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Ep #2: How to Overcome Burnout: A Client Success Story

Updated: Jul 10

How to Overcome Burnout

In today's episode, we delve into a client success story that highlights overcoming burnout. As professionals, many of us struggle with the pressures of billable hours and the stress that comes with demanding careers. Here’s a story to inspire and guide you towards finding balance and reducing stress, even with a job like ours..

The Essence of Ayurveda in Overcoming Burnout

Spring is here, and with it comes a shift in energy. In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science similar to traditional Chinese medicine, this time of year can bring feelings of lethargy and sluggishness. This can affect our energy levels and overall well-being. Recognizing these signs is crucial for managing stress and maintaining balance.

How to Overcome Burnout

Client Success Story

Today’s story features a CEO of a bookkeeping business. When she came to me, she was overwhelmed, working nights and weekends, feeling guilty about taking time off, and struggling to enjoy her work. She was also dealing with client and employee issues, which exacerbated her stress.

Identifying the Problems

We identified two primary issues:

  1. Time Management: Chronic procrastination and ineffective scheduling were significant challenges. She focused on the most demanding clients, often neglecting others until it became urgent.

  2. People Pleasing: She was overcommitting to clients’ demands, leading to an unsustainable workload and burnout.

Implementing Solutions

To help her overcome these challenges, we devised a comprehensive plan focusing on actionable strategies that addressed both her time management issues and her tendency to people-please. This plan involved detailed steps and practical techniques to help her regain control over her schedule and establish healthier boundaries with her clients.

How to Overcome Burnout

Time Management

We tackled time management by:

  • Creating a detailed monthly schedule.

  • Prioritizing tasks based on deadlines and client needs.

  • Eliminating double booking and batching similar tasks for efficiency.

  • Making a plan, auditing it, and evaluating its effectiveness regularly.

For more strategies on managing mental exhaustion and effective delegation, read our guide on delegation strategies for the mentally exhausted.

For additional research on burnout recovery, this Forbes article presents new findings that may surprise you.

People Pleasing

To address her people pleasing at work:

  • We set boundaries around working hours, limiting her schedule to 8 AM - 6 PM and a few hours on weekends.

  • She learned to say no to unreasonable client demands and focused on providing value within her scope of work.

  • We coached through the guilt and unease associated with breaking people-pleasing habits.

How to Overcome Burnout

Results after Overcoming Burnout

After a few months, the client experienced significant improvements:

  • She started seeing herself as the CEO, not just a doer.

  • Established a structured work schedule.

  • Reduced feelings of guilt and increased her ability to ask for what she needs.

  • Improved productivity and began enjoying her work again.

The Path to Balance and Fulfillment

This story illustrates the transformative power of addressing time management and people-pleasing tendencies. By implementing structured plans and setting boundaries, you can move from burnout to balance and enjoy a more fulfilling professional life.

For more insights into the unique challenges faced by women leaders and how they can overcome burnout, check out our detailed post on why women leaders in accounting burn out.

If this resonates with you, let’s connect. Find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, or visit Acheloa Wellness for more information about my program, Freedom. Let's work together to overcome burnout and achieve a balanced, successful career.

Click here to join my email newsletter, also called "Billable Hour Burnout". With all the intense emails you get throughout the day, considers this your one love letter that encourages your balance peace and ease. Each week, I share practical tactics and mindset strategies to help you truly enjoy the career and life you've worked so hard to build.


What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to Identify Burnout

  • Time Management Techniques

  • Overcoming People Pleasing

  • Creating a Structured Plan

  • Mindset Shifts

  • Balancing Work and Personal Life

  • Implementing Ayurveda Principles

Watch the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Today we're talking about a client success story because a lot of you might be feeling like, is this me or what is this about, or this whole billable burnout thing? I am here every week to share what that means, so you can get tips and tricks and feel better from it.

I am here to give you tactical advice that gives your career more success without personal stress. You are in the right place if you are an accountant, consultant, or attorney looking for more balance, ease, confidence, and you're ready to make it happen without quitting your job or burning down your life.

I'm Lauren Baptiste, a former Big Four auditor and regulatory tax consultant turned life coach. I'm here to share what I call billable hour burnout tips, tricks, tools, techniques, and stories, so you can, as the modern woman, overcome whatever you're experiencing and have the tools to move through it.

You ready? Let's talk about it. Let's go.

First, I always like to give a little bit of what's going on in my world. I'm figuring out restream. I love that I'm live more and I love the feedback I'm getting. If you're here, send me a hello, put a comment and I will address it. If you are watching the replay, hashtag replay and share your comment and I will get back to you. This has been so fun. I've been getting wonderful comments, suggestions, and questions. Keep them coming because this is for you.

My little personal anecdote today, as I'm looking outside, I'm noticing springtime energy. In the morning, it looks foggy and a little cloudy. It's gray outside. It can feel heavy and a little just, yeah, it has that early spring energy. From my science of Ayurveda, if you've never heard of Ayurveda, I'll do an episode about that. Essentially, it's traditional Chinese medicine from an Indian lineage. It’s a 3,500-year-old or older science that focuses on longevity and stress gets in the way of that. That's why I focus on Ayurveda. Now I bring this work here.

For the professional woman, it might mean more forgetfulness right now. You may be moving a little slower. There may be some lethargy happening. You’re feeling tired, not wanting to get out of bed. You may feel like you have low energy in the morning and throughout the day. Your digestion may be sluggish. Your life may feel a little sluggish. These are all things to look out for this time of year as we transition from winter to summer. I know we're still not there, but one can dream.

Personally, I'm growing out my bangs, so you may see new dos happening. If anybody with curly bangs has any suggestions, let me know. I think it's time to grow them out.

All right, let's get into the real content today. I always love sharing a testimonial. It just feels so good. I'm going to keep doing that. This comes from Dana. She is head of new product development. In her testimonial, she says, “Since working with Lauren, I've increased my responsibility, but I've become more calm, more chill, and more in the moment. A lot of coworkers and family members are noticing it. I'm more productive, which is interesting because I'm working less. I'm getting praises at work about how I've come in with better recommendations, better solutions, and overall just better. I'm more open to opportunities and ideas because I'm able to be present with my team.” Incredible. I loved working with Dana and love seeing her results. I want to share these testimonials to express what's possible for you.

This brings us to our story today. I'm going to share a story, and I like to keep these generally anonymous. When we share the details of our story, we start to hear, "Oh, that's me too." I'm not alone in this. This is more of a universal thing, which is why this billable hour burnout thing is really taking off. Unfortunately, a lot of us are in that billable hour profession where we are doing the timesheets, and we have clients, bosses, teams, and multiple people we are responsible for delivering to, and it's overwhelming.

Today's story is about a CEO of her own bookkeeping business. She has one other full-time employee and is bringing on another. She came to me with just one employee. She was working every night and weekend. She felt really guilty about taking time off. She didn't feel productive during her work hours and felt like she always had to catch up. She felt like she was no longer enjoying her work. After creating her own business, she wasn't enjoying the work anymore. She was quibbling with her employees, stressing about losing clients, and she lost clients. She came to me realizing something had to change because it wasn't looking good for her business or personally. She was experiencing or moving towards burnout. She said, "I can't sustain this."

Interestingly, while she lost clients and feared losing more, she won a new big client, but it was way more than she expected. She was taking care of her clients at the cost of herself and her business. She wasn't sending invoices on time, not collecting cash consistently for herself, which threw off the inflows of cash, impacting her home life. How we do one thing can ripple into how we do everything. We want to be mindful of that. How she was showing up in her business was affecting her life, marriage, and personal sense of self.

When I met her and we started doing this work together, I realized right away it was her mindset getting her into trouble. It looked like a time management problem or maybe some other problem. What I heard the most was that it was her mindset and sense of self getting in the way. When she signed up for Freedom, I walked her through a five-step process. I'll highlight what was most powerful for her.

Two things came up. One, time management. We noticed that time management was an issue. She was a chronic procrastinator, easily distracted, always kicking the can to when it was a statutory due date, getting herself into trouble sometimes because of that procrastination. Always focusing on the squeakiest wheel client, putting off the clients that weren't saying anything until they started to say something. There was a time management and procrastination challenge here.

Let's start with time management. We started to identify that the procrastination was coming because she wasn't managing her time properly. We looked at her schedule and understood what needed to be done every month in the business by maybe the 10th, 15th, or 30th of every month. When we got clear on those things, we worked backwards. We couldn't move past certain statutory deadlines or month-end expected deadlines or client deadlines. Those had to be fixed in the calendar. But we worked around how many times to commute into the client versus working from home. How to use time most effectively when on site at a client versus spending an hour to catch up, maybe slowly going in, not batching work, things like that. We also learned how to end double booking. I did a post about double booking and how it can be toxic to our business and add gas to the fire of our burnout.

We worked through how to schedule, how to make a plan. We made a plan, looked at the calendar, worked backwards from big deadlines, then medium expectations and responsibilities, and then trickling in the little things. We used mindset work to honor the plan. Once we made the plan, we used mindset work because the mind will want to procrastinate. The easiest thing is to kick it off till later. When guilt came up or a fire drill came through, we made sure to honor the plan we committed to. There are ways to do that. When I work with clients, there's a whole list of things to ensure you're managing your time best. But we started by making a plan, auditing the plan, and then evaluating the plan. Those are the three steps. Make the plan, audit the plan, and evaluate the plan. Then she started to make momentum. Every time we evaluated, if something didn’t work, we tried something different next time and repeated the process. When we started to get in front of the time management, it started to make progress.

We noticed some of the time management imbalance was due to people pleasing. This was the second thing the program Freedom helped her with. We identified that she was people pleasing. She was saying yes to clients that expected her to come weekly when she didn't need to be there weekly. She felt guilty because they wanted her there or she had to do certain things or they made her feel she had to do certain things, but that wasn't in her scope of work. That’s what she was charging her clients for. She’s not there for FaceTime. She’s there to help her clients get their solutions. Once we identified people pleasing, it unlocked a whole other area. When we hit the plateau of time management and things were going well, we saw that if we managed people pleasing, we had even more time freedom.

When we started working together, we identified the process of overcoming people pleasing. We coached on the feelings that came up, the guilt, the unease, the way she was raised to be a people pleaser, and now it's hard to break from that. As the CEO of her business with clients expecting her to be the way she was, that can change. After uncovering these two things that were getting in the way of her feeling good, creating burnout and moving her away from feeling good, everything started to change.

We solved for time management and people pleasing. Here are the results after a few months of working together. She started seeing herself as the CEO of her business, not just the doer or the person that rolls up her sleeves. She now has boundaries around her working hours. Someone who used to work nights and weekends now has a schedule of working 8 AM to 6 PM and then two or three hours on Saturday morning. Does she want more time? Maybe, but right now she feels really good with this new schedule. She no longer feels guilty about taking time off and is working through the guilt of taking time off. She's taking time off and working through that guilt, but she's feeling less guilty and more apt to ask for what she needs. We're working through people pleasing a few months in and making major strides.

She's feeling more productive during her working hours. She’s created space in her calendar for emergencies and fire drills. She now uses Fridays to work from home to set herself up for a weekend that feels easier. She’s starting to enjoy the work again. After a few months of working together, this is what it’s like when you bring a coach into your life. When you bring me into your life, you can see the effects of going from burnout to moving out of it through my process. I love this. This is the result. She came in feeling stressed. We identified the solution, implemented the process, and she's seeing the fruits of that work. Amazing.

This is today's episode. I have a lot of stories like this. I’ll take you through different accountants, consultants, attorneys, partners of big firms, business owners, principals, you name it. I’ve worked with them. There’s a lot to share here. Every couple of episodes, I'll sprinkle in a client success story. This is what I wanted to share today. Thank you for listening to today's episode. If you like it, drop a comment below. I see a bunch of you here live. Drop in a comment and let me know what you thought. Come find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, wherever you hang. I'm also there. I can't wait to hear how you're enjoying and applying what you're learning and what's resonating. I want to know. Tell me because this is for you. The more you tell me what you want to see, the more I'll create episodes of what you want to hear. It's a win-win.

Feel free to connect with me at ALO Wellness on Instagram. You can find me Lauren Baptiste on LinkedIn and Facebook. I cannot wait to connect with you. If you want more information, visit Acheloa Wellness. You can find more information about me, my program Freedom, and a whole host of free resources to help you go from feeling burnt out to feeling way better. I hope you have a wonderful Thursday. Happy Leap Year Day. Today is a bonus day. If nothing else, go do something fun. I have some fun plans. For now, I'll see you later. Go have fun on this special extra day of the year. Talk to you soon. Bye.

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