“I’m burned out”​ and tips to avoid it

These questions are part of a series I’m answering for a magazine article. I thought it would be of value to share here.

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

I have always said, the key to living in a city as intense as New York, is TO GET OUT OF a city as intense as this. Often. I schedule a trip outside of the city as often as I can. This weekend I’m doing a fishing clinic in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s outside my comfort zone, outside of my routine, and outside of my borough. But this change of environment hits the reset button for me.

Listen to your body. Your body is telling you when you are hitting your breaking point. Your job is to listen to it. When I’m overworked or have been in intense work sessions, I run a fever. It’s like I’m overheating from all the thinking and brainstorming. It’s my cue to take a break and rest.

Have boundaries around your time. My weekends are reserved for time with my boyfriend and friends. No work. No accepting invitations to work. Or give a talk. Nothing.  I’m pretty militant about this.

Sleep. I recently read an important book called “Why we Sleep” by Michael Walker. The book was a real eye opener. When we sleep, our learning from the day gets cleared out, and put into ‘long term hard drive.’ so we can retrieve it later. In deep sleep, we process things we are struggling with. When we short circuit sleep, we short circuit all of these processes. We live in a culture that celebrates overwork and “Sleep when you die!” slogans. I shudder to think about all the damage I have done to my body over the years buying into this way of life.

Workout. For the better part of 17 years, I got up at 230 am or 345 am to do the news. I wasn’t going to get up at 1am to work out. Now that I have left that life behind, I get up at 530 am each day and work out. It’s my first win of the day. Because, as an entrepreneur, not everyday is a ‘win’ But at least I set the tone early. While intense workouts such as Crossfit, Soulcycle and Boxing are great for the physical re-set, I also throw in at least two yoga workouts a week for the mind re-set. I always knew the weeks I didn’t take a yoga class the minute I faced the camera. My mind wasn’t as sharp or on point.

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