“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.” – Anne Lamott.
Self-care strategies to avoid end of year burnout.
As the end of 2020 is fast approaching, it feels as though life is busier than ever before. The ever increasing demands of work and life are at all time high. And with 5 weeks remaining until the end of the year, many of us are anticipating taking some much needed time off to rest, recover and recharge the batteries.
I have particularly been feeling more pressure to cope with the demands of my role – both in my professional career and for Boss in Heels. 16 hour days have become the ‘new normal’ and I myself know what burning the candle at both ends feels like.
There are a few strategies I have put in place to combat work stress and to avoid burnout, particularly as we approach the end of the year.
1. SAYING NO
Saying no is one of the most challenging, yet empowering practices you can develop. For so long I have wanted to say yet to as many opportunities, events and requests as possible. However, I have recently learned the importance of setting clear boundaries and saying no to things that aren’t in line with my goals, or aren’t with people who fuel my soul.
Be clear and intentional with what you say yes to. Create a ‘not to do’ list of all the things you don’t want to make time for. For example, I have a ‘no coffee meeting policy’ for every coffee meeting request I receive via LinkedIn, email or social media. For me, going to coffee meetings without a clear agenda, purpose or for someone to ‘pick my brain’ is not something which is going to help me to achieve my goals. The time lost is far too costly, and is something which I simply can’t afford.
Start getting really prescriptive and intentional with how you use your time. This is particularly important during this period, with increased invitations to Christmas parties and other social events. Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else.
2. UTILISING MY OUTLOOK & IPHONE CALENDARS
I am constantly looking for new strategies to enhance my time. Whilst I have always been an advocate of keeping a to-do list and utilising my calendar, I have recently started using my calendar in a more considered way. I now schedule the following things into my calendar:
- Morning Routine
- Time to shower & get ready
- Workouts and walks
- Social events and commitments
- Boss in Heels commitments
- Focused time to work
- Time to self-care
- Food prep
- Power planning
- ‘Free time’
I have been scheduling in… everything. I now schedule every single thing into my calendar, and colour-coded into 5 key categories being Work, Boss in Heels Work, Other Commitments, Health & Wellbeing and time to Self-Care & Rest. Whilst my calendar looks completely full, I am finding this is a much more manageable way for me to stay on top of the ever-increasing demands. Scheduling in time to self-care and rest, and treating it like any other appointment I would make to myself is also a key way of avoiding burnout.
3. OUTSOURCING TASKS
I have come to the realisation that I simply cannot do it all, and learning to outsource tasks where it makes to do so. Some of the things I am currently outsourcing include:
- Grocery shopping: I purchase groceries online and get them delivered to my door. I purchase from two providers – one for organic fruit and vegetables, and the other for household products etc.
- Car washing: I recently found a provider who comes to my home and washes my car, without me having to take it to a car wash. This saves me at least one hour of my time every couple of weeks. The quality of the service is also much higher than a standard car wash chain.
- Podcast Editing: Podcast editing is something which I simply do not have the time to do, and is not a good use of my time. I outsource this to a professional who does a brilliant job.
Other ways to outsource I’m currently considering:
- Getting a professional cleaner. The control freak in me has been trying to hold on this for too long, and it may be time to let go…
- Hiring a virtual assistant: There are some tasks for Boss in Heels / other life admin which aren’t a good use of my time. I’m currently considering this and coming up with a task list of things which could be outsourced.
STRATEGIES TO AVOID BURNOUT
What are some strategies you’ve adopted to avoid burnout? Are there some tasks that you currently outsource? I would love to hear any thoughts or practices you’ve developed, please leave your comments below!