Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Rising up early, workout, handling emails, work projects, back-to-back meetings, socializing with friends or family, and setting aside time in the evening for personal development/projects... If you are a business executive, this may be your typical daily routine.
You're a leader, friend, family man/woman - you're wearing different hats daily and sometimes it goes out of hand.
Burnout can happen to anyone and it cuts across executive levels, they don’t usually see it's happening until it does.
There are 3 typical signs to determine you are burned out:
1. Exhaustion - you may be feeling tired and emotionally drained after giving your all for a while and you don't have much left to give.
2. Cynicism - you detach yourself from your work, team or clients.
3. Lack of accomplishment or self-efficacy - you begin to doubt your work or sense of incompetence from the output and decisions you make.
THE SOLUTION: Use Executive Prioritisation Matrix
One of the biggest challenges executives faces is deciding what is urgent and what’s not. Tasks and projects are on your plate which can seem unending but once we remove that hurdle, we see things differently and starts to get done projects.
Here’s the executive prioritisation matrix, This enables executives to practice servant leadership and demonstrate agility.
(Utilise the following executive prioritisation matrix to map out all your current ‘priorities’)
Quadrant 1: Things I should and can be doing.
This stuff is important and requires strategic thinking.
Quadrant 2 (High yield, more straightforward projects): Things I said I’d do but am not doing.
These are the items that have been languishing on your to-do list forever. Perfect for long-term development projects.
Quadrant 3 (Low value, low likelihood of success): Things I should not be doing.
All the projects that you want to STOP and ELIMINATE. No matter how efficient you think you are, you probably won’t realise you have a few of these until you run an inventory on everything you’re doing. If these certain tasks stay on for longer than 3 months they get eliminated.
Quadrant 4 (Low value, high likelihood of success): Things I can delegate.
These are your housekeeping tasks. Activities or projects that you can delegate to your team members such as emails, calls and requests that don't produce measurable output.
SET BOUNDARIES AND PRIORITIZE
Working long hours and getting a lot of things done at one go doesn't mean you're being more productive. Actually, people who work long hours sometimes feel that they weren’t able to achieve their set goal which may lead to burn out.
"What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”
Working hard and working smart go hand in hand. Set deadlines and goals using the executive prioritisation matrix. In this way, you will not waste a lot of time on unimportant things, but you get more things done and improve the quality of work and life as an executive and your team.