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a blog by Chris Barrow

Without a break - you break

There's a lot of talk about a Third Wave of Covid out there in the media.

Not so much talk about a third wave of exhaustion.

Burnout 1.0 - was a year ago as dentistry returned to work.

The characteristics were longer opening hours, more days, split shifts and an obsession with achieving pre-Covid production numbers at all costs.

Burnout usually takes about three months to kick in - so by September last year I was seeing the symptoms across my client base and in the wider dental landscape.

Burnout 2.0 occured in the three months leading up to Christmas.

The characteristics were similar and by the year end, many clients took their isolated festive holiday as a chance to recover.

Burnout 3.0 began in January and, ominously, has been incubating over the last 5 months.

That's way beyond the normal amount of time it takes before people break down.

A consequence of the Government's gradual and phased easing of lockdown.

There hasn't really been a natural break, other than the Easter weekend.

As we approach 21st June, there are the first signs of maybe, just maybe - a holiday!

However, it's important to keep a careful eye on yourself and your team as we approach the finish line of (this time) an ultra-marathon stint of work.

Over two working days last week, I heard from three Principals who had simply burned themselves out.

We know the symptoms - lethargy, lack of direction, imposter syndrome.

Now is not the time for the leader to fall off their horse.

Just go easy with yourself and with those around you.

What we need right now is quiet and calm leadership, we need you to be confident.

Please God in the next three months we all do get a holiday, so that we can return in September, refreshed, recharged and re-energised for the rest of the year.

I'm taking my Team down to London next week for a meeting with my business coach - we are going to plan the rest of this year and 2022.

High on the list will be "balance" - free days, planning days and focus days.

We are not taking part in any more burnouts.

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