How Leaders Can Cope with Too Many Tasks

August 18, 2022

Overview: As a leader, it’s easy to allow your schedule, environment, and the expectations of others to overwhelm you. The feeling of being overwhelmed stems from your internal dialogue, however. Thus, you can exert control over it. Executive coaching can teach you techniques to control your thoughts and the moods they create.

Burnout and the feeling of being overwhelmed are two of the nemeses of leaders. Although they start with innocuous symptoms, burnout and overwhelm can render leaders useless and unable to perform their work. In extreme cases, these psychological ailments degenerate into physical problems such as insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, etc.

What’s interesting about overwhelm and burnout is that despite having external triggers, they stem from our internal dialogues. On the one hand, this makes them self-defeating problems. On the other, we do have some control over them. Leadership coaching can help leaders develop thoughts and behaviors that defeat overwhelm.

What Causes Overwhelm and Burnout?

To fight back against overwhelm, you must understand its causes, triggers, and nature. The pressures of leadership are many. If leaders fail to manage them, problems can overwhelm the mind and body.

The Need to Communicate Constantly

Intelligent leaders are great communicators. When your organization promotes you to a higher leadership position, you feel hard-pressed to communicate even more.

One of the privileges of being a leader is that leaders get to choose when they communicate, with whom, and how. Managing communication is not an easy task. Leaving some employees in the dark because you can’t find the time to communicate your expectations is not an option. To ensure they don’t make this mistake, some leaders choose to talk to anyone who wants to talk.

Although communication is essential, leaders must learn when to say “no.”

The Need to Be Liked

Many leaders crave the respect and admiration of their peers. To earn this, many are willing to undertake assignments and complete tasks they wouldn’t normally do. By doing so, they plant the seeds of several problems.

For one thing, they teach reports they can neglect their jobs as their leaders are ready to jump in and do these jobs for them. They also overwork themselves, inviting burnout and overwhelm.

Some Leaders Feel They Have to Be Perpetually Available

Leaders should listen to their employees and do their best to solve their problems, as well as engage and motivate them. Some leaders mistake this mentality with an “always-on” stance, but you can’t and shouldn’t be always available. There is a time and place for everything.

Feeling Like Only You Can Do the Job

Considering yourself indispensable for the daily operations of your organization is a dangerous mentality. It eats up your resources, leaving you exhausted and overwhelmed. It can also breed resentment among employees, who may consider your attitude disempowering.

woman multitasking
Don’t make yourself irreplaceable.

Leadership Coaching Can Help You Fight Overwhelm and Burnout 

Since they know your sense of overwhelm stems from your internal dialogue, executive coaching professionals can teach your mind tricks to divert your internal discourse and defeat problems.

  • Self-awareness allows you to manage thoughts responsible for your moods. When you learn to control these thoughts, you become capable of hacking your inner dialogue.
  • Improve your work-life balance. Many leaders believe they have this issue under control, but if they feel overwhelmed at work, they clearly don’t.
  • Quit multitasking. If you train your focus upon a single issue, you will find you can work wonders. By lining up one task after another, you can do much better work than you would by multitasking.
  • Learn to prioritize. As a leader, you can’t afford to ignore certain matters. Others, you can hand off to reports who may even do a better job than you. It is important to differentiate between these two types of problems.
  • Strive for emotional balance. Many leaders are prone to taking company matters personally. The moment you blur the emotional lines between organizational and personal matters is the moment you expose yourself to overwhelm.

Overwhelmed leaders don’t benefit their organizations. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re in survival mode, dancing dangerously close to the precipice we call burnout. Executive coaching can give you the mental tools you need to defeat overwhelm and reset your internal dialogue.

Contact us to learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach or how you can benefit from partnering with us to bring IL Solutions to you and your organization.


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