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Monday, December 22, 2008

9 Steps to Recharge Yourself and Avoid Holiday Burnout

1. Set your boundaries and honor them.
Boundaries are a way to protect yourself from the actions of others and limit your exposure to stressful people or situations. It’s practicing good self-care to say no to unreasonable requests of your time at work, and to limit the length of family visits with those who cause undue irritation or spread negativity.

2. Innovate, create, and anticipate.
If you are able to do some of your work from home, phone it in! If this is not yet a practice where you work, make your case for it, but make the “business case.” Consider the benefits for the company, such as better coverage, easy accessibility during off hours, and greater productivity. Ensure you’ve got a set up at home that is conducive to getting your work done; even if it’s just at the kitchen table. Gather everything you’ll need to complete the job at hand before you start, then plunge right in.

3. Let others know what you expect of them.
Your staff needs to know your expectations. This serves as a roadmap enabling them to compare where their performance is now with where it should be. The same is true for your family and loved ones. Letting them know what you expect sets clear direction and can serve as a place from which to begin negotiations.

4. Establish built-in reserves in as many areas as possible.
Allow extra time for traveling during the holiday season. Temper your expectations with an eye toward the stress many of your staff may be facing. A little generosity in terms of deadlines and commitments at this time of year almost guarantees a renewed loyalty and dedication in the New Year.

5. Finish one piece of “unfinished business” a day, if it’s in your power to do so.
Your confidence grows in direct proportion to your accomplishments. Even completing the simple things--choosing a date and time for a meeting you’ve been putting off, or reaching out to make a call you’ve been dreading--will build your sense of well being and mastery.

6. Make sure you get your personal needs met.
It’s difficult to live a powerful and well-anchored life unless your personal needs are met. Whether it’s as simple as finding laughter in your day, connecting with another human being in a loving way, or scheduling a massage, make sure you take care of yourself.

7. Live a life as close to your values as possible.
When you are acting in accordance with your authentic beliefs, you’re operating from a place of power and security. Fulfillment naturally occurs when each decision you make stems from your highest beliefs and values.

8. Identify and eliminate what’s “good enough” in your life, both at work and at home.
The things you tolerate are sometimes the very things that drain your energy and slow your development, or potentially thwart your company’s success. Think about one thing in your life that is just “good enough” and what it would look like if it were great. What’s stopping you from making it great? Often we orchestrate the status quo by accepting the barely acceptable. You deserve better, so push for it!

9. Create your personal definition of success.
Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and define what success looks like in your life. Working backwards from your definition is a way to map your path. When you define success for yourself, life becomes very, very simple.


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Growth is change.
Change can be uncomfortable.
Grow anyway.

Deborah Avery
New York Executive Coaching, LLC
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