Why Millennials Are Burning Out

Photo by  Steve Johnson  on  Unsplash

Hello, Gen Y. How’s life?

Based on my observation, you seem to be under a bit of stress. And by bit, I mean A LOT of stress.

What gives?

We live in a world where we have instant access to EVERYTHING. We can order something from our phone, and pick it up or have it delivered exactly when we want it, without getting up off our ergonomic office chair.

We have more choices than our the previous generation had access to, but yet, we are stressed out, maxed out, and bouncing around trying to find our purpose.

We are more connected than ever, but as a society we are disconnected from each other. How many of you eat at a dining room table? Do you even have one?

How many hours are you using your smartphone each day? If you have an iBinky like me, turn on the Screen Time app. If you are in the Android camp, there’s apps to track your usage. You will be alarmed how much you’re on the phone.

Always connected, always doing things, full of energy and scheduling every minute of your day.

You’re on the highway to burnout.

Millennials are burning out at a rapid pace. You’re still early into adulthood, and you’re burning out before you hit 40.

Why?

Who told you that you had to go non-stop through your life? Mom? Dad? Uncle Joe? Who?

You think Hustle means going non stop.

hus·tle

verb

  1. force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction.

    "they hustled him into the back of a horse-drawn wagon"


  2. obtain by forceful action or persuasion.

    "the brothers headed to New York to try and hustle a record deal"

Why would you want to go through life “hurriedly”?

Hurried activity isn’t natural. It lacks flow and rhythms. It’s forced or persuaded. If you live your life in a hurried and forceful way, you will spend more energy than you need to, which is one of the key ingredients to burnout.

My recommendation to those that are constantly hustling and spending full energy doing too many things:

Find your off switch

Entrepreneur Magazine recently had an article about entrepreneurs scheduling their entire days. I’m a big fan of scheduling, but the key is to schedule off time (or downtime) in your day. Treat it like a meeting with your important boss, client, significant other, etc.

During that downtime, that includes putting down the iBinky. Listen to music, go for a walk outside (yes, outside, in nature), stare at the wall, look at a painting and admire the artwork, anything that allows you to just be.

My challenge for you today is to take a piece of paper, and draw a vertical line down the middle.

On the left side, write down the things you LOVE to do, that brings you great joy and happiness. Could be going to a favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Could be going to the movies, or a concert/sporting event. Be thorough and list as many things you can on the left side.

Now on the right side of the paper, write down the last time you did those things you love. I bet that many of you haven’t done a lot of those things in a while.

Next, pull out your calendar (whether or paper or electronic) and schedule some of those “love to do” items in the next couple of weeks.

Wash/Rinse/Repeat.

You need to schedule fun in your life, that doesn’t have anything to do with your business, your work, your cause, your mission in life. Too often everything we do has a purpose or is assigned to our value system. You need to do things that energize you. Self care 101.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!




How Daylight Savings Time Contributes to Stress and Burnout

Photo by  chuttersnap  on  Unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Daylight savings time (DST) has arrived.  We “lose” an hour of sleep, and gain an hour of daylight.  

 For those that live in cold climates, an extra hour of light, even if it’s cold outside is a welcome change.

 However, that hour shift in time can mess with our sleep patterns and internal clocks, as well as cause internal strife if we are an hour late to appointments or engagements.

 Imagine showing up an hour late into a movie.  That would suck, right?

 We’ve seen studies how heart attacks after DST increase by 10%.  That’s alarming, and since I’ve had a heart attack, I feel for those additional 10% that experience that life-changing event.

 Even with more digital devices that automatically change the time on our devices (computers/phones/etc.) there are still some items (stove, microwave, car stereo) that will be an hour off when you see them.  Constant nagging reminders that are inputs to increasing stress (especially if you forget how to change the time on those devices.)

 How do you reduce the stress of DST?

·     Go to bed earlier the night that DST starts.  Don’t lose that hour of sleep.  Go to bed earlier that night.  If you can’t go to bed an hour earlier, at least try 30 minutes.  Minimize the sleep impact of DST.

·     Keep to your morning routine.  A consistent routine to start your days creates successful days.  Grab my free ebook on Successful Mornings here.

·     Eat healthy. Your energy levels will be out of sorts due to DST, so putting proper fuel in your body will help combat the side effects of DST.

·     Get outside. Breathe fresh air, and go for a long walk.  Your body will thank you for it.

·     Be alert! Monday and Tuesday morning after DST tends to have a lot of auto accidents, so pace yourself, keep your distance, and stop using your iBinky when you drive!


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!

Pre-Emptive Strike Leadership: Careless Communication

We get it.  You’re busy.  We’re all busy, and we don’t always pay attention to how we communicate.  Fire off an email and move on to the next task. That’s the way we work, that’s the way we get shit done.  Problem is, those quick and careless emails can have huge consequences if they are creating problems for your employees.  

The way that managers communicate (or miscommunicate) with their employees is almost always problematic, and one of the top triggers around generating resentful and threatened employees. 

Here is a really basic rule: when operating in an environment of unequal power, the person with less power requires greater clarity and neutrality in order to maintain a sense of safety.  This is human nature.  We don’t have to like it, but since we can’t change it, we might as well understand it and ultimately make it work to our advantage.  

Poor communication between a manager and employee will increase the stress level for an already over-stressed employee, and can create conditions that will push them out of their window of tolerance.  

How much unnecessary grief is generated by a carelessly written communication? Managers rely almost exclusively on email and memos to communicate with their employees. (Executives do this as well but are far less likely to email employees directly.) The biggest problem with managers’ over-reliance on email really surfaces when the information being disseminated involves an important issue such as an organizational change, new policy implementations, or staffing changes.  There is rarely enough clarity provided in an email and no real mechanism for employees to ask questions.  If you think that having HR review the email is enough before sending, think again!

 Employees will always interpret the “intent” behind the information being sent to them, and each employee will filter this important announcement through their life stressors, job fantasies, and experience of power in the workplace.  Remember, you having power over your employees will always make you suspect.  Once they run the email through their own internal “Employee Translation Program” you can bet the information they are left with is a more threatening, destabilizing version of the original.

Learn more at PreEmptiveStrikeConsulting.com

TED Talks: 5 Most Inspirational Videos on Leadership

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TED Talks: 5 Most Inspirational Videos on Leadership

This article by Sarah Pritzker first appeared on Youtubetomp3shark.com.


A leader is a dealer in hope – Napoleon Bonaparte

What does it mean to be a leader? How does one become a great leader? What does it really take? These are questions that the best leaders of all time ask themselves constantly, and that’s probably part of what makes them great.

But, the recipe doesn’t end there. So much that goes into being a good leader, including constantly striving, working to improve, and most of all, always learning. There has never been a better time to be a leader than today because we’ve got thousands of resources at our fingertips, hours upon hours of inspiring talks from the best of the best, right in front of us, ready be to utilized if we dare.

If you’re ready to be the best leader you can be, check out 10 of the most inspiring and motivational TED talks on leadership today.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #1 Listen and learn from everyone around you

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John F. Kennedy

General Stanley McChrystal is a decorated four-star general in the United States armed forces, and in my book, those are pretty good credentials for leadership training. He gave an incredible TED talk (Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn Then Lead) that’s just around 15 minutes long. Yet in the video McChrystal gives over an essential value of leadership: don’t be too proud or full of yourself to learn from others because, at the end of the day, we all need one another to get through life. Short, poignant, and incredibly relevant to anyone in a leadership position. Salute.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #2 Self-leadership comes first

One of the most important things that a leader can do is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first! – Marshall Goldsmith

Lars Sudmann gives a quick TED talk about the number one rule in leadership: self-leadership. He quickly goes through some important exercises you need to be doing constantly as a leader to ensure that you are being the best leader and that includes periodic self-character trait checks, asking self-reflecting questions, and continuous self-regulation. In short, Sudmann shows that if you really want to lead others, you have to start by leading yourself.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #3 Value each employee for what they have to contribute

The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued. – Ken Robinson

The good leader is the one that appreciates and understands the value of each employee. The obvious truth is that no great empire was built single-handedly. Instead, it’s the combined efforts of several individuals. And the great leader understands this principle, cultivates a culture in which each individual knows they have what to contribute, is given the tools and the space to make those contributions, and is appreciated for their contributions towards the finished product.

In her talk, Forgetting the Pecking Order, Margaret Heffernan contests the usual business model of competition, dog eat dog, you’ve got to step on each other to climb to the top ideology, and suggests a different type of mentality. My favorite line from the talk is this: “If the only way the most productive can be successful is by suppressing the productivity of the rest, then we badly need to find a better way to work.”. So well put, Margaret.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #4 The definition of leadership is making someone’s life better

A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under. – Sam Houston

This is one of the best TED talks about leadership out there because it totally turns the entire definition we’re accustomed to on its head. Drew Dudley shows us in just six minutes how each one of us can be and is a leader without even knowing it. By doing the smallest thing, we can change someone’s life, thereby becoming a leader of people.

Dudley contests the superhero image of a leader who changes the world through massive feats of strength and superhuman powers. Instead, Dudley says we change the world, we lead the world, by the small things that make an impact on a single person at a time. Watch it, you’ll be amazed.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #5 Motivate properly

Everything is hard before it is easy. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Part of the job of a leader is to motivate their people to succeed. One of the most common methods society generally uses to get people moving is incentive, whether it’s positive or negative, internal or external. But motivational speaker Dan Pink is teaching us some fascinating findings about motivation. Turns out most of the time when we use rewards to motivate people, they actually end up doing more damage than good! Listen to Dan Pink’s The Puzzle of Motivation, and learn that at the end of the day the greatest motivation is feeling like we’re doing something that matters.

There are lots of other studies and speeches on the subject including two of the best from Dan Ariely and Tony Robbins. These two really go deep explaining the motivation of people and how to work with our internal mechanisms for greater productivity and greater workplace happiness.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #6 A little encouragement goes a long way

If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it. John C. Maxwell

Simon Sinek has got a ton of great inspiration and advice for anyone who wants to be a great leader (and I highly recommend you check them all out). One of my favorite TED talks Sinek gives is the one about how leaders inspire action. In this talk, Sinek shows that your mission statement motivates, and that your “why” is more important than your “what” or “how.” Learn from the master.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #7 Lead fearlessly, love hard

A true leader not only cares about their success, but the success and empowerment of others. – Warren G. Bennis

Linda Cliatt-Wayman might be the most motivational speaker on this entire list. She is a powerful, driven, and successful leader, and she is a school principal. That’s right, she is a school principal, but not just any school principal. Cliatt-Wayman goes into seriously troubled school districts and turns their situations around in incredible ways.

In her TED talk, Linda tells people that if you want to be a leader, you have to do three things: really lead, i.e., get up off your butt and do things. That includes, of course, the big jobs that nobody else can do, but even the little, menial jobs that nobody else is interested in doing. Second, don’t focus on excuses or problems, focus on solutions. And thirdly, do it with love. No matter what kind of organization you’re leading, a little concern and respect go a long way.

Also a shout out to Angela Lee Duckworth’s Key to Success? Grit speech. Check it out if you want to hear more like this.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #8 Female empowerment

And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. – Mark Anthony

In her incredibly inspiring TED talk, Sheryl Sandberg explains why there are too few women taking leadership roles. I think this is an invaluable talk that every girl needs to hear. Sandberg talks about the right self-messaging, that the workforce isn’t the right place for every woman, and that if it is, make sure to always “be at the table.” Look at and treat yourself as an equal, and others will too. Try it!

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #9 Learn how to make waves

This is a three-minute video that shows some key points about being a good leader. In How to Start a Movement, Derek Sivers shows the importance of nurturing your supporters and also of not being afraid to be a follower sometimes too. Seth Godin goes further into this concept with his talk about How to Get Your Ideas to Spread. In a word, it’s about being remarkable. Check it out.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #10 Difference between success and winning

Winning is fun…sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point.  – Pat Summitt

I’ll end off this inspirational roundup with one of the most important lessons anyone (but especially a leader) needs to understand. In a terrific talk, John Wooden explains that there is a world of difference between success and winning. Almost every time, the biggest success is putting in your effort and doing the best you can. Whether or not you win, i.e., accomplish the goal that you set out to do, is less important than what effort you put forth.

Liked what you saw? You can also check out Fields Wicker Miurin’s speech for some quick and uplifting inspiring leaders stories or Itay Talgam’s talk about using harmony to create a beautiful symphony.

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry Kissinger

Leaders have untold potential to make significant changes, touch people, and really shape the world, but they have to be good leaders to accomplish those goals. Luckily, we have some of the most successful, powerful, and influential leaders in the world as our teachers. With technology today, we have nothing stopping us from learning these priceless leadership lessons. As Muhammad Ali said, “the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves.”



Self Care When You're Sick

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Over the past week or so, I’ve had flu-like symptoms. My physician indicated it was post-nasal drip, which is annoying as hell.

When you’re way under the weather, your motivation takes a significant hit, and your energy levels are way lower than you’re used to.

When you’re a driven individual, that’s constantly moving things forward on a daily basis, getting sick is a rude interruption to your goals. You think about your to do list, but have no energy to even write a blog post, much less work on anything.

That’s been my week.

Prior to my 369 Days, whenever I was ill, I wouldn’t take the time to rest and recover. I would push through the illness, continuing to work and pushing aside the desire to rest.

Not the best strategy. It’s a prescription for burnout.

Thankfully I rarely come down with colds, or the flu, because of the pre-emptive measures I use to keep my health:

  • Get 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night

  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Canada winters have significant temperature swings, so don’t be bold and go out without a jacket

  • Saline Nasal Rinse. This has been a life saver for me

  • Exercise regularly. Keeping active keeps your immune system working

  • Eat real food. Listen to my podcast interview with Chris Marshall to learn more

  • Minimize stress. Meditation, mindfulness, plenty of ways to help

This time around I’m not beating myself up for not getting things done that I want to do. I’m resting and doing things when the energy is there, and resting when the energy is nowhere to be found. And that’s ok.

The work will be there when I’m better. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Your body is telling you it needs to recover. Help your body out by allowing that to happen.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!




Pre-Emptive Strike Leadership: The Stand-In

Your employees’ relationship with people who have power over them in the organization will always include “stand-ins” – that is, the unseen presence of influential people who have held power over them at some point in their lives.  Given the significance of relationships that people have with others in their lives, starting with childhood, those relationships that represented the greatest threat to them emotionally will be the ones that become the “stand in” in the workplace.  The power dynamic that is necessarily present in the workplace is what creates the “trigger” for the insertion of the “stand in”.  Managers, executives, HR representatives all “stand in” for the unseen influences carried in the door by employees.  

Managers, in particular, are holding power at the front lines of our organizations.  They are the ones employees interact with most often and who have direct control over many aspects of the employee’s life.  Power dynamics are at their most concentrated here for employees, and the way in which staff will interpret interactions with managers has a great deal to do with who the managers are “standing in” for in their employees’ lives.  An unsavvy and oblivious manager can end up generating a host of negative and unproductive reactions on the part of the employee that are often completely unrelated to the manager but, unfortunately, still their responsibility.  

Learn more at PreEmptiveStrikeConsulting.com

How Your Patience impacts your stress levels, and how to stop stressin'

Photo by  Cody Black  on  Unsplash

Photo by Cody Black on Unsplash

Whenever you’re going through a season of stressful situations, the chances for burnout and stress are high. You feel like a piñata, either in work and/or in life. Nothing is going right for you. You may feel the world is against you.

I know how you feel. I’ve experienced this in my career, and I can empathize with you that it is not a walk in the park.

However, you don’t have to let it break you down. You are in control of your mind, your thoughts, your reactions, and how you navigate through this thing we call life.

Burnout is a state that I want everyone to avoid, because you lose your ability to enjoy life when you’re burned out. Nothing feels right or good. You’re almost numb to the things that brought you joy. That’s not fun for anyone, your family, friends, co-workers, etc.

When you’re in one of those seasons where it’s “you v. the world”, there’s one key trait that will serve you well:

Patience

Axl Rose sang about it, The Oxford Dictionary defines patience as The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

  • Anxiety can lead to stress and burnout

  • Being tolerate reduces stress and burnout from happening, with the right mindset

  • Suffering leads to stress and burnout

  • Being annoyed can lead to stress and burnout

How do you become more patient? An article in Inc. Magazine gives us some clues:

  • Wait for things instead of instant gratification.

  • Stop doing things that are not important in your work and your life

  • Be more aware of things that cause you to be impatient. Eliminate those things if at all possible

  • Relax and take deep breaths


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!



How You Pausing To Reflect Can Prevent Burnout

Photo by  Kylo  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kylo on Unsplash

Life has a way of providing many triumphs, struggles, victories, losses, ups, and downs. How you think about these life experiences will dictate how your future will look.

Too often we live our lives on auto-pilot, going through the motions, not taking time to smell the flowers (not all of us like roses), take in nature, or simply just be. We jump from activity to activity without pausing and reflecting “what just happened to me?”.

When was the last time you reflected on an experience you’ve recently had? Some call this a debrief, as what you would do in any project management exercise. What went well? What went sideways? Did we learn anything new? Did any of our past theories help (or hurt) this project?

We can use that methodology when we reflect on life experiences as well. Public speakers can reflect on what went well during your talk? What did you forget to do? Did you feel the audience was engaged, or were they suffering from after-lunch food coma?

Parents after having a difficult discussion with your child. What went well (if anything)?, did your child seem to understand your point of view? Did you listen (truly listen) to your child’s responses? Were you in the moment, or were you rehashing the past, or re-living the past of an experience you had as a child?

Check yourself.

Pausing and reflection on your daily lives helps you summarize the experiences, looking for ways to improve how you conduct your life, as well as minimize any negative self-talk about mistakes and/or things that didn’t go as you would have hoped or planned.

The sun still rises (even during winter, and it’s hidden by clouds, it’s still there.)

I’m a huge fan of journals. I encourage you journal your days, so you can look for personal growth opportunities, as well as notice trends as to how your days and weeks are going.

Here’s a reflection journal exercise:

  • Write what went really well today. Be as detailed as you want. You’ll look back at this from time to time, so you’ll want to be verbose here.

  • Write what went “bad” or didn’t go as you would have hoped/liked/planned. List the experience(s) and also write down what your role was in these matters, but don’t beat yourself up. Write it from a factual standpoint.

  • Write down what you want to accomplish tomorrow. Be BOLD. Set big objectives/goals, but ones that you feel you can achieve, or at minimum move forward.

Use your journal daily. Writing it down celebrates what went well, what didn’t, and what positive things you’ll do tomorrow. It provides you a way to release everything that happened in your day, so that you can get a restful evening of sleep, which is a crucial burnout prevention step.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!

Why Am I Burned Out?

Choice. Burnout is a choice. You chose it.

Now before you click to another tab on your browser (or close your browser altogether) in hatred for me, let me explain why you chose to be burned out.

First, I highly doubt you intended to burn yourself out. That would require some very deeply rooted self-harm thoughts and patterns, and if that’s the case, I highly encourage you seek help immediately.

In the book Disease To Please by Harriet Braiker, many of us have this desire to please others, and often times we put ourselves last, in order to do this.

  • We do too much, too often for others,

  • We almost never say no when someone asks something of us

  • We suck (like I did) at delegation

  • We become overwhelmed and spread our lives too thin

In our “Disease To Please Syndrome”, we often act to avoid fear, conflict, rejection, and confrontation. Here’s the wrinkle: Avoiding fears only causes them to intensify. Avoiding conflict creates more internal conflict.

Constantly pleasing others basically turns a deaf ear to your inner voice, so you ignore your own personal needs and desires. This causes internal stress, anxiety, depression, and other health challenges, which ultimately leads to, you guessed it: Burnout.

How do you fix these things?

Kill the “Shoulds”

I should help that person going through a personal tragedy. I should spend 20 minutes listening to that person complain about her work life, when they won’t actually do anything about it personally, because they’re doing their own avoidance exercise.

In both of these examples, you are taking on the burden of others. Noble? Yes. Stupid? Definitely. Be a sympathetic listener, give suggestions, but stop lifting their baggage.

Adjust Your Thinking Chair

Steve from Blues Clues had a thinking chair, that he sat in when he was solving mysteries with his dog Blue. Your thinking leads to burnout. Your thought patterns go to “worst-case scenario” mode as a default. Quoting the Bob Newhart skit on Mad TV: STOP IT!

Your thinking patterns need to be rational, reasoned, and accurate as possible, but please, please, please reduce the emotions and feelings you attach to your thoughts. Blame your amygdala!

People Should Treat Me This Way

As Braiker stated in Disease To Please, Holding on to conditional beliefs about how people should behave towards you, based on “all that you do/have done” for them, only sets you up for disappointment, resentment, anger, hurt. It also can create disillusions about other people as well.

In my book Pre-Emptive Strike Leadership, that I co-authored with Dr. Arlene Battishill, we often associate people with “Stand-ins”, or people that remind us of someone else. Your boss could remind you of your Dad, who wasn’t there for you, or didn’t give you the love you expected. Or your co-worker could be a stand-in or remind you of someone you worked with years ago, that “stole” your girlfriend.

Summary

If you’re burned out, it didn’t happen overnight. There isn’t a magic pill, a get more sleep post, etc. that will immediately cure you. It took time for burnout to appear, and it will take time to undo what created your burnout in the first place.

Follow me on social media (typically @bfastleadership for the social media channels), implement the suggestions I post and share, and reach out to me, to get the guidance to rid yourself of burnout, and learn the techniques I use to prevent burnout from happening again.

Be well!


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!


Time Management Strategies for Solopreneurs

[image: https://pixabay.com/en/notebook-work-girl-computer-woman-2386034/]  Being a solopreneur is a busy life. It can often seem like you are rushing from one task or obligation to the next without enough time to get it all done.  While it is common for small business owners to have busy days and long hours, you should be doing what you can to manage your time more effectively. That might mean  joining a coworking space  so you can focus better, outsourcing certain tasks, or simply organizing your days differently. The following are a few strategies that can help solopreneurs who are having trouble fitting all of their work into the time they have.   Pick a Time Management System   One of the best ways to make the most of your days is to find a system for time management. For some people, it might be as simple as using a time management app, but there are several  time management systems  that can be beneficial. You don’t even need to pick one and follow it precisely. You can look at different time management systems and take from them the elements that work for you. The key is to find or develop a system and then stick to it.   Know Your Goals   It will be much easier to manage your time when you know what you are trying to achieve. Identify both short-term and long term goals that can help you get your business where you want it to be. Once you know what these goals are, you can then start breaking them down into steps that will help you achieve them. With that knowledge, you can focus your time on the steps that will move you closer to your goals.   Set Your Priorities   Like most solopreneurs, you probably find that there are many days that end with a few tasks left on your list. This can feel frustrating, but it should only be seen as a problem if those leftover tasks are important, time-sensitive issues that really needed to be completed that day. To prevent this type of problem, you should evaluate your daily to-do list and identify the items that have to be checked off before you call it a day. When you know what these items are, you can schedule them for your most productive hours.   Follow Your Productivity   If you are like most people, you are not at your best 24 hours a day. You probably have hours where your productivity peaks and parts of the day when you feel like it lags. If you want to get the most from your time, you need to know  how to identify your most productive time of the day . When you know when you are most motivated, you can schedule your high-priority items to be completed when you are doing your best work.   Track Your Time   You might already track your time if you bill hours to clients, but you should start tracking all of your time. With a good  time tracking tool , you can gain an overview of how you spend your days. This information can then be used to help you manage your time better. You might notice a lot of wasted time in your schedule or tasks that are taking longer than they should. Once you see these problems, you can start working on ways to address them.   Focus on the Current Day   It is good to set long-term goals and there are significant benefits to scheduling an entire week or month in advance. However, when you are actually working on the things you schedule, you need to focus on the current day. If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow or next week, you are not truly present for the things you are working on in the moment. Without that focus on the current day, you can’t manage your time efficiently, and it will set you back.  Finding a way to balance your daily tasks can seem intimidating as a solopreneur, but the trick is simply to get organized. Clearly outlining what needs to get done and when is an effective way to ensure the tasks that will help you reach your goals are done to the best of your ability.     Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

[image: https://pixabay.com/en/notebook-work-girl-computer-woman-2386034/]

Being a solopreneur is a busy life. It can often seem like you are rushing from one task or obligation to the next without enough time to get it all done.

While it is common for small business owners to have busy days and long hours, you should be doing what you can to manage your time more effectively. That might mean joining a coworking space so you can focus better, outsourcing certain tasks, or simply organizing your days differently. The following are a few strategies that can help solopreneurs who are having trouble fitting all of their work into the time they have.

Pick a Time Management System

One of the best ways to make the most of your days is to find a system for time management. For some people, it might be as simple as using a time management app, but there are several time management systems that can be beneficial. You don’t even need to pick one and follow it precisely. You can look at different time management systems and take from them the elements that work for you. The key is to find or develop a system and then stick to it.

Know Your Goals

It will be much easier to manage your time when you know what you are trying to achieve. Identify both short-term and long term goals that can help you get your business where you want it to be. Once you know what these goals are, you can then start breaking them down into steps that will help you achieve them. With that knowledge, you can focus your time on the steps that will move you closer to your goals.

Set Your Priorities

Like most solopreneurs, you probably find that there are many days that end with a few tasks left on your list. This can feel frustrating, but it should only be seen as a problem if those leftover tasks are important, time-sensitive issues that really needed to be completed that day. To prevent this type of problem, you should evaluate your daily to-do list and identify the items that have to be checked off before you call it a day. When you know what these items are, you can schedule them for your most productive hours.

Follow Your Productivity

If you are like most people, you are not at your best 24 hours a day. You probably have hours where your productivity peaks and parts of the day when you feel like it lags. If you want to get the most from your time, you need to know how to identify your most productive time of the day. When you know when you are most motivated, you can schedule your high-priority items to be completed when you are doing your best work.

Track Your Time

You might already track your time if you bill hours to clients, but you should start tracking all of your time. With a good time tracking tool, you can gain an overview of how you spend your days. This information can then be used to help you manage your time better. You might notice a lot of wasted time in your schedule or tasks that are taking longer than they should. Once you see these problems, you can start working on ways to address them.

Focus on the Current Day

It is good to set long-term goals and there are significant benefits to scheduling an entire week or month in advance. However, when you are actually working on the things you schedule, you need to focus on the current day. If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow or next week, you are not truly present for the things you are working on in the moment. Without that focus on the current day, you can’t manage your time efficiently, and it will set you back.

Finding a way to balance your daily tasks can seem intimidating as a solopreneur, but the trick is simply to get organized. Clearly outlining what needs to get done and when is an effective way to ensure the tasks that will help you reach your goals are done to the best of your ability.



Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

Rae Steinbach

Rae Steinbach


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!

Your Burnout Is NOT A Failure

Photo by  Zohre Nemati  on  Unsplash

In the book “Burn-out” by Herbert Freudenberger, Dr. Freudenberger realized in his studies that burnout is robbing our society of high-achievers (both women and men) that society looks up to as leaders and action-takers.

I see many people that are burned out tend to be the Type-A personalities: driven, successful, but also not satisfied with their accomplishments ,so they keep chasing more and more.

This chasing leads to burnout. Burnout feelings often have a dulling and deadness feeling within. Things that used to excite us no longer do. We are often numb to the world.

Sound familiar? Am I talking about you right now?

If you said yes (either out loud, or you whispered to yourself, then you’ve taken a huge step in admitting you have an issue, and you deep down want to fix it.

Now that you have acknowledged that you may be burned out, the next key step is to stop the bleeding.

You need to pause what you’re doing and do a simple breathing exercise for 2 minutes. Not 30, not 45, two minutes.

If you are in a place where you can close your eyes, do so. if not, find a place where you can be safe and without interruption for 2 minutes.

Close your eyes. Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for four seconds. Exhale for 4 seconds. Pause for 4 seconds. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds. Pause for 4 seconds.

Repeat above for 2 minutes. Set an alarm or timer on your phone if you need to.

After this 2 minutes, feel how you feel. My hunch is that you’re a bit more relaxed than before. This is good. This demonstrates that you can unwind a little, and in 2 minutes.

Implement this breath work throughout your day. I recommend at morning, mid-day, and evening before you go to bed. For the bedtime exercise, don’t set an alarm (also don’t have your phone in your bedroom. If you use it for an alarm clock, STOP!)

Burnout is not a failure on your part. You are a driven, giving person and you want the best for others. Unfortunately, you forgot to take care of yourself, first. I get it. I was the same way, then my 369 Days hit, and wow did that cause a ripple effect.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!




Why People Deny They Are Burned Out

Source: Photo by  whoislimos  on  Unsplash

Source: Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

A decade ago, I was the poster child for being burned out. I had all the symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Restlessness

  • Insomnia

  • Anger Management Issues

  • Irritable

  • Mistake prone

  • Relationship challenges

  • Physical challenges

  • Bad Eating Habits

That list isn’t all inclusive, but I had all of the above, and then some. Everyone knew I was burned out, except me. Maybe subconsciously I knew, but on the surface, this Type A personality would have nothing to do with burnout.

I was in my 3rd year of running a medical clinic, which never really got past the “start-up” feel, mostly because we didn’t have a set parameter on when we would “arrive.” Our clinic was supposed to have a new building (which they did get, at least a 1/2 decade after my 369 Days kick off.)

I was in full-on “get er done” mode, and never let up. Not resting or taking a break, my body eventually did break, and it kicked off my year of worst-case scenarios.

I was beyond foolish back then, not prioritizing myself first, and focusing on pleasing others before me. It nearly cost me my life. Never again.

Why did I deny my own burnout?

Common reasons include:

  • People pleasing. You are prideful about your accomplishments, and you’ve likely rose through the ranks of employment, and are viewed as an all-star employee. You enjoy that designation, and don’t want to let anyone down, nor lose that view that people have of you

  • Adrenaline kicks in: When you’re accomplishing much, you get excited and invigorated (and addicted) to the emotions you feel when you’re accomplishing great things. However you don’t take time to “smell the roses”.

  • You ignore the signs. Burnout does not happen overnight. It’s not like you wake up tomorrow and say “oh crap, I’m burned out today.” Burnout creeps up slowly over time, but when it hits, you’ll hit the mat faster than being on the receiving end of a Mike Tyson hook.

Ignoring your build up to burnout will cost you. It could cost you your health, your job, your relationships, you name it.

If you are stressed out and feeling aches and pains in parts of your body you didn’t know you had, you need to reach out to me. I don’t want you to have a year of worst-case scenarios like I did.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

My 2019 Program on Burnout Recovery Coaching is HERE!





Pre-Emptive Strike Leadership: The Hallmark of a Pre-Emptive Strike Leader

A revolution is required in leadership that recognizes the time is upon us and we must respond to a workforce that is very different from the ones that have come before.  True leadership will recognize the sea change and take advantage of the opportunity to transform their organizations in ways that will leave them thriving for decades to come.

The behavior that engenders the emotionally safest workplace for employees is one where the person in charge leads as a steward, rather than as an executive or manager.  True leaders operate from a place of understanding human behavior and interpersonal relationships; they foster and facilitate communication and interactions that are open and welcoming.  Leaders make decisions that consider the whole, and not just the pieces.  Leaders model behavior that communicates to everyone that they are valued.  Leaders don’t manage people; they motivate them. Leaders take a bottom-up approach instead of top-down.  Leaders are not rigid or myopic and do not demand structure and compliance.  Leaders take the long view and recognize that to create a culture of emotional safety is to create an organization that has the least risk, liability, cost and distraction.

So, ask yourself the question - what kind of leader are you?

Learn more at PreEmptiveStrikeConsulting.com