Some days it's hard to get moving. You drag your butt out of bed and pour a coffee and hope it kicks in soon. There are days like this for sure. Days that you wish you'd had more sleep. Days that you can't wait for the weekend to start. And there are days that you wonder if there will ever be a time that you don't feel so tired. But what if one day like this turns into another and another and you just don't care anymore? How do you know when you are at the fateful burnout stage?
Exhausted, empty, depressed, sad and hopeless are ways that Tony Schwartz from The Energy Project describes the Burnout Zone. This is the place of low energy and lots of negativity. It's not a fun place to be. And it's a place you need to get help. Talk to your doctor, your Employee Assistance Program, Counsellor or Coach. Get the help you need.
Interestingly there is another place that many leaders tend to live. It is in Survival Zone. This place (and look closely for the words that describe you here) is full of impatience, irritability, frustration, anger, defensiveness, anxiety and worry. Rather than shutting down (burnout), in the Survival Zone you can still operate, you just look like and feel a "@#$(&%$#!. This is a place that leaders go to when they are feeling threatened. Often they are not consciously going there. Something happens that has them go to fight or flight mode. Their workload increases, they are struggling with an employee or there is a meeting coming up that has huge financial implications. The key to getting out or staying out of this zone is awareness.
Increase your awareness of what you are doing (snapping at people or working way too many hours), how your body is feeling (tight shoulders, headaches and ulcers) and what your internal dialogue is saying ("You idiot, why did you do that?" or "You are never going to get this all done!"). Notice when these things start to happen. Notice what not only what triggered them and but more importantly what helps minimize them. (hint: self care, wellness techniques and work life balance).
What's that you say, you can't remember the last time you were here? It's probably time you look for some of this before you do truly burnout.The Recovery Zone is what is supposed to happen on evenings, weekends and vacations. This is the place to re-energize an recharge. If you are having trouble getting here, try shutting off your phone and computer and see if it is any easier is to get here.
Do you want to know more about these four Energy Quardrants. Check out this quick video here from The Energy Project. And if you want to find out more about your self in relation to the quadrants, I encourage you to take the Energy Audit. It's a great way of identifying areas that you might need some Olympic style coaching on.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
Sign up for my newsletter here!
Want to follow my blog?
Click the RSS feed below and follow the instructions. That way, you won't miss any updates!