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Are you passionate about your work? Then take these 3 steps to prevent burnout!

Those of us working in mission driven work are at a much higher risk for burnout, and we need to learn to set boundaries in order to protect ourselves and our work.

Why are mission driven people at a higher risk for burnout?

Those of us who believe in the purpose of our work, put in much longer hours and are willing to do it for far less pay. We love what we do, but we also feel guilt because we can never do enough. One of the key causes of burnout is when people have more on their plate than they can handle. Those in mission driven work almost always take on more than they possibly do because they believe in the cause they are working for.

Why do nonprofit leaders need to take measures to prevent burnout?

If mission driven workers do not set boundaries, they will burnout and not be available for their mission. Many take a leave of absence or leave the work completely.

By setting boundaries to protect ourselves from burnout, we become more available and energetic to help our mission. We will never be able to do it all, but by strategically focusing our efforts, we will be able to have an impact on our mission and protect ourselves to be able to stay devoted to the mission we care so deeply about.

Leaders also lead by example, and by taking steps to prevent burnout for themselves, leaders will help their team take similar steps. By setting these boundaries, team members will be more engaged when they are at work and will be more willing to support a mission which respects them as well.

How can I take steps to prevent burnout and support my mission?

Try adopting some of these simple strategies.

Set Time Boundaries

This is my number one piece of advice and is often the hardest to do, but you will change your whole outlook by setting boundaries to your work time. I found myself working until 11-12 every night and then through the weekend for one job. I was exhausted and unable to think properly to do the job well. I still didn't manage to do everything I felt needed to be done. I read this advice and set office hours and made my weekends off limit, and I became much more productive immediately. By setting boundaries, you force yourself to prioritize and get done the most important tasks. You also learn the importance of satisficing.


Limiting your work time will force you to strategize the time you spend at work. Instead of spending all of that time staying busy, use time at the beginning and end of every day to reflect on how you are spending your limited time. Now you will focus on activities which are truly impactful and recognize that not everything is worth doing. At the beginning of each day, prioritize 3 must do tasks. Schedule in your calendar when you will do your activities. At the end of the day, take a couple of minutes to reflect on what went well about your day.

Develop Outside Hobbies

Now that you have limited your work time, you can look for something fun besides binging on Netflix - something that will truly fill your cup with joy. There are many arguments for developing your passion outside of your work. It is healthy to create boundaries around work, to find meaning outside of your work and have a hobby that brings you joy. This activity can energize you for your work, inspire you with other ideas, help you create new social connections - all of which help combat burnout.

Action Steps

Sit down today and decide your working/non-working hours and make yourself stick to it for the next month!

Want more?

Visit Lindow Learning to read about more tips on improving your team's performance or for help in growing better humans and improving the impact of your organization's mission.

  1. Operation Hot Mother. The only person that gets Lucille this excited is Gene.

  2. Operation Hot Mother. The only person that gets Lucille this excited is Gene.

  3. Operation Hot Mother. The only person that gets Lucille this excited is Gene.

  4. Operation Hot Mother. The only person that gets Lucille this excited is Gene.


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