Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 4 Incredibly Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout

4 Incredibly Simple Steps to Avoid Burnout

You might be headed for a physical, emotional or spiritual collapse.

A lot of leaders burn out. It seems to come out of nowhere. One day you are living life, working hard, and the next day you hit a wall and collapse.

These kinds of collapses are common in leaders:

    • Physical Collapses—sickness, exhaustion, insomnia or lack of energy
    • Spiritual Collapses—spiritual discouragement, lack of spiritual interest, moral failure
    • Emotional Collapses—anxiety, depression

Burnout might seem to come out of nowhere, but it really doesn’t. Burnout is often the byproduct of poor choices on the part of a leader.

There are patterns that lead to physical, emotional and spiritual collapses. These patterns involve not paying attention to what your body and soul really need.

One of the most important strategies in avoiding burnout is to get rest. Without rest, burnout is inevitable. Without rest, collapse is certain.

Consider the following four strategies for rest that will help you to fight against burnout.

1. Daily: Take four hours off.

Every day, take at least four hours and get away from your work. I encourage leaders to look at a week as 21 four-hour time blocks. (See the following worksheet.)

Ideal Week Worksheet

Each day has three time blocks: 8-12, 1-5 and 6-10. Take one of these time blocks every day and do nothing that is related to your work.

Exercise, spend time with your family, play or watch a sport, hang out with friends, take a walk, pay attention to your soul. But whatever you do, stop working.

Daily rest is critical. If on a particular day or two you don’t get rest, make sure to prioritize it today.

You can’t work very many 12-hour days and avoid collapse.

2. Weekly: Take one whole day off.

Once every week, take 24 hours and do nothing that has anything to do with your work. That means no email, texting for work purposes or reading for work.

I am not encouraging you to lay on the couch and watch TV for 24 hours. In your 24 hours off, do things unrelated to YOUR work. Do home projects, run errands, have down time, spend time with family and friends.

But for a whole 24 hours, don’t check email; disconnect from your vocation and rest.

Also Read: How to Take Control of Your Crazy Schedule

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Brian Howard has 22 years of proven leadership experience as a leadership coach, non profit executive, church planter, lead pastor, and business owner. Brian has successfully started two businesses and several non-profit corporations. Brian also planted a church that grew from one family to approximately 700 people.