High-Performer Burnout: 4 Steps To Recognising And Avoiding It

High-performer burnout is far too common nowadays, especially with the recent work-from-home era and the work/home divide being broken. For anyone striving for excellence in what they do, the drive to achieve can quickly turn into depleting exhaustion.

But this doesn't have to be how it always is! It's possible to develop resilience strategies that will prevent you from reaching this stage of absolute burnout and regretting not choosing yourself once in a while along the journey towards achieving excellence in whatever you do professionally or personally.

In this article, we'll take a look at what causes high-performer burnout, how it manifests itself, and how you can avoid and manage it it—all before you end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned out anymore!

We'll also explore ways on how you can stay motivated during hard times, build better relationships with peers at work or home, and even incorporate simple self-care habits that could help set the tone for long-lasting positive energy!

create female high performer burnout

1. Identifying High Performer Burnout

High-performer burnout is a state of complete mental exhaustion and frustration, that is caused by working too hard and taking on too much without giving yourself enough rest or self-care.

It is important to understand that burnout is not just physical exhaustion but also a mental and emotional state of being in which you feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, and uninterested in the tasks at hand.

To have a better understanding of high-performer burnout, we will dig deeper into the concept and identify some warning signs.

Understanding the warning signs of high-performer burnout

Recognizing the signs of high-performer burnout is essential for prevention. It's important to pay attention to physical and mental changes that could indicate extreme exhaustion and frustration.

It can manifest itself in the form of physical or mental exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy or guilt, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating. Other signs include changes in diet or sleep patterns, decreased productivity and creativity, and increased irritability.

If you find yourself exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to take action and adjust your lifestyle.

Defining key areas for evaluation

Establishing decisive criteria for evaluation is beneficial in preventing and mitigating high-performer burnout.

It can help to identify which areas of your life may be contributing to burnout and take corrective steps accordingly.

The first area that should be evaluated is your workload. Taking on too much or too little can be a factor in developing high-performance burnout. It's important to assess your workload and determine if it is balanced and manageable, or if you are taking on too much.

The second area that should be evaluated is your stress level. It’s essential to recognise when stress levels become too high, as this can lead to burnout. It’s important to take time for yourself and practise relaxation techniques to reduce stress.

Finally, it’s important to evaluate your relationships with those around you. High-performer burnout can be caused by unhealthy relationships or a lack of support from those close to you. Taking steps to cultivate healthier connections can help prevent burnout in the future.

Assessing mental health and well-being

Mental health is a prominent concern for the global population. It’s important to assess your mental health and well-being, as this can be an indicator of high-performer burnout.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious, it’s important to take a step back and reassess the situation. Additionally, if you are struggling with low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy, it s important to seek professional help. Mental health and well-being should be assessed regularly to help prevent and manage high-performer burnout.

It is important to be aware when stress levels are increasing, as this can cause burnout with regard to mental health. It’s important to take time for yourself and practise relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress.

You may be wondering why you are feeling burnout as a high-performer. Let's discuss some of its causes.

male high performer burnout

2. Knowing The Causes Of High Performer Burnout

High-performer burnout is caused by a combination of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. It can arise from working too hard or taking on too much with limited rest or self-care. Common causes of high-performer burnout include:

  • Overcommitting - Taking on more tasks than you are able to handle in the given timeline can lead to extreme fatigue, stress, and exhaustion.
  • Poor time management - When tasks are not managed properly and deadlines are missed, this can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and unproductive.
  • Unhealthy working habits - Working long hours without taking adequate breaks can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, as well as feelings of inadequacy and guilt.
  • Unrealistic expectations - Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, such as constantly striving for perfection, can lead to feelings of pressure and stress.

These are just some of the causes of high-performer burnout, and recognising them is the first step towards avoiding them.

Examining overextended work schedules and workloads

Examining overextended work schedules and workloads is an important step in recognising and avoiding high-performance burnout.

Overworking can lead to fatigue, stress, and physical exhaustion. In order to prevent this, it’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day, set realistic goals, and manage your time effectively. You can do this by properly prioritising your tasks and setting achievable deadlines.

By using some tools, you can prioritise your tasks effectively. That's why OCCO London offers the Priority Pad, which is designed specifically for prioritising tasks. It helps you identify which tasks are urgent and important.

It’s also important to evaluate your workload and determine if it is balanced and manageable, or if you are taking on too much. Taking on too many tasks can lead to burnout over time, so it’s important to be honest with yourself about what you can handle.

Furthermore, it's also beneficial to delegate tasks when possible and develop a support system of trusted colleagues or friends who can help take some of the burdens off.

Recognising the effects of perfectionism on burnout

Acknowledging the relationship between perfectionism and burnout is essential to preventing it.

Perfectionism is a tendency to strive for flawlessness and set unrealistic expectations for oneself, which can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. When attempting to be perfect all the time, individuals may become overwhelmed with tasks that have no clear end goal or with tasks that are difficult to accomplish. This can lead to feelings of frustration, guilt, and inadequacy.

In order to prevent or lessen your burnout levels caused by perfectionism, it’s important to take time for yourself, practice self-compassion, and learn how to accept imperfections. You can also set realistic goals that are achievable and manageable.

Considering non-work-related stress factors, including family and social relationships

It is important to take into account personal factors outside of work, such as family and social relationships, in order to identify and prevent burnout among high-performers.

Work isn’t the only factor that can contribute to burnout. Personal relationships with family or friends can also be a source of increased stress. Issues such as financial hardship, personal conflict, or health problems can all lead to feelings of exhaustion and burnout. It’s important to identify the sources of stress in your life and address them head-on.

Taking time for yourself, developing a support system, and managing workloads can all help reduce stress. Additionally, activities such as yoga or meditation can be beneficial for calming the mind and body.

Finally, learning how to recognise the warning signs of burnout early is key to avoiding it. Warning signs can include feeling overwhelmed, experiencing physical exhaustion, or having difficulty concentrating. It’s important to listen to your body and take a step back when needed.

We will now discuss methods for avoiding burnout in high-performing individuals.

female high performer burnout

3. Developing Solutions To Avoid High-Performer Burnout

Developing solutions to avoid high-performer burnout can be a challenge, but there are several steps that can be taken in order to help individuals cope with the demands of their job. Here are some suggestions that may help:

Creating a plan to manage time efficiently

Constructing an effective time management plan is critical to preventing burnout among high performers.

Consider setting reasonable deadlines, breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and taking regular breaks throughout the day. Moreover, prioritising tasks can help you focus on the most important things first. Tools such as OCCO London’s Weekly Planner Pad can be used to help create a plan and track progress.

For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a large project, break it down into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each one. This will make the task seem more manageable and allow you to focus on one thing at a time.

Learning to ask for help when necessary

Developing the skills to ask for assistance when needed can reduce the chances of experiencing burnout. It can be difficult to recognise and accept that you are overworked or struggling, but it is essential to do so in order to prevent burnout.

When feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to reach out for help and delegate tasks whenever possible. This could include asking a colleague for assistance on a project or even just talking to a friend or family member about how you’re feeling.

Also, seeking professional help if needed can be beneficial in identifying and managing stressors.

Incorporating relaxation and mindfulness practises into daily life

Practising relaxation and/or mindfulness techniques can help prevent burnout in high performers.

Taking the time to relax and engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as yoga, meditation, or journaling, can help relieve stress and improve overall well-being. Moreover, these activities can provide clarity on one’s goals and help maintain focus on the task at hand.

Jornaling can also be used to track your emotions and identify stressors. OCCO London's Morning Mindset Journal is a great tool to help you do this.

These are some potential solutions you can use to prevent burnout in high-performers. It is important to note that it is not always possible to avoid burnout, and if you are feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, it is important to take a step back and give yourself some time and space.

Now, let's discuss how to build and sustain resilience against burnout for high performers.

creative male high performer burnout

4. Building Resilience Against High Performer Burnout

Developing resilience to prevent burnout in high-performing individuals is important for sustaining a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Resilience can be built through a variety of methods, such as creating a support system, developing effective coping strategies, and managing workloads in order to prevent the risk of burnout.

Developing a support system for times of difficulty

Creating a support network is necessary for those who strive for excellence in order to prevent exhaustion.

This could include family, friends, colleagues, or even professional resources such as therapists and coaches. Having people who are willing to listen and provide feedback can be invaluable during times of difficulty.

Making sure your support system includes individuals with different perspectives can be beneficial in helping you view problems from different angles and find creative

Practising self-compassion and taking care of physical, mental, and emotional health

Engaging in self-care activities and tending to physical, mental, and emotional well-being is important for avoiding burnout among star performers. When feeling overwhelmed, it is important to take a step back and give yourself permission to slow down.

Self-compassion means being kind and understanding towards oneself during difficult times.

It is also important to take care of physical, mental, and emotional health by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. What's more, taking regular breaks throughout the day to recharge can help prevent exhaustion.

Learning to appropriately adjust expectations in order to avoid overcommitting

Making adjustments to expectations is essential for preventing overcommitment and mitigating the risk of exhaustion. It can be easy to get caught up in the desire to achieve success, but it is important to set realistic goals and expectations.

It can be beneficial to take time each day or week to reflect on what needs to be done and adjust priorities accordingly. Learning when it’s okay to say ‘no’ and taking breaks when needed can also help in avoiding burnout.

Identifying the signs of burnout, building resilience, and establishing a supportive network can assist high-performers in avoiding risk for burnout and maintaining wellbeing.

You might still have some questions that remain unanswered about high-performer burnout. We provide answers to your questions found in the frequently asked questions section of this article.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions asked about high-performer burnout:

How do I determine when my workload is too much?

It can be difficult to know when your workload is too much; however, there are some warning signs that can help you identify if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

These include feeling exhausted or drained after completing tasks, having difficulty concentrating or staying focused on tasks, and feeling irritable or anxious. If any of these feelings are present, it’s important to take a step back and assess your workload.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, it is beneficial to set time limits for tasks and to regularly take breaks from work.

What strategies can I use to manage my stress levels?

Incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga into your daily routine can help reduce chronic stress levels. It is also important to take regular breaks throughout the day in order to give yourself time to rest and recharge.

In addition, engaging in activities that you enjoy can help manage stress levels as it provides an opportunity to take a break from work and do something enjoyable.

Furthermore, talking to someone about how you’re feeling can be beneficial for releasing stress and improving your mental health.

How do I stay motivated when I’m feeling overwhelmed?

It can be difficult to stay motivated when feeling overwhelmed; however, there are a few strategies you can use to help manage feelings of exhaustion and burnout.

First and foremost, it is important to take regular breaks throughout the day and allow yourself time to rest and recharge. This will give your mind a break from work and also provide an opportunity to do something enjoyable such as reading, exercising, or spending time with friends and family.

What's more, setting realistic goals and expectations can help alleviate pressure and ensure that you are not overcommitting yourself.

Lastly, creating a support system of people who can offer words of encouragement will help keep you motivated when feeling overwhelmed.

How might I reduce distractions while staying on track with my goals?

One way to reduce distractions while staying on track, especially with your career goals is to create an environment that is conducive to productivity.

This may include limiting access to social media, turning off notifications for emails or text messages, and eliminating any other sources of potential distractions. Another useful strategy is to break down tasks into smaller, more manageable parts so that you can stay focused on the goal at hand without becoming overwhelmed.

Also, setting a timer for certain tasks can help to ensure that you don’t get distracted and remain on track with your goals. By doing so, you can have a healthy work-life balance.

What are healthy habits that will help me maintain a balanced lifestyle?

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is essential for high-performers in order to avoid burnout. Here are some healthy habits that can help you maintain a balanced lifestyle:

1. Make time for yourself: It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day and allow yourself time to rest and recharge. This may include taking short walks, reading a book, or listening to music.

2. Get enough sleep: It is essential to get enough sleep in order to stay alert and productive during the day. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

3. Eat nutritious meals: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you maintain energy throughout the day.

4. Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly can help reduce stress levels and improve mental clarity. Aim to exercise at least three times a week, whether it be going for a walk or jogging, or doing an online workout.

5. Connect with others: Spending time with family and friends can help you feel connected and supported. It can also provide an opportunity to take a break from work and do

5. Have a positive outlook: Maintaining a positive attitude will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Practising gratitude, expressing appreciation to others, and being mindful of the present moment are all good ways to cultivate a more optimistic outlook.

By implementing these healthy habits into your daily life, you can help to prevent burnout and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

male entrepreneur high performer burnout


High-performer burnout is a very real problem for those striving for excellence in their career or life path, and this comprehensive guide has provided you with the tools you need to recognise it and take steps to prevent it from adhering further in your life.

From recognising symptoms of burnout, determining acceptable workloads for yourself, managing stress levels, staying motivated, reducing distractions, and incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, all these resources have been provided so that you can remain productive without sacrificing your well-being.

The ultimate goal here is for you to be able to reach success without getting caught up in a struggle between accomplishment and genuine well-being - because having both is possible!

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your family and friends, and don't forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

OCCO London is on a mission to help you achieve a more balanced lifestyle, and we have plenty of resources to help you on your journey. Our online store has everything from journals to guided meditation, so make sure to check us out!


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