A recent post discussed the career dangers that result in a Hustle Tank on “E.” The purpose was just to raise awareness that if you find yourself there for an extended period, you are in a REAL AND PRESENT career danger zone.
Than someone dropped me a line and said, “I’m there, any advice to get out of it?” I always appreciate readers engaging, and this is not an easy question!
So here are some thought on how to attack a Hustle Tank on “E.”
First, let me assume (could be dangerous) that things in one’s personal life are relatively stable and not in a state of turmoil.
Everyone has challenges beyond work, but let’s assume those challenges are not EXTRAordinary.
Step # 1
1) Analyze Your EXISTING Daily Routine: How you use your time can be a major contributor to a tank on E.
How much “dead” or wasted time are you spending per day? (Take a look at your TV habits for a starting point)
Are you working out?
Are you reading new things?
Having conversations with trusted people? Old Friends? New contacts? There’s a coffeehouse on every corner, use it.
Key Point: Getting your tank beyond “E” will likely involve utilizing your time in a very different way. Start small, 20 minutes a day with something different. Write it down, whatever that new activity is, each day. Nothing fancy, a cocktail napkin works. But do SOMETHING different each and every day.
What “bigger chunks of time” or new experiences are you consistently engaging in?
Service to others? Non Profit service is a great way to charge your batteries and get the attention off yourself and onto others
New “side projects?” Start yourself a blog, new hobby, a free on-line course from Wharton or a bunch of other elite institutions, etc
This one is harder to do daily, so you may want to think of this as a WEEKLY activity or bi-weekly.
2) Get a Plan Quickly And Approach Your Employer
Nothing infuriates an employer more than someone that is clearly on “E” and doesn’t seem to care. If your in this situation you need to deal with it head on and start sitting with your management. The more well thought out your meeting the better. More solutions you bring to the table the better.
The point is to not let “E” be long term, it will diminish your reputation, get on top of the situation and confront it.
There is risk involved with sitting down with your employer and telling them “I’m burnt out!” Many people don’t want to approach it for fear of losing their job. Maybe the emergency funds are not built up? Maybe the confidence is low? There could be a hundred reasons why people avoid the conversation.
Balance the risk of “looking the other way/ignoring the problem” vs. confronting the reality head on and a being in the room while the problem gets discussed and worked.
I’ve never met a high achiever that prefers to let OTHERS make a decision (especially negative ones) behind close doors vs. having a seat at the table.
There is one obvious solution I’m leaving out:
Expand your options, find alternatives. Translation? Find another job. That is intentional. Most people don’t analyze the root cause of what gets them on “E.” Or some do, but they never confront the situation with their Employer, for whatever reason. Lets say you jump to a search and find another job, great, Congrats! How long will it be before that tank finds itself on “E” again? The answer is not “IF”, it’s “WHEN.” What’s the solution going to be then?
Working towards Excellence is not an easy road.
Business is a CONTACT SPORT. There’s no shame in having your Hustle tank fall to “E.” The only shame is not figuring out why, than developing an action plan to fix it.
Good luck, and I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on how you refill an empty tank….drop a comment below!