Consider that you just may be wrestling with professional burnout, at this point.
By now, you realize your “temporary” hiatus from the workplace does not represent anything close to a 14-day quarantine exercise. And your adrenaline-driven rush during March only represents the front end of the pandemic bell curve. Not the entire cycle.
And, Memorial Day comes and goes. Recalling the sentiments of holidays past, present and future-forward. So, you wonder what July Fourth will look like, for starters.
Add to the mix the never-ending barrage of emails, visuals and soundbytes. Telling you what to do, what not to do, what you should do, what you never should have done. What someone else did.
Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg created a spot-on summary in the Harvard Business Review of what professionals, like you, are feeling at this point. While you and your team charged forward with March 2020 energy and enthusiasm, now you are overwhelmed. With the realization of the long-term magnitude of what “we are all in this together” represents. I encourage you to read her article, here. Then, send me your thoughts on whether the points she makes resound with your own professional scenario.
Because, as she states, many leaders now find themselves in a state of professional regression. Regardless of whether your job title defines you as “leader” or not. In fact, you lead because you choose to read this post. And because you choose to become responsible for leading yourself and your teams. As you co-create outcomes through and forward towards what is next, professionally. One millimeter at a time, together.
Consider that professional burnout hits all of us at various points in our careers. However, acknowledging you are burned out is your first, one millimeter step forward. To move beyond that burnout, today. And get to where you need to go tomorrow and future-forward.
The next step one millimeter step forward is determining the signal-to-noise ratio under which you function the best. Here’s why.
Signal-to-noise ratio is a measurement used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise, or interference.
A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more professional signal than professional noise. This ratio becomes your continuous one millimeter objective. As you continuously evaluate the difference between the barrage of noise and signal you receive.
And, again, nothing new, here. Just magnified by where you find yourselves: virtual, isolated from the familiar context of the workplace. Where there always is a lot of background professional noise around you. However, now, your professional context has changed, profoundly. So continuing to give equal attention, and priority, to all incoming, creates a colossal, and exhausting, professional wall of noise.
Thus, any significant and mission-critical signal must penetrate the wall of noise barrier, first. So you recognize and prioritize the information as important. And that input as significant to moving you, and your team forward. So you can better serve each other, and your clients.
Otherwise, when all incoming is first perceived as noise, your professional trajectory road map is flat. Without peaks and valleys to take into consideration in determining your professional trajectory, and your team’s.
That’s why you just may be exhausted dealing with the day-to-day. Because you and your team first must cut through the wall created by everyone’s collective walls of signal-to-noise ratios. Everyone may be dealing with professional burnout, in one form or another.
My advice, if you already have not acknowledged that something’s up and you can’t put your finger on it? Hit the Pause button, even for five minutes each day. Find some peace, and space, amidst the background noise and disruption. So you stop hitting that wall of noise. And acknowledge and reset your professional signal-to-noise ratio: individually and together.
To continue taking those small, millimeter steps forward to get to where you need to go. Together.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person keynotes, workshops, coaching and mastermind programs translate across strategic communication and collaboration disconnects between people and professional disciplines. So you build trust and lead to retain employees and clients. Get everyone to where they need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time. Her playbook of communication tools and methods, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.
Image source: Adobe Stock.