by Peter Tarhanidis, PhD
We are now in the final quarter of a pandemic year. With many of us still isolated and working remotely as a second wave of COVID-19 emerges, project teams and leaders alike must consider how to close out 2020. Finishing strong together in a pandemic year without burnout is the goal—and it’s a crucial one for our customers, colleagues, families and communities.
But how can we avoid the desire to crawl back into bed until we’re past the pandemic? Let’s take a moment and conduct a check to see if any of us, our colleagues or family exhibit signs of burnout. This may include feelings of being overwhelmed, a lack of passion, emotional exhaustion and falling behind on normal activities. These symptoms all lead to rising irritability, conflicts and visible struggles.
To cope with the stress and anxiety, we must reverse this cycle. We should re-prioritize ourselves to ensure we take care of our physical, mental and financial health, proactively recognizing our pressures and setting time aside to restore our mindfulness and spend time with family. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, find a strong support network. Taking action to create more balance is restorative and puts leaders in a position to be examples to others in doing the same.
As the end of year nears for me, I recognize finishing strong and limiting burnout involves adapting to pandemic tensions and refining my approach to leadership and project management
- Coaching and mentoring to direct others and yourself to complete the goal
- Maintaining focus, flexibility and agility to adjust scope plans, milestones and project schedules by working with stakeholders and sponsors
- Collaborating with teams and staying interconnected while practicing transparency
- Celebrating and recognizing small and large milestones
- Losing sight of the key priorities and getting caught up with issues of low importance
- Blaming colleagues for missed targets rather than gaining consensus on how to plan a way forward
- Taking for granted the effort colleagues have put into their work and not celebrating their efforts
- Slipping into disorganization instead of maintaining administrative oversight of critical project needs
Your turn: What are some of the best ways to avoid end-of-year burnout for you and your team?