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How to Become a Person of Influence Without Burning Out

How do you avoid burnout while becoming a person of influence? When you take steps to avoid burning out, you also build your influence. You’ll bring more energy and positivity to what you do, and people will respond. 

That’s the message that Mel Kepler, Senior Management Consultant at LMI, delivered during NextGen’s recent virtual training summit. “The key to avoiding burnout,” she said, “is to maximize the amount of your time and energy that you spend doing things you like for [people] you value, and minimizing the time you spend doing stuff you hate, for groups or people you despise.”   

These tips can help you focus your efforts where they’ll do the most good, both for your self-preservation and your professional trajectory. 

Stop Doing What You Don’t Need To 

“Burnout is what happens when you carry too much for too long,” Kepler said. What are you holding? What can you put down? Ask yourself if you’ve kept responsibilities and routines that don’t fit your current reality. Are there things you can add that are a better fit? What do you need to rethink?” 

Choose the Best Uses of Your Time and Energy

“Influence is the intersection between what you can do and who needs it,” Kepler explained. First, what can you do? Make a list. “I don’t want you to just think about what you’re certified in, what experience is written on your resume,” she said. “I want you to think about what lights you up.  What energizes you?  What brings you joy? … And alternately, what are you good at that drains you?” 

And who needs what you can do? Again, make a list. Who appreciates your work? Which ones do you respect and value? “Those are the ‘whos’ that I want you to be doing things for,” said Kepler. Others may be more difficult.  “There are some that you despise, that drain you, that hurt you, that undervalue you,” she said. You’ll gain more influence from working with those who know your worth. 

Do a Reality Check 

Accept reality. Sometimes, it’s not possible to make the change you want most. You may love painting with preschoolers, but you also need to pay rent. Combine practicality and dreams. 

Change is hard. Expect turbulence. If you cut back on doing something you don’t like or working for groups and individuals who don’t value you, you’re setting a boundary. People will push back. To weather the storm, keep in mind the reasons you want to be a person of influence, and the cost to yourself of continuing the status quo.

What if nothing changes? If you can’t change everything, change something. “A little bit of time, a little bit of energy that you get back from something you hate is worth it, even if it’s not a total life change,” Kepler says.  “If it’s worth doing at all, it’s okay if you don’t do it well. It’s better to do a little bit of something than to have done none of it.” 

This online virtual training brought to you by:

GovLoop is proud to host the NextGen Public Service Awards for superior public service and achievement each year at the NextGen Government Training Virtual Summit. The awards recognize deserving individuals selected from the public service community for their intelligence, exuberance and dedication to improving and invigorating government.
Nominations will be accepted from now through July 1, 2022. 
It’s easy to nominate…just click HERE.
Photo by Iva Rajovic via unsplash.com

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