Why We Overwork and How To Prevent Burnout w/ Jordan Eades

loyb podcast Sep 28, 2021

How often do you think about WHY you are overworking? 

There is always something more to be done, a new task to accomplish, a new goal to achieve but is that your reason for overworking? Or is it so much deeper than that?  

Jordan Eades is returning to the podcast today to share with us how we can recognize burnout, before it takes you out of action and paralyzes both your in and out of business life. Burnout can present itself as exhaustion, physical ailments, brain fog and more. These physical problems will stop you cold in your tracks when you know you have a business to run so catching it before it becomes too overwhelming is vital.


On this episode we are going to chat about:

  • The definition of overwork
  • What are the most noticeable signs and symptoms of burnout
  • Why is overworking so common in the entrepreneurial space 
  • What subconscious belief patterns that lead to overworking
  • How to recognize your patterns, habits and beliefs

If you have been feeling wired-and-tired or feeling self-imposed pressure that you should always be working, you won’t want to miss the wisdom Jordan has to share.



Your best self, does your best work- Jordan Eades Click to Tweet 


References Mentioned In Episode #39 Why We Overwork and How To Avoid Burnout with Jordan Eades 



Welcome to the Lean Out Your Business Podcast a show dedicated to helping entrepreneurs accelerate business growth and simplify success. I'm your host, Crista Grasso, and I've been working with businesses for more than two decades to help them lean out and optimize what's working, while eliminating anything that's not adding value. So, if you are ready to get more time back in your day, more profit in your business, and to do business differently, growing and scaling on your terms let's dive into today's episode.


Hello, hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. Today I am so excited because Jordan Eades is back. So, for those of you who remember back to Episode 19, Jordan was on with me and we were talking about the dark side of success in business and burnout. And it was a really excellent episode. So, if you have not listened to it, go back and check it out. But today, we're going to do a deep dive into overworking, which we know is something that can lead to burnout. So, we're going to go deep on this and Jordan is the expert and I cannot wait to hear all of her wisdom in today's episode. Before we dive in, though, and I give Jordan the floor, let me tell you a little bit about her. Jordan, Eades is a holistic business coach and founder of Your Best Business Life. She's a serial entrepreneur who ran and sold a highly successful eight figure general contracting company. And she did all this before she very bravely pivoted. Her business had kind of gotten to the point where it was taking over her life. And everything personal felt like it was crashing and burning. So, she did something many of us would not have been brave enough to do and she sold that business and ended up going on an epic two-year RV adventure around the US seeing more than 40 states. And in that journey, that's really where she discovered the keys for sustainable success and really creating a life that fuels your business. Today she takes that and helps female business owners break through the ugly cycle of overworking and burnout and really create sustainable and profitable businesses to invest in their self-care without feeling guilty and to bring joy and pleasure back into their lives.  Jordan, I'm so excited that you're back. Welcome back to the show.


Yay. Thank you, Crista. I'm super excited to be here.

Awesome. So, here's what I want to dive into is I think we all know generally what overworking is, but can you walk us through it so we have that kind of common understanding? How do you define overworking? And then can you share a little bit about why you think it's so important that we be talking about this and address this in business

Yes, absolutely. So yes, we've heard the term overworking and simply put, it's just working too hard, too much, too long, and not providing the body and mind, ample time for rest and relaxation. Right. That's critical to our success, and overworking is a precursor to burnout. We're going to talk a little bit more about that. And burnout is a really hot topic these days. And it's with good reason, right? We see about 55% of small business owners who are reporting higher levels of stress, worry, physical symptoms, and this is happening on a daily basis. And when you go out and you start looking at the information, we're seeing really vague descriptions of burnout, and I would say general surface advice. I'm sure you've heard this too, like you said meditate, do some yoga, you know, restructure your calendar, take time off. But what we need is a much deeper dive into the reasons why we're overworking. Right? So, this is what I needed to know for myself. And it's important to know that burnout doesn't happen overnight. It is a chronic state of emotional, physical, mental exhaustion caused by that prolong and excessive stress. This is the chronic state of fight or flight. What is the good news, is there are several phases, one of them being overworking that happens before we reach burnout. What is good about this, is that overworking is much easier to course correct and heal. When you reach that stage of true burnout, which is HPA axis dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, basically, you know, what we've said before is like game over. We don't want to get ourselves into that state of burnout because then healing becomes our primary job right? Not working, not our businesses, and it's 24 /7 and of course, from talking before, you know that this was my experience, I landed myself squarely in burnout. And it took me, you know, several years to be able to come back to work. And even still today, I'm in my healing process. So, to prevent burnout, it's critical that we can identify the where, the when and the why, that we're over working. Awareness is that first step, then we can begin the process of healing  our relationship to ourselves and our relationship to work.


Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the things that you said there that I think a lot of people miss is they think of burnout. And I always say there's like little b burnout and there's big B burnout. The little b burnout is the signs that you're burning out, like you're really exhausted, you're foggy, you're not able to focus, you don't love what you do anymore. There's like a lot of those little things. But when you get too Big B burnout, it's no joke. And it is a long-term impact, which I know you talked about on the last episode, but can you share a little more about that, too.

So when I fully arrived in, you know, Big B burnout, I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't think I couldn't remember words, I had, you know, a collection of really, I would say bizarre symptoms, I had trouble walking, I couldn't drive. So, there's no way I could show up for my business. Because I had a hard time even showing, you know, up for myself and being able to like, actually function in my daily life, I had what they refer to, as, you know, severe adrenal fatigue. And also, I developed an autoimmune condition. And for anybody who's ever experienced that, you know, you're down for the count, it feels awful, you know, you're sick all the time, sore throats and all the likes. So, 100%, we don't want to go there. And the good news is, is that if we catch over working soon enough, we don't have to go there. We don't have to land and burn out.


Yeah. And that's why I think this is such an important conversation. And I'm so happy that you're here and talking about this and getting to the true underlying cause of it. Because I think burnout almost gets romanticized a little bit. People look at it almost like a rite of passage, like, “Oh, I'm burning out or I'm building my business.” And it's no joke guys. Like, this is not something that you want to have happen. And most importantly, it's completely avoidable. And so yeah, let's dive in and talk about like, what are some of the reasons why people end up overworking in the first place? So can you help us understand what it actually looks like? What it feels like to be overworking?


Sure, absolutely. When we envision what that person is doing you know, what does it look like, for many of my clients, I say it just looks like the business has taken over. Everything is prioritized around the business instead of life. So that person is being pulled away from wellness activities, joy, connection, you know, it's where your girlfriend says, “Hey, come do this yoga class.” And you're saying, “No, no, I don't have time for that, you know, I've got all these business things that need to happen.” It also looks like difficulty relaxing, right? You're chronically in that state about thinking about work, we can't put it down. We can't take a break, always feeling that there's not enough hours in the day. And the to do list that you have just keeps growing, right? It's not a list anymore. It's like a novel of things like I got to do this. Feeling like you're never going to catch up. And again, what I was talking about is that your health is visibly deteriorating, you’re not able to sleep, you don't feel well, you're getting sick all the time. So yeah, so that's what it looks like and it feels like and I think you've talked about this before as well. You're on that hustle hamster wheel and you can't catch your breath. I remember literally feeling restless all the time. Like, you know, I just couldn't catch up. And it's that sensation of I'm, you know, both totally exhausted, also really anxious. So wired and tired is a feeling that would describe, you know, those when you're in that pattern of overworking, you have no patience and you're stressed. You've heard the stories as well, you can relate.


I've been there.  I am a recovering over worker. So, check, check check.

I noticed your kind of like smiling and nodding your head. And it's really, really common. And we're going to talk a little bit about how it really does become kind of a badge of honor,we somehow think, “Oh, I'm supposed to feel this way.” Like we have normalized it But unfortunately, you know, we don't want to normalize behaviors that are leading to burnout and putting us in places that are going to really chronically affect our health and our wellbeing.

Yeah, I would say when this was probably at its worst for me, which I've talked about some of the major lessons I learned back in my first business, but when it was at its worst, what I remember is, it did not matter how much I did, I always had this like crushing feeling of that I should be doing more like I didn't want to take a break or step away from the business or even eat lunch sometimes, because I'm like, I should be doing this, I need to be doing this. If I'm not doing this, it was self-imposed pressure. It felt like crushingly like, I should always be doing something more. And what I was doing was never enough, even though I was working practically around the clock, and it's just it's, you know, I feel like that's, for me anyway, part of it as well.


100%. And you bring up a really important point, which is the background noise of like guilt and shame, that's preventing us from practicing consistent self-care, right, preventing us from stepping away. We're prioritizing everything else, you know, and I have a good friend, who works in mindset as well. And she stopped me one day and she said, you know, Jordan, you don't feel guilt or shame for maintaining your car, maintaining your home, you think of those activities as a necessity, right? Your maintenance is essential if you want your car to run or your home to function and have value. And she said like, it's the same with your self-care and your health. And I it was like a lightbulb moment. You know, after that my thoughts changed from, I'm neglecting my clients or employees when I take my daily walk or do my self-care activities, to when I schedule and commit to my self-care activities, I'm better able to serve my clients, I'm better able to provide leadership for my employees. Right, your best self does your best work.


Yeah, it's so incredibly true. And I love that analogy. What a good thing to have shared with you.

She was pretty, she was pretty sage.

Pretty wise. So, let's dive into why we overwork. What are some of the main reasons why we end up in a place where we feel like we need to or where we build a habit of overworking.

Right. So, I identified two major areas for myself. And then when I started working with clients, you know that pattern was repeated. So, we see both external factors. And what I would say is these are factors that are a breakdown in your business foundation; lack of planning, lack of strategy, lack of systems, we are overworking, so we're working harder, we're working a lot longer, we're working more than we need to because we don't have these key elements in place in our business that free up our time and inform our decision making. And what are these things? Well, it's a business plan, right. And it doesn't have to be complicated. It can be, you know, a business plan, but we need to have one, we need to do our strategic planning, we need to have marketing plans and strategy. Otherwise, you're just going to habitually be in that place where you're guessing you're starting from scratch all the time, you know, you're doing things over and over again. And it's wasted time and energy. And I know with Lean Out Method that you can speak directly to this, right. So, I love Lean Out Method so much.


To me, people work so much harder than they need to. And as people will get growing their business, as they look at scaling their business, as they kind of go through those different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. They frequently make things so much harder on themselves than they need to, because they don't put like you said, their strategic planning in the systems, in the team, in the things, in place, that are actually going to create that ecosystem for success, and most importantly, the ecosystem for success that does not require overworking.


Exactly. And I have loved how you've said, you need to be working on the right activities at the right time. You know, the needle movers, the things that have the maximum impact on our bottom line. These are habits and skill sets that we have to develop over time. I would also say that's really, really important. And I know that you talk about this, that you're working from a place that's connected to your vision, right, that you're thinking about what type of impact that you want to have, and what you want your life to look and feel like and there's a conscious effort to create a framework to be able to realize that vision. So, certainly, you know, I'm going here and I'm going here and I'm doing all these things and working activities that really don't make a lot of sense and aren't aligned with my vision. If we're not thinking about that. we're leading ourselves to overworking. And I just want to say that this is so common, we need to normalize that we don't start off having these skill sets all dialed in. And that most of the time, you can scale a business, I did it without having all of my frameworks in place, it is possible. It's just making sure that we can evaluate where we are and find those gaps. And we're closing the gaps on overworking.

Right? It's a longer-term process, you can get anywhere in business by working really hard, like you absolutely can, until you reach that point where you're not able to keep going. And I've shared before with my story, I scaled that first business really quickly. And I scaled it without systems in place, without a team in place, without a lot of my frameworks. I scaled it without a lot of things in place. And did I do it? Yes. Did I almost kill myself and put myself out of business in the process? Yes.


The key and so I love that you said that, because for those of you who are like I scaled and help, please. We've been there. And it's really common. And I would say that, you know, most of the time, when I go into work with clients, there is some, you know, deficit, some area that just really is a big cause of overworking. And it's fine. And we just, you know, there's absolutely ways you do such a good job of Lean Out Method and showing people how you can work that out and really create a business that is sustainable, and profitable, right. And you can truly work with ease. There's a fallacy that it has to be hard. That's a myth, we're going to talk about more about that in a bit. It can be completely fun and pleasurable and easy, and also super impactful and super profitable. So that's one area, I would say that that's, you know, once we go in, and we you know, figure out, okay, where are all these places that are creating the gaps and leading you to overwork, then, and this is where it gets interesting. Now, we have to talk about the background. And these are the subconscious stories that are affecting your everyday life, in your everyday work, generally without our awareness. So, in the coaching industry, I hear this referred to sometimes as mindset, but it's much, much deeper. And we need to examine our underlying beliefs, our attitudes, our behaviors, if we're going to understand why we work, the way we work, that was incredibly important to me, because I consider myself a pretty astute individual. And I'm also psychologically minded, and I found myself overworking it's like, well, how did I get there? So, we need to understand for ourselves what's playing on that background. And again, we have some external factors. Those are things like cultural norms, and what I like to refer to as patriarchal programming. These are external values that we've adapted for internal validation, and oftentimes, without consideration, you know, it just kind of happens growing up in our society. So, what does that look like? Well, hustling in business, you know, hustling in business has become this badge of honor. Right? You know, I'm like, riding and I'm working, and I'm struggling all the time. And now somehow, that makes me worthwhile. Or, you know, I think, especially for women, we have to hustle to prove our worth, instead of working and living from a place of our own inherent value as people, we see a lot of toxic productivity, attaching our self-worth to how much we can produce. I also like to refer to that as performance-based love. There's a fear of rest and pause and slowing down. Oh, my gosh, you know, what will happen? If I let go? There's a lot of fears around scarcity. So, while there may not be enough for me, so I have to work more and harder. The whole thought around bigger is better, more is better, instead of just saying, “Well, what is enough for me, what feels good to me what feels cool,” you know, these are all messages that are incredibly damaging myths. It's not real. It's not fact. It's not true. And it's so imperative that we start to have that awareness and question the belief, we need to basically restore our own sense of agency and start living from a place that speaks to our true selves and our true values. Not the you know, the messaging this extra myth messaging that we're getting from our cultural norms.


Yeah. And I know a lot of people who listen have worked in corporate in the past, and one of the things that's just so prevalent, how do you get the best? How do you get the best promotions, you work harder than anybody else. It's the person who was there before everybody, who leave after everybody, who works twice as hard. They're the person who gets rewarded and gets promoted and gets the bonuses and get the things. And I think for anybody who's ever had a corporate job, or maybe even other types of jobs, but it's very prevalent in the corporate type of culture, you do have that kind of just so deep seated into you. I spent so much time in corporate, when I was a working as an employee, but then as I went on to consult in corporate that sometimes I have to kind of fight that a little bit, because it's just you get so conditioned to it.


And conditioning is the perfect word. It is conditioning. Yeah, we are conditioned for toxic productivity. Productivity, in itself, you know, isn't a dirty word, we certainly can have productive practices that are healthy, but it's when we attach it to our self-worth, how much can we produce, that's when it starts to become toxic and damaging to ourselves.


Yeah, I agree. You don't hear me talk about productivity that much, even though most people describe Lean Out Method as a productivity system. But the reason for that is because I'm a big fan of being productive, but only when you know what to be productive on, right? The goal isn't to be productive, it's to figure out the important things to do, and then to be as productive as possible when you do them. And that means you're doing the things that are important, and you're not wasting your time or your energy and overworking on things. And it's just a different perspective, where a lot of people who are productivity experts are more like manage your calendar and do this and manage your time. And it becomes about the act of the productivity, which is just another way of working hard.


And that is so true. And I literally remember saying to myself, I just need to be more organized. So I could do more. When I really actually needed to be doing less. But yeah, so those are some of the external factors. And then there's also the info, so many of us carry old wounds, things that we experienced throughout the course of our lifetime in our childhood, that are now playing out in our everyday life. So, this is where we do see things like limiting beliefs come up, negative thought patterns, big T, little t trauma, adverse childhood experiences, insecure attachment. And people usually end up with I would say about five common overworking psychological patterns. I'll just hit a couple of them. One is the achiever pattern. So, this stems from, I'm not good enough, or I'm not enough. And we're defining our self-worth by what we do and what we achieve in the world that needs to constantly be busy. And that shows up, you know, so often. There's also the perfectionist pattern. And I'm looking away right now, because I was so incredibly guilty. You know, like this is, this was me. And this is that fear of failure, which actually has its roots in shame. So, it's not okay for me to make mistakes, it needs to be perfect. I'm continuously nitpicking and fixing and dialing it in and making sure that it has to be right. Because if it's not right, then, you know, my I won't be accepted and I won't be loved. And you know, there's a lot of shame in and around that kind of just feeling like I failed as a person, if I don't get it right, a lot of black and white thinking. And then another one that I see pretty commonly is a controller pattern, and that stems from the world is not a safe place. So, I have to be in control. So, I'm micromanaging. I'm not setting good boundaries. There's not a good set of expectations, and then accountability. And I'm overworking because I'm taking responsibility for everything else and everyone else, right. I'm not okay with being vulnerable. And I'm not asking for help I need to, you know, get my needs met. There are other patterns, you know, those are three, I think, pretty common ones that I see coming up. And again, this is all that background internal track that a lot of us don't have awareness of.

Yeah, I like the way you position that as the background track, because I think it's really easy sometimes to see the surface stuff. But it isn’t as easy to do the work to kind of dig deep and really figure out what is my background track. Why am I doing the things that I'm doing because every result that you have is a result of actions you take, a habit you have in place. Your current life is a result of all of the things you do all the time and sometimes we don't ever analyze why we do what we do.


100% A lot of us are really working kind of on autopilot without a lot of conscious awareness. And it does take compassion with ourselves, I say kind of like a gentle excavation of looking at these things, especially when it comes to some of those internal factors. Because for a lot of us, it is painful, right? These are patterns that we've had, that are born from places like, like I said, trauma and adverse childhood experiences, we don't want to rebuild or reshape ourselves, when looking at these mental factors. It comes up for everybody. And it's really great, because there we can, you know, reprogram ourselves, build new neural pathways.


I love it. And so that takes me to how can we actually overcome overworking? Like how do we avoid burnout and actually build and live our best life?

I am living proof that is 100% possible, it is 100% possible to work with ease, we can build a business that feels sustainable, pleasurable, profitable, abundant, we can know that our business should fit into our lives, not the other way around. And that we can make a big impact. Because I know a lot of women were incredibly high achievers, and they're out to change the world with their businesses. I feel that way. I'm out to change the world with this business and not lose myself in the process. We don't want to sacrifice things that matter; our health, our joy, and our relationships. So just like we've talked about today, the very first step is always coming into awareness, we have to identify why we're overworking. What are those breakdowns in our business, what's going on in the background track. So that would be the very first step. And then two, and this is central to my work, which is taking a holistic approach to work life balance by framework, which identifies four pillars that create harmony between your business and personal life, they are, I guess, guideposts for ensuring that you're fueling yourself to become your best self and doing your best work.

So one, we want to run a profitable sustainable business. I mean, I just repeat those words over and over again, especially the sustainability part, and a business that fuels you instead of drains you. Number two, it is so incredibly important that you're prioritizing time for yourself care, and or hobbies without feeling guilty. That self-care piece is the piece where we take our nervous system, which is generally in a state in this day and age of fight or flight. And we are activating the parasympathetic nervous system in a place of rest and digest. Because if we're in fight or flight all the time, we will end up ill. Our bodies are not designed to be that way, we have to take breaks, it's imperative. Another pillar is joy. We're here because life is supposed to be fun, right? And we need to, like I say, unapologetically invest in our happy. And we have to prioritize the experiences that light us up. It's so, so incredibly important. And again, that's also part of, you know, a nervous system that is not in a state of chronic dysfunction. And then the last pillar is connection. And that's having ample time with your friends, family, you know, the people that light you up and fill you up, and receiving the support that you need to thrive while doing your work that betters our world. And then lastly, we just need to practice prioritizing work in the pillars, prioritizing ourselves, I say this over and over, which again, which is, your best self does your best work, how you show up for your business affects everything from productivity to project to impact, if we truly want to serve well, right. If we truly are interested in creating change in this world, then we need to know that it starts right here with us, we have to fill our cups first. And we have to make our wellness, our joy and our connections a priority. So, you know, three simple steps.


I love it. And so, if people want to learn more about your best business life, and about you tell us what you've got going on, and where they can find you,

They can find me at yourbestbusinesslife.com. And it would be great. And it was where we were talking today about, you know, kind of some of those external internal factors. I have a business health assessment, which is really fun, it's very short, and it focuses on those five key areas of your business. So, if you have a better understanding of your current strengths, and then you can also look at your weaknesses and places that might be leaving you vulnerable to overworking and overwhelm. So that's a great tool and they can just go onto my website on the start here page and take the assessment.

I love it. Guys take that assessment for sure. It's rather brilliant. I absolutely want what you created. So, I have one final question for you. And we've talked about this once before. So, I'm super curious to hear what your answer is going to be this time, but it's how do you work smarter, not harder and keep things lean in your business?


I would say, and again, you know, repeating myself, which it's just really simple, your best self does your best work. And just remembering how you show up on that daily, you know, on that daily basis affects everything. productivity, profit, impact. So, you know, keeping that in mind, and it's a really great way to keep yourself right, you know, working smarter, not harder.


Absolutely. Well, Jordan, this has been such a great conversation. I always love having you on the show. Thank you so much for being here. And guys, go out and listen to Episode 19, where you'll hear a little bit more about Jordan’s story, you'll hear a little bit more about burnout. It's a really great discussion. So be sure to check that out. And you'll find the link to that as well as where you can find Jordan down in the show notes. So, thank you guys so much. We will see you again next week. Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. I hope you got a lot of value and actionable insights from today's show. And we'd love if you take a moment to leave us a review. If you have any questions on today's episode or on how to lean out your business join us over in our private Facebook community, where every week we do live training and Q&A. I'd love to have you be part of the conversation so head to leanoutmethod.com/group to join us. And before you go, be sure to subscribe to the show. so you're the first to know when we release a new episode. We'll see you next week.


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by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.


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