking Time (T2) on your calendar to get clear on what your vision, your dream is and let everything else flow around it.
Make an appointment with yourself and book a time slot on your own calendar– like you would for a doctor’s appointment. This is not a luxury, it is a necessity if you want to be more present, pleasant, productive, AND profitable. Things won’t change unless you do.
Honor your time block so you can get clear on what your values are and use them to navigate towards more ease and less stress.
CLARITY of what you want; goals for what wellbeing looks and feels like– at work and at home– and so, specifically, getting clear about your Vision, your Core Values, and your 7-Elements of Wellbeing helps you to dodge the overwhelm, confusion, and over-commitment that lead to burnout.
If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know what Core Values you chose. Please leave a comment below.