big 4 burnout

Do you know any of those people who are so busy yet they are always able to hit all of their targets? Not only that, but they are always somehow able to take on even more work without their performance suffering. How do they do it? No, they are not superheroes (as far as we know). They just simply implement effective strategies and behaviours in their everyday life so that they can manage their workload.

Here are 12 ways you can avoid Big 4 Burnout AND hit your targets in a manageable way.

What is Big 4 Burnout?

Burnout is defined as “A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” Burnout is different for every person as we each feel and deal with stress in different ways. For example, not every person feels overwhelmed at working too many hours or being in high-pressure situations. In the same manner, not every person has trouble sleeping or comfort eats as a way of coping with it. 

How high-performers avoid Big 4 Burnout

With high-performers at Big 4 firms, the stress that leads to burnout may be different for each person. Yet, the strategies for coping with, treating, and preventing burnout are very similar.

  1. They are passionate about their work

    It’s much easier to keep stress at bay and avoid Big 4 burnout when you work with purpose and think about the deeper impact of what you do every day. High-performers say that you can’t achieve the work-life balance that you want unless you find passion and value in your work first. You have to enjoy it.

  2. They know their vulnerabilities and their breaking point

    High-performers treat the disease and not the symptoms. This means that they know what situations and tasks cause them the most stress. Hence, they are able to identify when they are close to burning out so that they can take a step back. Having this insight allows them to effectively manage and avoid burnout instead of reaching a point of no return.

  3. They prioritise and manage their time

    Professionals need to time-manage, to avoid Big 4 burnout. They need to prioritise tasks of the highest value, and consistently track their progress over time. High-performers do this by saying no to unnecessary tasks being added to their plate. They are focusing on their strengths and delegating the rest. Along the way, they are also tracking their progress consistently to review, re-evaluate, and improve. Taking control of your day has a great impact on stress levels.

    For advice and guidance on how to survive and thrive in your firm sign up to my weekly newsletter here and you’ll find out what you need to be working on in your career development (and how to make the time for your career development) to progress your career in your firm.   Or check out my Progress to Partner Academy

  4. They build a great team around them

    Often, high-performers who avoid burnout and still hit all of their targets have a great team to support them. Not only does this allow them to completely recharge when they take time off, as they know great work is being done, but it also spreads the workload and the pressure so that targets can be exceeded. This support is critical for avoiding Big 4 burnout.

  5. They change locations often

    Have you noticed that many high-performers aren’t in the office as much? This is because they travel and change locations often to avoid burnout. A change in environment brings with it new energy and creativity and in turn, you end up working far more effectively.

  6. They prioritise self-care

    The most successful people in the world, not just high-performers in a Big 4 firm, prioritise self-care with positive daily habits and swear that this is the key to their productivity and success. We are talking about scheduling in time every day for meditation, exercise, their favourite hobby or a nap. Just 10-20 minute blocks of downtime every day can completely recharge your brain which is essential for avoiding burnout.

  7. They make downtime a daily ritual and schedule time off

    High-performers schedule in time throughout the day for themselves but they also plan for full vacations too. Once you have scheduled a holiday, you can prepare in advance for it and fully unplug once you are there. Once that out-of-office message is on and your phone is off, only then can you have a full dissociation from work.

There’s a great course in Progress to Partner Academy called “How to give negative feedback to people who matter, without it being a career-limiting move.“. It’s a great course that will give you the confidence and tools to give negative, constructive or developmental feedback to clients, partners, team members and people working on your jobs.

High-performers hit their targets because they prevent their team from Big 4 burnout too!

Using the 7 strategies above, high-performers are able to avoid Big 4 Burnout AND still hit all of their targets. While a lot of that is due to the ability to track and manage their time whilst scheduling enough time to take care of themselves, building a strong team around them and helping them avoid burnout is a big factor too. Here are a few ways  to do this:

  1. Set a good example – high-performers model positive and effective behaviours to their team, including making downtime a priority.
  2. Focus on the why – by developing a shared sense of why high-performers build a connection with their team and between their team members and their work. This fosters positivity and the feeling of value in the work being done.
  3. Delegate based on strength and passion – high-performers hit their targets by delegating tasks based on strength and passion. When everyone in a team is doing work that they love, burnout doesn’t exist.
  4. Promote self-care as a team and tackle problems together – a problem shared is a problem halved, plus it avoids the likelihood of burnout. Doing things as a team does wonders for boosting morale, building team spirit and camaraderie, and increasing productivity, team health, and wellness.
  5. Exhibit compassion – high-performers recognise both inwardly and publicly that everyone in the team is doing the best that they can with the resources that they have. By simply being compassionate, e.g. promoting unity and the belief that the team can deliver together, targets can be met without the potential for burnout.

It’s possible for anyone to avoid burnout AND hit their targets

So this is how successful high-performers do it. To avoid Big 4 Burnout and keep your targets in front of mind, so that they can be achieved even when you’re busy, you have to manage your time well. Make time for self-care, and prevent your team members from suffering from the consequences of burnout too.

My  Progress to Partner Academy  has 14-self-study courses waiting for you, including How to put together a development plan to achieve your career goals.  The course gives you the structure, clarity, and guidance to gain the skills, knowledge, mindset, and experience to take your career to the next stage or level – whatever you want that to be. Check it out here

For advice and guidance on how to survive and thrive in your firm sign up to my weekly newsletter here and you’ll find out what you need to be working on in your career development (and how to make the time for your career development) to progress your career in your firm.   

Related Post

  • 5 ways growing your online presence NOW can help you sign up the right clients later

    5 ways growing your online presence NOW can help you sign up the right clients later

    With so many people working remotely right now, there has never been a more important time to have an online presence. Think about it, everyone is at home and searching online, so if you don’t have a presence, how will your prospects find you? We have always stressed how vitally important your online footprint is…


  • How to deal with a tough work colleague

    How to deal with a tough work colleague

    Read this article for over 6 tips to successfully deal with tough colleagues.