Avoiding Burnout By Reducing Responsibilities

Posted on Posted in Dale Roach

avoiding burnout with good directionsAre You Avoiding Burnout?

Are you avoiding burnout in what you do every day?  Burnout can have many varying definitions.  Here is a simple definition of burnout:

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  It is usually caused by long-term exposure to demanding work.  Burnout is the cumulative result of stress.

One of the greatest causes of burnout is brought on by the creation of personal responsibilities.  Many times people allow themselves to take on more than they are equipped to do.  This behavior is usually caused by believing that “no one else can do the job as good or as well as I can.”  When this attitude evolves in the mind of an individual, it creates a very “low trust level.”

Poor Trust Levels

A weak trust level will cause any person to take on more of the workload than they should.  A “poor trust level” will create a heavy workload for any individual who is willing to assume the duties of others on the team.  When a person becomes loaded down with work, responsibility and tasks, it is for sure that burnout is just around the corner.

Burnout evolves from increased demands on personal time and energy.

One of the greatest challenges facing many workforces, volunteer organizations, charity groups and churches is to become comfortable with reduced responsibility.  Reducing your responsibilities does not mean that you are lazy or that you expect someone else to do your job.  This type of behavior calls an individual to realize that they are not alone in the tasks at hand.  In fact, there are some people who may be waiting to have their skills and abilities utilized, but the opportunity has not been available.  Why?  Because there are some people, who are not willing to reduce their responsibilities and share the task.

How Do You Avoid Burnout?

One of the easiest ways to avoid burnout and mental fatigue is to decrease some of the responsibilities that you have taken on.  This behavior is very unnatural for most career minded, type A, success-focused people.  The idea of giving responsibility away may mean that someone else will receive the credit.  Hooray!  If someone else receives the credit, then that means you have had a moment of rest and now have the energy to celebrate in their success.  Or, if you decide to keep it all to yourself and refuse to reduce your responsibilities then you can have a nice little party all to yourself.  When tasks are not divided, neither is the celebration of corporate successes.  This action also applies to failures.  It is much easier to share the burden of a failure or flop if the task was also shared.

Failure to reduce personal responsibilities is kind of like hoarding.  It is a process of keeping it all to yourself.  This selfishness may seem like a good idea to get the job done, but it hinders other people on the team from using their gifts and talents.

One of the greatest steps in avoiding burnout for yourself is to reduce your personal responsibilities and share them with team members.

There is some great advice about dealing with burnout in Exodus 18.  Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, warned his son-in-law that if he continued to carry the burden of leading God’s people to the Promised Land all by himself, he would surely wear himself out. (Exodus 18:17-18)

Take a few moments and read chapter 18 of the book of Exodus and let me know what you think about the advice of Jethro to Moses.

Dale Roach

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