Fighting Burnout: Unplug, Untangle
Producing one podcast for The Impact of Leadership takes about 5 hours (at a minimum).
Booking the interview, researching guests, creating an outline, doing the interview, recording the intro/outro, editing audio (Nico does this), editing headshots, uploading to WordPress...it all adds up.
Then there’s the audiograms/social media kit.
We’ve published over 130 podcasts since January of 2019. That’s a lot of hours put in.
Patrick and I launched the IOL Community in September of 2021 to bring more value to more leaders.
All these efforts have been fueled by a passion to equip, connect and grow leaders while having fun.
And that is still the case.
But I need a break.
In episode 114, Dr. Michalea O’Donnell told us we can’t do it all. She speaks directly to symptoms of burnout and uses an analogy of traveling with her kids.
“When we’re in the car, and my kids are trying to watch a show on their tablets, often their headphone cord gets all twisted up. And there’s not really a good way to sort it out unless you unplug and then untangle it. It’s the same with leaders.”
“First, you unplug. Then you untangle.”
Since recording her episode, that phrase has stuck with me over the last few months.
All of the mental space I had for creativity and brainstorming was occupied by thoughts of the next steps.
Plus, I have a full-time job with CCB Technology, where I lead a team of thirteen.
IOL is a startup with only two employees—me and Patrick. It’s not that easy to leave and get coverage.
So, what do you do? Keep running until you either have more help or die. For me, there was a third option.
Prep, Step Back, Rejoin
Patrick saw it coming and said, “I’d rather have you take a break now and come back than burn out and walk away.”
But how? I do everything for the podcast, minus editing. Every other week I publish a blog. Emails daily come in about guests for the podcast and new members.
“It FEELS like this thing we’ve built will come to a screeching halt if I step back.”
Not true. The house won’t fall if I go for a walk.
There’s a lot of prep work to take a step back, though. Here’s what we did.
· We met multiple times about “who’s doing what and when.”
· Dates were established for my break
· I outlined every step for producing a podcast in case Patrick wants to jump in
o Roughly twenty steps, eight follow-along videos, and seven email attachments
· All the necessary re-releases are uploaded and scheduled for publishing
Those four bullet points were about 20-25 hours of work.
And the regular stuff still had to be completed.
It’s been worth it. Patrick has what he needs, and he knows I’m not disappearing.
The prep has been done.
The step-back part is next.
So that I can rejoin with renewed vision and energy.
You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have
My encouragement to you as a leader is to step back and get some oxygen if you feel the fire shrinking.
You might have to get creative and also put in 2x the hours upfront to pause.
Not doing it will have worse ramifications than powering through.
If you have thoughts or questions about this blog, hit me up. I’m easy to find on LinkedIn.
I’d be happy to expand on my mental state, goals, things I was beginning to slip on...etc.
It might take a few weeks for me to get back to you, though 😊
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