By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
Executives today are beyond weary. Exhaustion has so saturated our business culture that rarely is this emotion not an element of the daily work experience for everyone.
Research by Harvard Business Review confirms your experience matches their survey result, revealing 96 percent of senior leaders report feeling burnout to some degree—33 percent describe their level as extreme!
There is little doubt that weariness and burnout negatively impact job performance. These emotions reduce focus, productivity, and innovation.
Weariness is the top contender for disengaged, underperforming employees.
What’s the answer? The only way out is to employ the right words, exhibit the right attitude, and take the right actions.
Let’s dive into these three concepts to rekindle your career passion.
Right Words: Pessimistic language keeps you stuck in weariness. Whereas proactive optimist, passionate, alive words energize. Thinking positively at work will help you stay motivated and work better alongside others.
What does research reveal? Optimism increases your productivity, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities. Taking on optimism as your emotion of choice sheds weariness and prepares you to seize opportunities never spotted when your lack of vitality drags you down.
Right words reignite your hopes and dreams. They open the door to your bright future.
Right Attitude: Single-minded persistence is a two-edged sword.
The good news is, yes, it keeps you on track to completing projects. However, if that is the only focus you bring to the issue, you’re draining yourself of any joy along the way.
You know I write blogs—you’re reading one now—and in the beginning, it was fun and rewarding, yet after years and years, I found it no longer satisfying. It became a “get-it-done-chore” always at my business’s busiest and most inconvenient times.
Publishing a blog does suck up a lot of time and energy—no question.
What did I do? I reassessed whether I should continue by asking about the “why” behind writing my blog.
I discovered two clear-cut value-based reasons that reawakened my desire to continue with gusto:
- First, my passion and mission are to facilitate uncovering the secrets for executives to unlock their fulfilling careers. It satisfies and warms the cockles of my heart when I can provide practical, usable career tips that sweeten their professional journey.
- Second, as a thought leader, writing and researching hone my skills, keeping me relevant for my clients.
I lost my way by focusing entirely on deadlines rather than what was meaningful to me and caused all my effort to be worthwhile. However, if my values had shifted and I couldn’t reignite my passion, it would have been time to discontinue my blog writing.
Please don’t lose yourself in weariness without evaluating what to continue and what to eliminate.
Right Actions: Research advises that movement is essential to keep your head in the game so that burnout doesn’t occur.
And just as crucial is shifting your mind’s spirit.
How? Research shows the longest we should spend in concentration on work for optimal performance is 90 minutes. After that, your attention sinks rapidly, which rarely achieves the outcome you’re hoping to attain.
So, STOP working. Shift gears. Get moving!
While in movement, infuse your brain with the memories of the high of your most recent big wins or the joy you felt supporting an employee achieve something they never imagined they could… or whatever emotionally floats your boat?
If a dreary thought enters your mind, gently and firmly sweep it out of your consciousness—don’t let it gain ground—the battlefield between a satisfying or a dreary career is won or lost here.
Once you’ve returned to work, roll your shoulders forward and back several times. Then, stretch your neck muscles by tilting your head to the left and the right until your stress is released.
I bet this mini-break whisked away much, if not all, of your weariness. Such intentional activities improve your energy level. It also improves your cognitive functioning abilities. Refresh moments should be a vital tool in your arsenal.
Weary executives who stick to their workaholic guns turn work into one lackluster and unfulfilling chore after another. Stop digging an early grave for yourself.
Begin rekindling your fire.
It’s time to bring enthusiasm and aliveness to your day because no one else can do it.
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