by Brittany Laeger, Marketing Communications Specialist
Arianna Huffington recently spoke at Hubspot's Inbound 2013 Conference I attended last week. During her keynote she shared how redefining the way we think about sleep can transform our lives—I think this is a message all professionals should hear.
Escaping Our Culture of Burnout
We all experience burnout in one way or another. Our culture encourages little time for rejuvenation. Instead, we work in a culture of tight timelines and critical deadlines. We spend our nights writing emails instead of resting. All this work and no rest really only leads to one result—burnout. We need to learn to give ourselves permission to rest, to make space, and to "lean back so we can jump forward."
Right now, in our society, success is defined by two metrics: money & power. In her keynote, Arianna Huffington redefined success as:
Capacity to celebrate life
Our ability to give back
So what is the solution? How do we get to this place of redefined success? Here are four suggestions from the keynote:
1. Learn to be a gazelle.
If there is danger, gazelles run like crazy. The minute the danger disappears they immediately go back to grazing. Us? We run all the time, even when there are no metaphorical leopards or lions.
We all need to learn to graze.
2. Make Space for Creativity
It's so important for us to stop thinking and rest long enough to make space in our minds for new ideas. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are both great examples of leaders who took time out of their schedules to think, to rejuvenate, to create. If our minds are so full of tasks and deadlines, we don't have any space left for creativity and new ideas to emerge.
"You can’t manage creativity. You have to manage for creativity. You must create a space where creativity can emerge and flourish."
3. Get Some Rest
Make good sleeping habits a priority. If you are tired, take a nap. Learn how to reconnect with your own energy and then get back into your life, but not from a place of exhaustion or burnout.
Make uninterrupted renewal time a priority. Learn to disconnect from your day, which allows you to come back to your desk to face the problems in front of you.
4. Complete Your Projects (or Don't)
When we tell ourselves that we have multiple projects that we want to do (learn to cook, make a scrapbook, listen to a new audio book), we are telling our subconsious that we have an uncompleted project. By learning to clearly tell ourselves that we are done with that project (even if we don't complete it), we alleviate the stress on ourselves of that unfinished project.
The same is true for your employees. Decide what your team’s goals are – and what they are not. Let your employees focus on what really matters – to you and to them.
"You know how your phone urges you to 'restore connection' when it's out of range? We need to do that for ourselves."
I strongly encourage you to take 45 minutes out of your schedule to watch the entire keynote. It's a great reminder of how important it is to take care of our human capital so that we can be the best person, employee, and leader.