When Leadership Becomes Too Much: How to Unwind

When you become a leader of a team, business, or organisation, there’s one certainty: at some stage, it’ll all become too much.

This isn’t an indication of failure, either. You’re human, and leadership is tough. It requires long hours, intense meetings, big decisions, and the ever-present challenge of dealing with multiple personalities.

So, you’re bound to burn out at some stage. But the biggest challenge often comes with accepting you need to unwind.

The good news? You can. Nothing will fall apart if you decide to take some time to yourself.

With that in mind, here’s how to unwind when leadership becomes too much.

Create a to-do list (for personal stuff)

As a leader, you’ll be used to working with endless to-do lists - but have you ever thought of creating one for your personal life?

If not, put your daily work to-do list to one side, and start work on one that’s dedicated to stuff you love doing.

Hobbies, people to see, and holidays that need booking are the best candidates and these are tasks you’ll definitely love completing!

Work on personal productivity

Being productive doesn’t have to be solely devoted to your time in the workplace - it’s possible to enjoy being productive at home, too.

More importantly, if you invest time in being productive at home, those habits will work their way into your leadership duties, too. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that will focus you on completing the stuff that matters in your private life, while preparing you for the return to work.

Try meditation

If you haven’t tried any meditative techniques, you could be missing out on some brilliant ways to relax your mind and body and gradually remove work-related stress.

Deep breathing and mindfulness are great places to start, but a quick search on your smartphone’s app store will provide plenty of opportunities to get into meditation from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Do something you keep putting off because of work

There’s that ‘thing’ you need to do, isn’t there? It’s really important and doesn’t relate in any way to your job, but it’s the latter that keeps preventing you from doing it.

That ‘thing’ might be the most innocuous of personal tasks: a piece of home improvement, buying a congratulations card for your friends who have just had their first child, or watching the first episode of a show you’ve been recommended.

Whatever it is, now is the time to do it - no excuses!

Take the team out for something non-work related

It probably isn’t just you who’s burnt out. If work has been that stressful and projects have gone beyond being enjoyable or productive, the team are probably suffering, too.

They might just be suffering in silence. And with that in mind, why not take them out for something entirely non-work related? A trip to the cinema, meal in a restaurant, or spot of bike riding might be all that’s need to recharge all of your batteries.


No one can work at 100mph all the time. We all need time out to recharge our batteries and re-focus on what matters.

If you’re in a leadership position, you have just as much right as everyone else to do this. Don’t starve yourself of the opportunity to unwind!

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