Finding your life balance in the workplace can be difficult. The higher up you are in the organization, the more difficult that can be. If it happens to be your name on the LLC paperwork, life balance is little more than a rumor: a foolish dream sought by others. As an executive, if you indulge in such fantasies, business suffered. And real people with real families get hurt. At least, that’s how it feels.
Because things like a decent lunch break are reserved for underlings with less work than you, executive burnout is not a question of if, but when. It is taken casually, as if a little burnout is your badge of courage. But that is a little like coal miners pretending that a little black lung disease is a point of pride.
Executive burnout is a dangerous gateway to life-threatening addictions, a wrecked marriage, and financial troubles with which your executive salary can never cope. Here are a few things you need to know about attaining the proper balance:
There Are Consequences to an Imbalanced Life
When your life is out of balance, something is going to suffer. It may be your marriage, your kids, your job, or your health. When you suspect you may be suffering from executive burnout, ask your self the following questions:
Have you become cynical or critical at work?
Is it difficult to get yourself motivated to be at work or to function at your best once you arrive?
Have you become irritable and agitated with co-workers, customers, or clients?
Do you lack the energy to be productive?
Has it become difficult to garner satisfaction from your accomplishments?
Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
It is not just important that you recognize the consequences, but that you deal with them as well. Addiction treatment does not have to feel like a prison sentence. There is no reason why it shouldn’t feel like the executive retreat you should have taken years ago. Leaving your executive burnout untreated is like leaving cancer untreated. At some point, the consequences will become too serious to ignore (you can learn more about this issue at hotelcaliforniabythesea.com).
Balance Is About Choice and Timing.
A number of women have been credited with the quote:, “You can have it all, just not all at once“. Balance, indeed, success, is all about making the right choices at the most opportune times. Women often end up making poor life balance choices because they are under the misconception that men can have it all while they must pick and choose. The truth is that men also have to make choices for the most opportune timing. No one is ever immune from having to make hard choices.
When balancing career and kids, a little perspective may be helpful. Lower working class, single mothers have an even tougher road. They do not make an executive income, cannot afford nannies or governesses, and do not have the luxury of choice. They work three jobs just to barely cover rent and food at the end of the month. Millions of women go through this every day. And manage to cope with life somehow.
They may be less sympathetic to your plight of raising fewer kids, while working only one job, making more money in a month than they make in six. Executive mothers have the tools to have it all when reasonable choices and advantageous timing are applied.
Get over Yourself.
While it is not alone, narcissism is at the the heart of executive burnout. People who run companies or have important positions are convinced that the company would fall apart without them. If that is actually true, then you are a bad leader. You should have built up the people around you so that there would always be someone around who could take over in your absence. If it is not true, you are just a narcissist who needs to get over yourself.
Taking time off to go to your child’s recital is not going to bring down the company. Neither is taking a couple of weeks off to recharge your batteries. Executive burnout has consequences. Balance requires making hard choices with good timing, and narcissism is a poor reason to put everything at risk.