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How To Avoid BurnoutWritten by Kristin

I’ll never forget encountering my very first “gone fishing” sign years back while visiting a shop in a small town.  I couldn’t quite believe it at first and then felt a bit envious of the very wise business owner.  What a brilliant idea, right?  Ever since then, I’ve tried to incorporate the concept into my own business and take breaks at least once a quarter. I also take a solid break each work day by getting outside and going for a walk or something totally unrelated to work.  And, once a week I take at least a half day off to relax and be still.

Why do I do this?  Well, it keeps me sane.  Burnout is a reality for most people and it’s important to guard against it.  I struggled with it in my previous career (as a recruiter) since I burned the candle at both ends, with a strong passion for my work and long hours.  Now, as a coach, I have an even stronger passion for helping people so it’s extra important for me to make sure I practice good self-care by letting go of work now and again.

Consider adding the gone fishing concept to your work life.  Whenever I take breaks, I always get lots of notes from clients saying things such as “you’re inspiring me to take a vacation soon”, or “wow, you have a great job, wish I could take a few days off sometime soon!”

Well, folks, you can.  You just have to do it.

The “gone fishing” concept is really about LETTING GO.  Sure, some of your customers will be mad when they arrive at your ‘shop’ and find out you’re not open.  They’ll get over it, though.  Some will respect you and become loyal customers for the life of your business. 

I promise you this…the benefits of taking breaks will outweigh any stress of drama you might encounter from your boss or at work.  Taking time to replenish yourself makes you HAPPIER, more CREATIVE and PRODUCTIVE!  In the end, it’s good for business and good for YOU.

It’s especially important to take a break if you think you might be burning out.

You can ‘go fishing’ by:

  • leaving work early to catch a movie one day
  • taking longer lunches outside, rather than eating at your desk
  • starting your day with ‘ME” time
  • setting up a standing weekly appointment to relax for at least an hour
  • organize your work schedule into 4 or 4.5 days a week.  Take the day or 1/2 day to PLAY
  • closing your office door for an hour a day, allowing you to focus on work that needs to get done (this will allow you to leave work earlier)

Many people struggle with this concept since they feel overloaded and believe taking time off will not serve them.  Rather, it will create more stress since the workload will pile up in their absence.

If this is how you feel, I urge you to really think about it.  Do you WANT to set up your life in this way? Do you LIKE being a slave to your job, unable to take time to refresh yourself?  If not, it's time to take a stand and make a change.

At first, applying the 'gone fishing' concept may upset people since it's something different. They will adjust, though!  Give it time.

Begin by jumping in with both feet and implementing one of my ideas (or one of your own) in the next week.  Do it as an experiment and notice how you feel.

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