Young Leader // 4 Things That Do Not Cause Burnout

Burnout for any leader is a real thing.

Burnout is what happens when a leader (or anyone for that matter) runs at such a pace in whatever they’re doing that they run out of energy and exuberance for it. Usually, it’s because they’re so busy pouring out energy, ideas, and care for the people around them and they fail to refill fast enough to have anything left for themselves.

It’s real. As young leaders, we have to be on guard for it. We have to find out what “fills us up” and reenergizes us. That being said, though, I think as a church and a leadership culture, we’ve gotten good at being lazy for the sake of not wanting to burnout.

Here are 4 things that won’t cause burnout…

Working Hard
Yes, it’s okay to work hard. Long days are okay. It’s okay to have a to-do list that is longer than you can read in the morning. It’s okay to pour out to a project and to people. It’s okay to earn your wage for whoever you work for. In fact, you should do that. We have to be hard working people if we expect to make an impact on the world around us. Work hard, just know your limits.

Working Late
There will be seasons in life that you find yourself working late to get everything done. Special events and special assignments will force you to work long hours and stay at the office over time. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself typing on your ipad or creating on your laptop at home after hours. It’s not a bad thing, just don’t make it a permanent thing.

Obeying Your Leader
Doing what your leader or boss wants you to do doesn’t cause burnout. Don’t excuse not doing your job fully by saying you’re avoiding burnout. Honor your leader. Work hard for the one that is given authority over you. You won’t burnout, but you will win out because of your obedience.

Being Passionate
Be passionate about what you’re doing. Run with enthusiasm and passion after your calling. That passion should be stoked and sharpened as you do what you do. Passion is essential in avoiding burnout. Maintain it. Work it. Spread it. Thrive in it.

Have you experienced burnout as a leader? Tell us younger folks what we should or shouldn’t do.

11 Comments

  1. One of the things I have found absolutely essential is exercise- physical exercise. I NEED exercise. It doesn’t matter what it is, do it. I also relax by doing jigsaw puzzles during the winter months when I can’t get outside. Find a hobby or something to relax yourself.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. Within the last couple of years, I’ve made that a regular part of my week and it seems to have helped. Just getting away is a great practice too. Good tip from a great leader, thanks Bill!

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  2. Everyone’s limits on these are different. I think the key is to be aware of the reality of burnout and have accountability in your life in these things. Also I totally agree with cycleguy, you must have a hobby or way to relax when you aren’t full on. Great thoughts Jonathan.

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  3. “There will be seasons in life that you find yourself working late to get everything done.” My wife and I approach life as a string of seasons. There is a season for late working. There is a season for cheating the church. There is a season for listening. There is a season for speaking. In everything, there is a season and knowing one will come to a close and a new one will begin has been huge for us.

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    1. That’s good. I often tell people (and my wife and myself) the same thing. We tend to think, especially me as a young person, that where we are is all there will every be. There are seasons for it all. Thanks for pointing that out!

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  4. You should listen to those who are closest to you. If they’re telling you you’re working too much, you probably are. Be willing to articulate why you’re having to work late, and how long (days, weeks, etc) it’s likely to continue.

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