Beat burnout with this simple question

Did you know that burnout costs between $125 billion (USD) and $190 billion every year in healthcare costs? An incredible amount equating to approximately 8% of all business healthcare expenses.

It might only be February but teams are already reaching out for our High-Performance Team Talk on Beat Burnout. Burnout is an issue that is likely affecting you and your business. If you would like 2022 to be different, you need to think and lead differently — right now.

Burnout isn’t a cliff you suddenly fall off though. It’s more like a snowball rolling down a hill — it starts small and picks up momentum until there is a point you will struggle to stop it.

There are plenty of people out there talking about how to cope with burnout. But what about helping you to think about it differently?

Many tend to think of burnout as being solvable by more yoga, better breathing techniques, practicing resilience — the self-help list goes on. In reality, many of the causes of burnout are directly in your control and easy to solve.

So how am I going to help you deal with this? Well, I decided to use the time/cost/quality matrix.

Many of us have seen this model when it comes to managing client expectations. It describes the three levers that can be pulled to get an outcome. In order to have 2, you have to sacrifice one.

I’ve been playing with this model in sessions with leadership teams who are on the verge of burnout; drawing similarities in how they approach high performance.

We position it another way: When you say “Yes” to this, what else are you saying “No” to?

It might be yes to another task, another meeting, another call. But every time you say yes, you remove the ability of your body and mind to regenerate. This loss of regeneration impacts your performance.

You sacrifice other things you want too — sleep, hobbies, learning. It could be sacrificing weekends or evenings. Your kid’s birthday party, time with friends etc? Perhaps more worryingly, it also costs in terms of relationships, sleepless nights and healthcare costs. It’s causing you to compromise on one of the pillars of this model.

Your team suffers too. If you focus on reducing costs or working longer hours, you erode morale and potentially, retention of employees — hence the Great Resignation we are experiencing now — employees are burned out and “done”!!

So the answer to this question is super simple. I have my clients put a post-it/sticky note somewhere visible which says:

When I say “Yes” to this, what am I saying “No” to?

And then when a situation arises which will ask more of them than normal, they assess and make a choice.

What are you saying “No” to?

Speak soon,


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Jimmy Burroughes

Showing leaders and teams how to change their conversations to change their business performance results.