Be SMART: avoid Burnout by building your Brand

Pervasive and corrosive, Burnout is a complex condition with symptoms unique to the person experiencing it. I won’t be suggesting, in this blog, that a carefully crafted Personal Brand website is an antidote to what is overwhelm from and, possibly, a systemic failure of modern life: job insecurity; the erosion of workers rights and casualisation of the workforce, a skewed social media reality showing burnout free effortless lives.

Thankfully, like a great many health issues, Burnout is becoming more visible, the conversation around it deeper and more experiences of it are shared. As journalist and culture critic, Anne Helen Peterson describes, however, it can’t simply be remedied by “going on vacation, life hacks like inbox zero, a coloring book, anxiety baking, the Pomodoro Technique, or overnight oats.

Planning and control, are positive antidotes to overwhelm. Taking the time to map out and articulate the path you want to take, to bring about the change you want to see, to actively facilitate a new direction in your career, can improve resilience and confidence and staunch that anxiety hum – the tinnitus of modern life – that leads to Burnout.

Burnout is a-motivating. It flattens life and removes joy, replacing it with a never ending, paralysing task list. Giving yourself time and permission to interrogate the overwhelm and set goals that will deliver a pathway out, is critical forward motion.

This goal setting can restart motivation. Focus on achievable goal setting, by breaking the outcome into SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-framed.

Create a specific, measurable, attainable relevant task, set within a specific time frame:

  • S: a specific, significant goal allowing you to focus on a specific, outlined task
  • M: This goal must also be measurable. Know where you are now, and what success looks like so you get the satisfaction as well as the benefit from achieving this goal. Even the smallest steps are important to mark
  • A: Make the goal Attainable – for larger goals, break these down into smaller attainable steps so the momentum of achievement and moving in the right direction gives you great feedback.
  • R: Relevant, rewarding and results-orientated
  • T: Time-framed: give yourself a time frame that’s specific, measurable, achievable and results oriented, so you don’t lose interest and momentum.

For example, I spoke with a lawyer who loved her work, but whose true passion was story telling – she had no idea how this would look in a broader context or as a service that she could transition into.

Her career success has given her joy and satisfaction, but lately this has been replaced by a pervasive anxiety that often gives way to a crippling flatness. Burnt out, overwhelmed, overworked, and unsure how to get unstuck, we spoke together about what did give her joy, what she wanted to stop and made a plan for a specific direction, that had a measurable outcome, was attainable, aligned with the reward and results she wanted, within a time frame. Story telling was, in fact, something she did every day, as she listened to clients and found solutions for them within a legal narrative. Seen through this context helped calm her as she prepared to develop a more practical approach to supporting people to write their stories.

My workshop has helped many people gain clarity and direction. It has helped people frame not only what they want to be doing and what they enjoy, also, what life requirements need to be met so we work in what has to be done. We also define what can be stopped. Creating a stop list is just as important as planning for the new. Stopping what you can gives you the time and space to move forward with what you want to be doing.

Whether you’ve had success in your career and now want to listen to that internal voice that’s reminding you of an earlier dream, whether you’re working in a role that doesn’t suit, you want to transition out of a career you chose through duty or expectation or simply because you’ve changed your mind, you can give yourself the permission to find out where a new direction could take you.

Book a call below to find out more about my workshop and get you moving forward to achieving SMART goals.

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