Welcome to Episode 83 of my podcast with Jennifer Peavey.
Jennifer and I spent time in this episode discussing burn out; what it is, and how to prevent it.
She has had around 20 years’ experience in corporate America coming from a background of engineering. During that time, she pushed herself very hard essentially getting to a senior position. Because of her role, she didn’t feel rewarded for the part she was playing. Sometimes this happens because your job can be important, but not play an end-to-end part in some thing. This makes it very difficult to see the result you’re having. She started to ask herself how much of a difference she was making and felt dissatisfied. So, she pushed herself harder in order to feel more successful.
Yet the reality was she had already achieved a great deal, but for her it wasn’t enough. She didn’t recognise what she really needed until she’d burned out. This is an important message for many of us, especially Executives. Working harder, or more hours, doesn’t necessarily shift the fundamental perception of whether the role is right for us. Or, if we’re truly courageous, are we right for it?
What else did we discuss?
Jennifer and I went on to define success. Wealth is often taken as our guide or being physically ‘present’ in the office. In other words, the hours other people work often set the benchmark for what we need to do in order to emulate this. But we are all human and need different levels of achievement. We also need nutrition, sleep, rest and time to ourselves. Left without sufficient means to work out how much time to give to work, we risk eroding these other things in order to ‘give’ ourselves more time.
None of us are machines and Jennifer has written an excellent book talking about what we need, in order to avoid burn out. She points out even elite athletes use a coach who acts as a third party able to advise us when we have had enough!
Jennifer’s book is called Natural Reflectors.