Avoiding Burnout

I really enjoy listening to Andy Stanley – especially his monthly leadership podcast (available here).  Andy has some super lessons for leaders and aspiring leaders, whether in the church or business world.  See if you don’t find application in your life too.

Here are some notes I jotted down as I was listening:

If you experience burnout, it is not necessarily because you are too busy.   It’s likely because you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing – something that is not your gifting or calling.

Sure, we can be too busy, and that is something to be avoided.  We have to make sure our priorities are in line and that our life has margin, i.e. – time to relax, reflect, think and listen.  But, this observation really resonated with me.  Are we doing lots of things, or are we doing the right things?  That can make all the difference.

So how do we find what Andy calls our “sweet spot”?  Here are some steps he suggested to help you evaluate whether you are doing what you should be doing:

  1. Consider what things you do that seem effortless to you, but seem like a daunting task to others.
  2. In what areas do people consider you the go-to person?
  3. What things do you wish you could stop doing altogether?

The answers to these questions can give you a good indication what areas you are gifted in or called to.  They should also give you a good idea what things you have no business doing!

Finally, Andy suggested it is a good exercise to develop your ideal job description.  I don’t mean your ideal job.  Meaning, in your current situation, what would be your ideal description?  What would you focus on?  What would you delegate?  To whatever degree possible, see if you can implement this.  In the home it could mean passing chores to your kids or spouse.  If you are a leader, these could be things you could enact right away.  If you are an employee, these are things to bring up at your next review.

Someone who is operating within their giftings will be much more effective and will avoid stress by simply doing what they ought to be doing.