According to the Zenger Folkman Pace Assessment global survey, published in early 2015, 14% of the respondents felt chronically overwhelmed and drained after a busy day. Being overwhelmed by work seems pretty commonplace in today’s competitive society.

Greater complexity at work requires greater clarity internally. High-performing professionals often complain that there is simply too much to do and too little time. A former boss often mentioned to me that if she could just have 36 hours in the day, she would be able to get more done. This statement is too common. However, have you ever wondered what a 36-hour day would look like? What would YOU look like after working a 36 hour day? Is it sustainable?

A big mistake leaders commonly make is focus their energy on doing more, checking off more tasks and more clearing of lists. Effective leadership is not just determined by successful execution, but by how well we can find meaning in the work we do, our ability to manage and inspire others and to find purpose, balance and resilience in the long run.  It is defined by our ability to think bigger and beyond the task at hand, to innovate and find alternative solutions and to derive support and buy-in from our team and colleagues or from our respective professional community.

Having greater mental and emotional clarity will allow you to make better and faster decisions congruent to your values. It will also enhance your ability to influence and connect to others, which is becoming ever more important in a highly interconnected and interdependent workplace, where we all need each other.

When we get caught up in long lists and tasks, and are constantly fighting fires or in reaction mode, we take energy away from our ability to reconnect with our greater vision and our ability to “step outside” of the situation for less impulsive or emotional decision-making.

Each of us has an internal compass inside of us giving direction and answers that need to be strengthened and nourished. How well can you manage your mind and emotions skillfully to have the ultimate flow yet perform at your best, each and every day?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there an area you are constantly dwelling over that you can’t get your mind off?
  • Are there areas of uncertainty (outcome of a decision, work situation, etc) that take up much of your energy?
  • Do you find it difficult to mentally let go and switch off from work when you’re with people outside of work?
  • Can you think of someone that is particularly difficult to manage or work with and exhausts you?
  • Do you feel unrested most of the work week?
  • Do you feel unsupported and misunderstood at work?

If you ended Yes to three or more questions, you are not alone! In the next blog, I will share some tips about how you can cope with these pain points. Stay tuned.