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How to Beat Burnout: Prevention, Recovery & Why So Many Leaders Struggle With It

Burnout is real, but it’s also misunderstood. Burnout comes from constant exposure to emotional and interpersonal stressors at work, at home or even both! And who fits that bill? 

Hard-working, high-achieving leaders like you, me and everyone reading this blog. People who don’t care rarely get burned out.

Joining us for this episode is Carey Nieuwhof, founder and CEO of Carey Nieuwhof Communications, which produces content and training resources for leaders. He will share wisdom gained from helping millions of leaders online and from his experience understanding, avoiding and battling back from burnout.


Here are some takeaways he shared:


1. Growth is not a virtue.

Overachievers want to crush everything in our sight – grow the business, grow the profit, add to the staff. But, with that, we have to learn to say ‘No’ sometimes. 

It’s easy to overwork when you love what you do. It doesn’t feel like work at all! But that mindset can be short-sighted. Sometimes, it’s better to stop, look how far you’ve come, and take a rest. Otherwise, you could be on the fast road to burnout.

2. Do what you're best at during the best time of your day.

Sometimes we take our gifts for granted. We focus on the other stuff and just wing it when it comes to doing the stuff we’re best at. 

But, using Carey’s methods, find your “green zone” – the 3 to 5 most productive hours of your day – and focus on your strengths during those times. Spending your best hours on things that you don’t enjoy can be draining, which over time will lead to burnout. 

Don’t misunderstand: Part of being a leader means, sometimes, you have to do things you don’t enjoy. But, bottom line, don’t cheat your gift.

3. When it comes to the reasons for your burnout, go deep.

It might get messy, but that’s okay. Do you have a loss of passion or flat emotions? Have you had a drop in productivity? An inability to think straight? Are rest and sleep no longer refueling you?

Are you burning out because of a desire to overachieve? To prove yourself to others? What is the root cause of those feelings? Pride? Ego? 

Don’t underestimate the value of talking with someone, even a professional counselor, about the “why” behind what is draining you and pushing you to burnout. If you can’t find balance, that’s a sign that something needs to change.


Don't waste any time downloading this episode's activation guide, A Leader's Guide to Battling Burnout and Winning.

It consists of a collection of Carey’s best articles and podcasts on burnout with interviews featuring leaders such as, Dr. Henry Cloud, Fab’rik’s CEO Dana Spinola, Leadership Coach Jo Saxton and Enneagram Guru Ian Morgan Cron.

There’s also a burnout assessment featured in case you’re iffy about whether or not changes should be implemented in your work — and personal — life.