Consumed by work. Arriving early to the office. Staying late. Working weekends. Feeling frustrated by the daily constraints, all while worrying about the company’s future performance. Living this way sends the possibility of a balanced life out the window. Sound familiar to you?
As a business leader, you are naturally wired to be passionate about what you do. It’s common to ignore the fact that you are working long hours, taking on heavy workloads, and putting constant pressure on yourself to excel — all leading to burnout.
The first step in overcoming burnout is to step back in order to gain perspective. Take a little time to get away from the press of daily life and get quiet before the Lord. By simply getting some physical rest and turning off the noise for a while, we can intensify our communication with God. Start the day with a time of prayer, Bible study, and quiet meditation. If you don’t normally have a quiet time, begin the practice. This may require as little as a day, or take place over a month or two, but overcoming burnout begins by removing yourself from your routine long enough to gain fresh perspective on life’s realities.
Begin your refocus by deliberately writing out who you really are in Christ. Research what the Bible says about it. Until we can truly grasp the truth that we are eternal spiritual beings who are temporarily having a human experience, we’ll struggle to maintain our perspective in the face of the worldly distractions. After you feel that you have a good grasp of what’s most important, prioritize the list. In other words, “put first things first.” Develop a plan to be diligent in giving each priority the time and work it requires. There’s true freedom in this process.
Count your blessings! Take a sheet of paper and make a numbered list of everything you can think of that has value to you and for which you’re thankful to God. Take your time and enjoy remembering why each item is special to you and how it relates to God’s presence in, and provision for, your life. List as many things as you can. Every single item is a gift of God’s grace.
Finding answers to difficult business situations requires tapping into the collective experience of your peers and other industry experts. Sometimes the burden of being a leader of an organization and dealing with the many frustrating situations and difficult people can be overwhelming and you have no one else to turn to. That’s why it is immensely beneficial to meet with a group of other like-minded Christian business leaders who are running businesses and regularly share their experiences, advice, counsel, and support with you. Instead of feeling alone, you build relationships with people who are dedicated to making you more successful at integrating your role as a Christian business leader into your primary role as a Christian.
5. Reach Out
Running a business can be stressful, time consuming and even confusing at times. Regaining the energy, keeping you on course, and successfully dealing with tough issues in the workplace, sometimes requires a coach or mentor who can provide CEOs and business owners the guidance, support, accountability and encouragement that is lacking. Having a trusted advisor to provide balanced, objective, Biblical feedback and counsel on the issues shaping your company’s culture, operations, systems and teams can provide immense benefit as well as long-term positive results.
By this point, you’ll have rested and regained both your sense of eternal significance and the importance of what God has asked you to do. Recommit your way to the Lord. If necessary, confess any sins of doubt, discouragement, disobedience, or temporary loss of direction. Receive His forgiveness and rejoin the battle! In the busyness of life and work, we need to be continually reminded of who God is, who we are, and of our purpose. We need to be refreshed by the memories of the things He has already done for us so we are strengthened to do what He asks of us, both now and in the future.