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Dear Suzanne,

I have been the human resources director of a mid-sized law firm for three years. It’s a position I’ve been working toward for many years, and it I like the firm I work for. I’ve had three years of a high-stress environment, where I’ve Performance Management & Productivity Questions Are Answeredworked with our CEO to tackle major changes in the firm.  I’ve met many of my personal and professional stretch goals in this position and don’t want to give it up.

In the last year, I’ve become much less effective, and haven’t been able to get traction on any of the projects and goals that moved ahead so quickly in the first two years.  I’m completely burned out, and my effectiveness seems to have drained away, along with my physical, mental, and emotional reserves. How can I get back on track and gain traction on my professional (and personal) goals?

Austin, TX

First of all, congratulations on reaching your goals. You’re clearly on a great career path. I can understand why it has drained much of your energy. It’s time to get yourself back on track, and here’s how:

  • There are times when we all need to pull out the stops for a big project. This isn’t sustainable for the long term, so you need to normalize your schedule and workload. Decide that you don’t have a scheduling problem, you have a priority problem. It seems like everything on your list is important, but if you give it careful consideration, you’ll realize that some things really ARE more important than others. Carve out those projects and make the hard choices about what you can accomplish.
  • Take baby steps. You will feel much less overwhelmed if you break down your projects into daily tasks. While it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, that wide angle lens will not serve you on a day-to-day basis.
  • Wait and watch. You’re obviously a very ambitious and smart person, and those are the qualities that have gotten you this far. However, sometimes plowing forward on a project only digs you deeper in the wrong direction. Carefully consider what you decide to take on, and be up front about it with your colleagues. Trust me, they’ll respect you for your candor.
  • Flex your goals. Goals can be changed, and it may be time to give yours another look. You don’t need to keep a firm grip on every goal and project if its priority and role in the firm (and in your life) have changed.

I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes. I’m sure you’ll recalibrate and reenergize!




At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 





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