Adventure Associates

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Renewal Rituals

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was on your last business trip while you were standing in the taxi kiosk for 40 minutes…maybe it was on a Sunday afternoon on your laptop with next year’s budgets in front of you. Burn out. The signs of burn out are pretty easy to read: being ill-prepared for meetings or work sessions, working too many hours, working too few hours, being distracted, failing to meet commitments, making a greater number of errors, loss of trust or respect with co-workers. Burn out is inevitable in any job, but the ability to bounce back is crucial.

A two-week vacation in Hawaii is one option for a renewal activity…but what do you do the other 50 weeks a year? In which renewal rituals can the average worker seek refuge?  Not all renewal rituals are positive. Having a cigarette break, an afternoon candy bar or a fresh cup of coffee are pretty common events in the workplace. They do serve a purpose: to reward, to inspire and to reset. However, replacing them with a brisk walk or stretches, fruit or ice water would make individuals even better equipped to deal with the daily challenges presented.

A great exercise for this time of year, is to plan several renewal activities over the next several months, and adopt a new daily renewal ritual. For example: read a book about a work-related issue, go to a personal finance seminar, and start doing some yoga stretches on my lunch hour at work. Or, develop a coach or mentor relationship, take my spouse away for the weekend, and schedule a lunch with each of my direct reports.

It may not be possible to prevent burn-out from occurring, but it is possible to speed a return to a better place.