Unlocking Burnout With Michael Levitt


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Episode Overview:

"Unlocking Burnout" by Michael Levitt is an illuminating exploration into the complexities of burnout, offering practical strategies to address and prevent this pervasive issue in modern workplaces. Levitt's book delves deep into the multifaceted nature of burnout, examining its causes, symptoms, and profound impact on individuals and organizations. Through a blend of personal anecdotes, scientific research, and actionable advice, Levitt presents a comprehensive framework for understanding burnout and emphasizes the importance of self-care, boundaries, and resilience-building practices. By providing tangible tools and insights, Levitt empowers readers to recognize the signs of burnout, implement effective coping mechanisms, and foster healthier work cultures that prioritize mental health and well-being, ultimately aiming to prevent and mitigate the damaging effects of burnout in professional environments.

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Skot Waldron (00:01.235)
Mike, here we are, man, here we are.

Michael Levitt (00:04.575)
Great to be with you.

Skot Waldron (00:06.546)
It is going to be interesting and we're going to try to make this as punchy and concise as possible. Make sure we don't burn people out on this episode.

Here we go.

Michael Levitt (00:19.927)
Let's go.

Skot Waldron (00:21.526)
All right, Mike, I want to know.

Why you talk about this topic anyway? Why, why the topic of burnout? I know that there's, I'm hearing a lot about it. You know, um, but there's some background information you have on this topic that uh, got you into this topic number one. And then also what can, why you continue to write about it, why you continue to talk about it, why you continue to coach on it, all kinds of things.

Michael Levitt (00:50.395)
Yeah, my burnout journey, because I had burnout back in 2009. It actually led up from 2007 where I was hired as a startup health care executive for a medical clinic just outside of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, across the border from Detroit, Michigan. That's an important fact. It'll come to light in a minute. So I never worked in healthcare before. And here I am running a healthcare clinic, recruiting doctors, hiring clinical staff.

ordering medical equipment, navigating literally a last minute relocation of our clinic inside of a retirement home. And I just put in an absolute ton of hours. I was basically working for a couple of years from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., pretty much seven days a week. And I was an employee. I wasn't the owner of this clinic, but I took it upon myself because I felt it was important for me to lead the way and do everything and not delegate anything and just be quicker if I do it.

That way it'll free up everybody else to do what they're good at. And you know, that was a big mistake. So did that for two years, lots of stressors and a startup, as many people know. And it all came to a crashing halt in May of 2009, which kicked off what I like to call my year of worst case scenarios. So in a year's time from May, 2009 to May, 2010, the following happened to me. One, I had a heart attack at age 40 that should have killed me.

Michael Levitt (02:17.247)
recovering from this cardiac event, I went back to work only to have them let me go. They wanted to go in a different direction. I think a lot of it is they were kind of scared. So needless to say, here I am, you know, a few months after a heart attack and now I'm unemployed in Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit. Anybody remember the Great Recession? 2009, do you remember the government had to bail out the auto sector?

because they were this close, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, from going away completely. So needless to say, when you're in that market, the job market was absolutely atrocious. There was no jobs to be found. People that were still working were not gonna leave their jobs. So it took me several months to be able to find a job and finally was able to find one. I relocated up to Toronto, which was about four hours from the Windsor area and where I grew up in Detroit.

little bit further. So I'm working up in this new town that I've never worked in before and my family was still back in the Windsor area because we were trying to find a place to rent and we were getting ready to sell our house down there as well and I get a call I was in my job a couple weeks and I get a call from my oldest daughter and she said the bank had come and towed away our family vehicle. Our car had been repossessed because when you're unemployed for a long time and you're on heart medication

that cost you a thousand dollars a month out of pocket, you've got choices. And no fault of the banks, we worked with them as best we could and negotiated terms as best we could. But when you have limited income coming in, you choose food for the family and medication over making your car payment. And they exercise the right to take the vehicle back, not mad at them, still bank with them. I don't have any ill will to that.

But then after sorted through that, found a place to rent up in Toronto. So moved the family up. Realized we forgot the bunk bed ladder for our kids' bed back at the old house. So I went back there the next weekend to get that anything else we may have forgotten. And when I got to the house, I opened up my front screen door and I saw a little sticker and the biggest padlock I've ever seen in my life and it said foreclosure. For some reason, we never got the notices in the mail.

Michael Levitt (04:41.391)
So in a year's time, I had a heart attack, job loss, car repossession, home foreclosure, and all of those things happened because I was really burned out. And fast forward to today, I'm working with organizations and individuals and writing and speaking about why burnout is such a scary thing and why you don't want to flirt with it because you too could have your own, your worst case scenarios.

Skot Waldron (05:08.21)
But I, everybody's flirting with it. I would almost say to some stamp in some way, shape or form. And I'm not going to just pin this on, um, you know, people that are in the corporate space, although that's probably what we're going to talk about more or less. I'll talk to about the personal space. I'll just say the, the idea of burnout is very real to whether you're a stay at home, mom, stay at home, dad, whether you are like whatever you're doing in your personal life, whether you are working and you stood like.

How often do we just pack our days full of stuff? And I think a lot of us realize this during the pandemic, when then everything was shut down and we were going, oh, is this what it feels like to just relax and to spend time together and to go outside on walks? And I think it was a real big aha moment for a lot of people. But this whole burnout thing is real. And we heard a lot about it in the nursing sector.

especially during the pandemic. My wife is in nursing school now. She's like, I don't know how these women do this all the time in these hospitals, but what other industries are you seeing that are just impacted? You came from the healthcare space, obviously, saw it there, you were a victim of it. And what else is happening out there?

Michael Levitt (06:20.971)

Michael Levitt (06:26.839)
Pretty much every sector. Since 2020 or 2020, I have spoke at close to 100 different conferences across the world and pretty much have spoke at every industry. Education, legal, healthcare, nonprofit, accounting, grain elevators, you name it. There's been all kinds of different conferences I've spoke at. Every industry is facing it. It's because...

people are overwhelmed. The workloads are unmanageable, or they're not managing how they spend their time and energy well, but it could be a combination of things. A lot of things we saw from the pandemic, or excuse me, not only the pandemic, but back when we go to the Great Recession, a lot of organizations laid people off, and the people that survived, they got to do the extra work.

And in many cases, those organizations never really brought anybody back. So the workloads were more, and then they keep adding little steps here and there. Next thing you know, you're just completely overwhelmed with the work and your to-do list is extremely long. You're fatigued. You're not taking care of yourself. You're not eating right. You're not getting any exercise. So it just builds up over time. And that's what burnout is. It's prolonged stress over a period of time. And when the World Health Organization issues what they call an ICD code,

which they did in 2019, because they classified burnout as a workplace phenomenon. They didn't classify it as a disease, but they called it a workplace phenomenon because people are just overwhelmed with their work, stressed, and a lot of things go into it. Poor communication, workloads, personal factors, all kinds of different things. But you said something a moment ago about when people were all sent home in March of 2020, and they said, ooh, this is what relaxation feels like.

I'm not grinding and going all out all the time. Which I think is one of the big reasons why when you're seeing a lot of organizations using the return to office saying, we want you to come back in the office more. And a lot of people are going, I don't want to. And it's not as much of a, I don't want to get up and drive to work and drink the bad coffee in the office or anything like that. It's more of a, they recognize, maybe not consciously, but subconsciously they recognize

Michael Levitt (08:51.011)
That was a work pace that I did not like. And I have gotten accustomed, and in many cases, as productive or more productive than I was before the pandemic, I don't want to go back to that. And that's why you're seeing this tug of war right now between companies and individuals, because a lot of people are going, I don't want to go back. Even hybrid, there's some people like, I'm not going back in the office ever again, which I think there needs to be, personally speaking anyway.

I think there needs to be some give and take on both sides because they can't use the argument that you can't work remotely and get things done. We've been doing it for three years. However, the caveat there is, as I tell with everybody when I work with companies, they're like, what should we do around this? And I said, well, I think priority one is, are you still able to service your customers the way you need to service them, in whatever format you're going with?

Can it be adapted where you can do some hybrid things? If not, it needs to be in person more, then that's how your organization is set up and you find the people that want that. I think ultimately it's gonna boil down to, we're gonna find this state of a combination of hybrid or in person all the time and fully remote as well. That's just a case where people will go to those companies that make sense for them and what they wanna do. Some people...

thrive on the remote side of things. Some people thrive on being in the office all the time. And it doesn't mean if you're introverted or extroverted either. I have two colleagues of mine. One's extremely extroverted, one's extremely introverted. You would think that the introvert would be thrilled to stay home and the extrovert would be, I gotta be in the office, which for both these people, it's the exact opposite. The extrovert's like, I don't care if I ever see an office again, where the introvert's like, I need to get in the office because I need to see people.

So it really depends on the individual as well. It's just a case of finding the right mix for everybody involved and being flexible and adaptable about it. But again, don't forget what your customer needs because they need you to generate whatever you need to do. So it's a really interesting dynamic, but to go back to your original question, yeah, healthcare has definitely had a tough go of it, but pretty much every sector's dealing with it right now.

Skot Waldron (11:09.798)
Interesting. And then tell me this. I would almost argue and I've, cause you know, I'm coaching a global organization that is, uh, you know, they're remote and I would say they probably always been mostly remote, but yet there's still high levels of burnout and stress, um, in these organizations. So I'm not going to say, you know, while the pandemic and, you know, put us at home and

I think it was like afterschool sports and all that other stuff that kind of chilled out. So we were able to kind of hang at, you know, that space of time. Um, whether you're remote or not remote, isn't going to solve the burnout problem. Like, cause some people that are working from home that is contributing to the burnout because there is no separation from work and home. And so we've heard a lot about that as well too. Is it, have you, have you been seeing that in your space?

Michael Levitt (12:03.763)
Oh definitely, it's a big problem because there's this combination of, okay I'm working remote and unless they have rules, the company has rules of making sure that your camera is on all the time and you've got to be connected and active on a chat platform or whatever. If they're doing that type of supervision, we'll call it that. I have opinions on that but we'll call it supervision to be nice. If you got that, that's one thing. There's another thing though where a lot of people thought

I have to prove that I'm working so they don't take this away from me and call me back in the office. So a lot of people end up working more hours than before or, you know, with many people that had kids, you know, they discovered, especially during the pandemic, that they were now a full time school teacher as well. And it dawned on them, wait a minute, my kids are in school at the same time that I was at the office. How does that work? It didn't. So

What happened was parents would get up earlier to work on some things during the day, make sure their kids are using the computer for schoolwork and not on their PlayStation 5. And then after dinner, something they'd go back to work and work late at night. And that makes for a really, really long day. Not that there are days that parents wasn't long before where you worked and you did help the kids with homework at night. So long days for parents. That's nothing new about that. But the work...

situation made it a little bit more complex because in the early days, especially, you know, a lot of organizations didn't have systems in place on how to access things. Where you're in the office, okay, I need to print this or I need to scan this. People may not have had a printer or scanner at home. I go, how do I do this? Well, I use my phone, but it's not going to be the greatest. You know, it's getting better, but still not the same as using an actual copy machine or a scanner to scan the documents.

but just workflows and different communication times to meet with people. Now in a global organization, they had an advantage because they're used to working with different team members across the planet, different time zones, all of that. So they were used to it. But for a lot of people that weren't working remotely, it was a huge adjustment period for them, which obviously was stressful. And a lot of it, even today, there's some people that have a difficult time establishing boundaries around when they work.

Michael Levitt (14:22.183)
and when they don't. And the organization may or may not be clear on that. I'm gonna give the organizations the benefit of the doubt. Most of them don't want you working a 17 hour day because they understand the productivity that they're gonna get out of an employee is not gonna be good if they're working that long of a day. You know, they need it to be a little bit more concise, but there's still a lot of work to be done as far as breaking down these silos, making sure workflow is improved.

leveraging technology as best you can, but also understanding where bottlenecks come up in the work that we're doing and figuring out let's start getting rid of these bottlenecks as best we can to make things flow easier. Because when you do that, it doesn't take you as long to get something done. You're more focused at the work you're doing. And quite frankly, the quality of the work is better when you're not stop, go, stop, go, stop, go, which unfortunately is a lot of situations that people are facing.

Skot Waldron (15:21.066)
Okay. How do I know I'm burnt out? Mike, if I'm going, yeah, I'm good. I just work hard and I like to work. It's like something I like to do. And then you're going, well, yeah, but there's some things here. You got to watch out for one thing. I heard you saying your story. I'm going to point this out until you tell me if this is a sign of burnout is. If you say things like, it'll just be quicker if I do.

That phrase right there, the thing that you said, I was like, ooh, whoa, that's a sign of taking on too much, I think. So you tell me.

Michael Levitt (15:54.727)
Yeah, yeah, definitely. I was lousy a delegation prior to that wonderful year. And then afterwards, after doing a lot of the work and reinventing myself, and before I continue, if you're burned out, I'm going to say 99% of people that are burned out or approaching burnout do not need to reinvent their life. After a year I had, I chose it's like, okay, we need to just clear this slate and start anew and figure out

what in the world led me up to this and make sure that I don't ever do it again, because that was not a fun time for anybody. And I certainly don't want to approach that again, but for most people, it's simple adjustments here and there. But to get back to your question, some of the common signs I see with people that are approaching burnout or they are burned out is one, you know, how are they sleeping? You know, unless they have, you know, just chronic lifetime of bad sleep, like some people do. If you've noticed your sleep habits,

aren't as good as they used to be. You're tossing and turning. That's a big problem because when we sleep and we get good deep sleep, that's when we repair the damage that we do to ourselves on a daily basis. And if you don't get good sleep, you're not repairing that damage. So what happens is today's stress gets piled on. And tomorrow's stress and the next day and the next day, and it just gets prolonged. And that's unfortunately what happens when you burn out. It takes a mental and a physical toll. Hence, you know.

the stents that I have in my left interior to centering artery, which is called the widow maker, by the way. That's why I'm very lucky to be alive, because usually if you have a heart attack and you have blockages in that artery, you're being viewed and not seen. And thankfully I dodged that one. But another sign besides the sleep is, are you lacking motivation? And I'm not talking about motivation to do the job you do, the work, whatever it is. Talking about a lack of motivation of

not wanting to do things in life you like doing. Your hobbies, you're working out or going on bike rides or going on trips or going to the baseball game, whatever. If you stop doing that because you're like, man, I got so much work, I just can't do it, I gotta stick to this work, that's a big warning sign because when you stop doing things outside of work that you enjoy doing, even if it's a busy period of work, that's a big warning sign to be on the lookout for. Another sign I see too is

Michael Levitt (18:16.443)
Are you making more mistakes at work or are you more forgetful than normal? And that's not normal for you. You know, that's definitely a red flag you need to be on the lookout for. And then a fourth one I see a lot is you're more short fused. You got it. You're quicker to anger. And we're seeing that everywhere. You go into a grocery store or a store of any type. And you look at people and there's a lot of people that are pretty upset.

Of course, inflation, cost of food and all that stuff has increased over the last year or two. So a lot of people are grumpy about that. But I just noticed that a lot of people are just not happy right now. And being angered and stressed is really a big problem for a lot of people. And they just have to focus on what they can control. And I can't control how much something costs at the grocery store. I can control...

what I spend in my budget to be able to adjust accordingly to make sure that I continue to be able to buy the groceries that are good for me. And from there, you just, you proceed from there. But those are the four big signs that I tend to see people struggling with burnout have time and time again.

Skot Waldron (19:30.382)
Okay. So number one, how are they sleeping? Number two, motivation, not just like workplace motivation, but more so the stuff you like to do in your personal life. Um, are you making more mistakes? Number three, and then are you more quick to anger? Yeah. Number four and being triggered more so there. So that's, that's really good. Quick litmus test for all of you. You got to go through, check that out. Um, all right. So what do we do about it?

Michael Levitt (19:59.347)
Number one, going back to sleep, and hopefully our conversation is in putting people to sleep, but if they need to sleep, go for it. But you got to really focus on your sleep habits. Don't use your smartphone as an alarm clock. Go buy an alarm clock. They still sell them. Keep your smartphone away from your bed because what happens is the light that comes from the smartphones tricks your brain. It's like, oh.

It's the light that it emits thinks okay. It's time to stay awake So you struggle plus if you check email and you know people are notorious to send Problematic emails late at night. So all of a sudden you start fret about this presentation Now you got to change the slide deck tomorrow morning and you're thinking should I do it now you get up and you do it? And you still make mistakes because you're tired from the day and then you get up in the morning and it's still messed up Just wait until you get some sleep

So keep the technology out of your room is one thing. A second thing which is really important and probably not surprising to people is what you eat. It's the fuel we eat. You have to take care of yourself and I'm not gonna tell you to quit eating fast food. Well, you do you. But for me, and this is something that I suggest, I'm not gonna recommend it because I'm not a healthcare provider. I was an executive, but it's something that I did. I had a food intolerance test done.

a couple years ago to see what foods I have an intolerance to. I know I have some food allergies. One of them happens to be potatoes, which I find comical because I'm Irish descent. So here's the Irish guy that can't eat potatoes. My ancestors ate way too many of them and now I just like, no more potatoes please. But there are other foods that I have an intolerance to. So when I eliminated those foods from my diet, I noticed the inflammation.

that I had that I really didn't realize I had started going away, started feeling better. My digestive system works better because I'm eating foods that are literally right for me. My body will go, hey, I know what this is. I know how to process it. I'm going to have it go through naturally without any struggles where if you eat foods you have an intolerance to, it's like a foreign object in a way to your body and your body's going, what is this? What do we do? So what is it doing? It's using energy to deal with that toxin or foreign object.

Michael Levitt (22:22.687)
instead of using that energy to relax you and unwind and heal anything that you did to yourself today. It's a constant battle between your taste buds and your gut. You got to let your gut win. Yes, I know those things taste amazing. I get it. But if you're going to have inflammation and not have good sleep because you're having acid reflux or stomach issues or whatnot at night, well, it's going to impact your next day. There are great foods that I love.

that are good for me and there's foods that I love that are not and I do my best to avoid them. Not perfect, but I know what foods those are so I do my best to kind of avoid them, which is sometimes challenging, especially when you travel. You got to be really picky about that. Another thing too is make sure you do things in life you enjoy doing. Schedule them. I know you look at my calendar, you're going to see workout time or reading or writing or relax. They're on my calendar.

and a lot of people, you schedule that, I schedule everything. I mean, if I had to choose between oxygen and my calendar, that's gonna be debatable, because without my calendar, I'm like, what am I doing? But schedule your me time, your self-care time, and color code it. This is a good colleague of mine, Virginia taught me this years ago. If you're color blind, then use your favorite symbol, because I know that some people are color blind, so using a color encoding system's not gonna work necessarily for them.

But color code your calendar so your meetings are one color, phone calls are another, research, whatever. But make sure that your me time, your self care time, your self motivation time, whatever, use your favorite color. And the reason being is, if you look at your calendar, let's say we go back to last week and you've been color coding your calendar. If you don't see enough of your favorite color, you realize, okay, it was a little off center last week, okay, is there anything that I can do this week to adjust a little bit?

As much as I'd love to say it's a set it and forget it, we know that every day brings new adventure. You know, if you're an entrepreneur or you work for a company, there's something that comes up. So it's going to adjust. So it's like we hear the phrase work-life balance. I know a lot of colleagues use that. I with some others like using work-life harmony instead. It's a harmonization. It ebbs and flows. There's going to be busy weeks. There's going to be weeks that are kind of low key.

Michael Levitt (24:48.983)
You know, like the week between Christmas and New Year's for many companies is a quieter week. For others, maybe not so much. But you just have to get into the flow and the rhythm of things. And by, you know, keeping track of how you spend your time and making sure you schedule your me time, watch the foods that are right for you to eat, get your sleep, you tackle those three things. You're in a more rested and healthy space.

you have more clarity. That means you'll be able to navigate stressful things easier. I'm not saying it eliminates stress, there's always going to be stress. But if you can navigate through them because you are more clear-minded and clear-headed, you're going to have a better chance to minimize the stress's impact on you so it doesn't become prolonged.

Skot Waldron (25:36.398)
about this? What about figuring out what's causing me burnout? Because I'll sit there and automatically say it's all that work. It's all that work they're making me do. How do I, how do I determine that?

Michael Levitt (25:52.031)
There's Jim Rohn, the late leadership guru, worked for Herbalife and all that stuff. He talked about working with his mentor. And one of the exercises that his mentor had him do early on was, okay, I want you to list out, give me a list of all the things that are wrong at work, in life and all that stuff. And he said, no problem, I'll write this list, not a problem. So he wrote down, I don't know how many items, could have been 30, 40 items.

And his mentor looked at it and he says, this is a great list, but there's one problem. And he goes, what? He said, I don't see your name on it. And it's hard for us to take ownership of our responsibility of how we are causing these situations. We chose to work there. We chose to do the job that we were hired to do.

There's ways to navigate it. It's called communication for one, having hopefully a good conversation with your manager or supervisors, making sure that it's clearly articulated. What's the work? When is it due? Do I have everything I need to do to get it done and focus? And that's easy to say, because I know we get interrupted all the time. And I know as a leader, when I was working with my own team,

I had to be really careful on how much work I delegated to people because you're like, oh, I'm not doing this. I'm going to delegate to this. I think Amy could do this one or Steve could do this one or Chloe could do this one. And what happens is just by nature, we go, okay, those people are all stars. They get it done. I'm just going to give it to them. Next thing you know, we're overwhelming these all stars on the work because we keep delegating them instead of delegating to somebody that will be good enough. And what happens is we...

unintentionally in most cases, burn out our staff because we just keep handing them the work and if they don't have a mechanism or the courage to say, whoa, boss, you know, too much, you're giving me too much work. That's a problem. There's a better way to approach it is, okay, you know, thank you for this assignment. All right. Here's all the other assignments that you've signed to me and here's the deadlines. I'm looking at this wondering, okay.

Michael Levitt (28:14.899)
where should I reprioritize this in order for me to get this one done since this one seems to be there? So what that's doing is this collaborative kind of thing to look at the workflow and the work you're doing and many times if they're a decent boss, they're gonna realize, oh crap, I've overwhelmed you. All right, let's take these three things. We're gonna put those to the side or I'm gonna give those to Cliff, let him run with it. You just focus on these one or two things this week and then we'll revisit it because.

Again, many leaders do not keep track of what they delegate unless they've got a really good project plan mapping and all that and they can check it. But most of us are like, okay, I can give this person this and we don't think about it because we're so focused on our own responsibilities and our reporting and everything else we need to do. So communication to kind of establish boundaries around your work is so, so critical and even when you work and when you don't. The great state of New York several years ago.

This was before the pandemic. I think it became law, but basically they were creating some laws to limit when people were accessible via their smartphones at work. You know, the city that never sleeps had to establish a law to kind of regulate companies to say, quit emailing and texting your employers at their employees at 9 PM at night on a Friday night when they're normally at quote unquote nine to five.

You know, it's one of those things where we need to have some better boundaries around when we work and when we don't. Even in a global type of environment, you know, you understand there might be some issues. But unfortunately for many people, it's constant. It's always this way. And it's just too much. That's why going back to what we first talked about, so why so many people are going, you know what, I want to stay working remotely because I can better control how I work.

and they for some reason don't feel they have the same control when they're in an office setting.

Skot Waldron (30:09.45)
I've got the solution, Mike, to all of this is that we just take a vacation. We just go on vacation and because that's the ultimate break, I just go to the beach and then I come back and it's going to be all better because that's, that's what happens all the time. Right. And that would always happens.

Michael Levitt (30:27.531)
What happens is none of us have backups. You know, like you think of a baseball team. Okay, your shortstop goes on a 10 day DL. Okay, you've got somebody else to play shortstop. In my position, I don't have a backup CEO. I mean, I've got other people that can pick up and do some work, but I don't have a substitute CEO or a substitute VP of marketing or a substitute director of finance. No, they go on vacation.

Unless somebody else can step in and do their job, it's not going to get done. So when we're on vacation, one, especially if we've been grinding, it takes several days for us just to detox. And that's the word I like using detox from our work. And by day four or five, we start to relax. And you know, how often do people take, you know, a two week vacation or three week vacation? It's rare because a lot of organizations, they only give you maybe two or three weeks in.

You got to use those for other days as well from time to time. If you don't have sick days or you got to figure out how to use time off and all of that. So it's we're not taking enough time or we're thinking about it or we bring our iBankies. That's my brother's nickname for my iPhone, by the way. And I'm sure Apple has that trademarked, but if they don't, they should because I'm always on the dang thing. And so is everybody else because.

They're great devices. They allow us to work anywhere at any time, but they have a negative side effect. We can work anywhere at any time. Unfortunately, we do because we see that little red circle in the mail or on WhatsApp or Slack or Trello or whatever communication methods we have at work. We go, I got to go deal with that. It's that I got to deal with that. You see that red circle on there goes crazy or unread messages. Oh, I got to deal with those. My wife on her phone.

you know, she's got the phone app and she didn't turn off the little notification. So on her email thing, she's got like 14,000 unread emails. Now I have OCD. I see that and it's like, what? But I won't touch it and I won't change it because that's hers. That's her. But it's one of those things. If I saw that on mine, I would probably pass out like, and a lot of other people too, because they're like, I gotta fix that. And we've conditioned ourselves for that. And still just stepping away going, I'm not working on that. Right.

Michael Levitt (32:54.287)
I'm on vacation. I'm not working. We're supposed to vacate. It's part of our compensation package. It's for our own well-being. If we don't step away from work, eventually we're gonna wear out or eventually you get to have a cardiologist as part of your health care planning because I do. Never thought I would at this age of my life but I do. Good guy, I like him but I'd rather not have.

to deal with him because well, unfortunately I didn't make really good choices back then and it created some heart situations that I keep on top of now and even joked with me once. He said, when I have a heart attack, I want one like yours. And I thought, that's a little warped, but okay. And you're my doc, all right, that's good. Hopefully you don't have one, they're not fun, but another day.

Skot Waldron (33:45.294)
Awesome. Yeah. Let's, uh, let's not look for, I don't think that's any, anybody's goal sheet is that have a cardiologist.

Skot Waldron (33:58.07)
you're going to give away a awesome gift to the listeners. What are you doing?

Michael Levitt (34:02.663)
Yeah, I have a book that I wrote and published. I was going to publish it before the pandemic, but then when the pandemic hit, I thought, I'm going to pause on this because, well, I wanted to see what was happening with people. Because I thought, hey, if burnout goes away during the pandemic because people figured out how to better manage their time and their work and all that stuff, then this book won't be necessary. But I was wrong on that. But I did add.

you know, a chapter in there about the pandemic and work and hope for all this stuff. But the book's called Burnout Proof. It's available on Amazon and where you buy books and all that. But I want to give your audience a free PDF copy. So all they have to do is go to breakfastleadership.com slash burnout book. Just enter your name and email address. I don't need your blood type or social security number or anything like that. Just name email. I will send you a PDF copy of it. You know,

obviously send you links to other resources, YouTube videos and blog articles and other resources. I like giving people, here's a bunch of stuff. Don't burn out. I don't want you burning out. I'm trying to put myself out of job here. Take all these quit being burned out because nothing would make me happier than to say, okay, there's no more burnout. You know, my work is done. Turn off the light and you know, we'll find something else to do. But unfortunately.

We're not seeing that. So, you know, my mission continues, which, you know, I don't want anybody to go through what I went through, or even remotely close to that. It's not fun. But for me, you know, I took it as an opportunity to learn from it and then, you know, share what I have discovered over research over several years of, you know, what are the things to look out for and what are the things you can do to get you back to at least a normal-ish state, and then you can start doing the work on

preventing it from ever happening again, because once is enough, you don't want to go through it a ton of times.

Skot Waldron (35:55.886)
Well, unfortunately, I think you're going to have a job for a long time. Mike. So, um, you know, we're working on it and I think it's all up to us. What we do with the information out there and how we, how much value we put on our own health. I think a lot of the things you're talking about are the things that. We need to do just to be healthy individuals. And this is a healthy thing. This is especially a mentally healthy. I know we're talking about physical health a lot too, but

The burnout is the mental health, the stress, the mental health and mental health is such a, it's such a topic now that's just exploding everywhere. Um, and we're seeing so many issues with that, and this is definitely part of it. Uh, so I appreciate you. I appreciate the words that you're sharing with everybody. Thanks for the free PDF for my people and, uh, everybody else out there. So Mike, keep fighting the good fight.

Michael Levitt (36:49.311)
Thank you.



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