You can’t outwork burnout. Here’s what to do instead.

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Photo: Annie Spratt

By Andrew Thomas

Now that we’re more than eight months into the pandemic, the data does not suggest that remote work is as pleasant as most people likely assumed it to be. Data shows that more than two-thirds of workers at home are experiencing burnout.

I experienced the bad outcomes of burnout while scaling my startup. I worked so many hours that I eventually collapsed and suffered a concussion. It took weeks before I could work like normal again. The effects of burnout are real, and they can harm your productivity and life.

In order to solve my issues with burnout, I found new solutions and routines that helped me increase my efficiency while also feeling healthier. I was able to make more time for the “life” part of work-life balance. …

When in doubt, keep things simple

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Photo: Airfocus

By Erik Severinghaus

If you’re a founder trying to raise money, I bet I can tell you the biggest problem with your pitch deck without even needing to look at the presentation.

As an investor myself, I see a lot of pitch decks from entrepreneurs trying to raise money. Of course they span all different stages, industries and ideas. The founders come from all different ages and backgrounds. They are all very different, but they almost always have one thing in common:

They fail to truly showcase what is unique about the company.

My advice is always the same the first few times we look at the presentation. Simplify and focus. I also share the following…

Better conversation openers to spur more meaningful conversations and genuine connection

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Photo: Brooke Cagle

By Jessica Stillman

‘How are you?’ was never a great question to kick off a meeting or conversation. As author and Wharton School professor Adam Grant pointed out on Twitter “‘How are you?’ rarely starts a meaningful conversation. It prompts us to summarize our emotions instead of sharing the stories and insights behind them.”

It’s an even worse opener during the current crisis. As psychologist Jane Dutton explained on the TED Ideas blog, the question falls particularly flat on Zoom. “People are pretty tired of the same old ‘How are you doing?’ question,” she observes.

And if someone is actually suffering at the moment (as so many of us, unfortunately, are) the casualness of the question suggests you don’t really want to know how they are, forcing the other party to perform fake cheerfulness. Psychologists say this sort of “ toxic positivity” has real mental health costs. …

There are significant benefits to disagreement, unreasonableness and individual goals

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Photo: Pascal Swier

By Brian Hamilton

If you ask most CEOs what the most valuable part of their company is, they will invariably say the people. In any organization I have run, it really is the people that make the difference. And, more importantly, it is the philosophy of those people.

The following items have been essential to the development of any organization I have built. They are core to value and how a great company operates. These concepts were basically not covered in the MBA program I attended. Yet, if you look into the DNA of the best companies, these principles reign.

Respect and Trust

A critical building block in growing a company is that we trust and respect the people with whom we work. …

It’s easy to get caught up in wishful thinking, but it’s taking action that moves you forward

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Photo: Brad Halcrow

By Larry Robertson

There’s an old fable about what it takes to actually realize success — one worthy of knowing, especially in these increasingly uncertain times. It’s known as the fable of the buried treasure, and it’s a brilliant lesson in why taking action is better than wishing for a reward to land in your lap.

The buried treasure fable has a few different versions out there, but the one I’ve heard goes like this: A grandfather is worried about his grandson who while smart, most often seeks the easy path. The boy spends his days dreaming of success arrived at by magic or miracle, until one day his grandfather lets slip that there’s a fortune in gold buried in a hardscrabble field near the grandfather’s house. Where it might be buried is hard to gauge. The field is strewn with debris and long uncared for by anyone. …

The latest Macs are faster and more efficient, and highlight the difference between Apple and everyone else

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Photo: Photography Account

By Jason Aten

The M1 is here and, contrary to the speculation of some who thought Apple might be out over its skis, it’s absolutely ready for prime time. There’s really no other way to look at it. Apple promised that its new Macs would be both faster and more efficient. And in real-world use, they definitely are. At least, that’s my assessment after using the lowest-end device, the MacBook Air.

I’m not going to belabor the benchmarks, there are plenty of places you can find those if that’s how you prefer to measure this sort of thing. The short version is that all three of Apple’s latest Macs — the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini — are ridiculously faster than the Intel-based machines they replace. …

Sometimes the easiest way to help your team to get more done is to stop interrupting them with meetings

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Photo: Kai Wenzel

By Jason Aten

Working remotely has been a challenge, to say the least. It has forced companies, individuals, and families to change the way they work — and more importantly, how they balance that work with everything else. Right now, that ‘everything else’ includes a lot of things no one imagined we’d be dealing with when this year started.

As a result, companies have had to figure out ways to help their employees stay focused while also making time for themselves. In a memo to employees, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai acknowledged that it isn’t easy and encouraged them to take time for themselves to avoid burnout. …

When 51 participants took 10 weeks of compassion training, their anxiety levels went down

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Photo: J W

By Minda Zetlin

Being kind to other people can make both you and them feel good. And that’s not all. Research shows that when you make the effort to feel compassion for others and treat them with patience and kindness, it causes a physiological reaction that can reduce the harmful stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol, which is to say too much stress, can impair your memory and interfere with brain function, so anything that decreases cortisol in your system is good for brain health. …

Research suggests old-fashioned phone calls have considerable advantages over other communication tools

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Photo: Aleks Marinkovic

By Jessica Stillman

With everyone working remotely this year, we’ve all been doing a lot more texting. Whether it’s constant Slack messages to coordinate with colleagues or lonely texts to distant friends, the tap tap tap of texting fingers has become the background sound of the pandemic.

But while asynchronous messaging is efficient and can spare us the potential awkwardness of a voice call, it’s also making us feel more disconnected, according to fascinating new research. And Zoom isn’t the cure either. A handful of new studies suggest we should all pick up the phone a whole lot more.

You’re overestimating the awkwardness of phone calls.

We’ve all faced the dilemma at the heart of one study. There’s an old friend you haven’t connected with for a while. Should you call or text? To find out how people think through this common dilemma, Amit Kumarof the University of Texas at Austin and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business gathered volunteers and asked them to talk through their decision making. …

Faced with the prospect of a K-shaped recovery, business leaders hold the fate of the economy in their hands, according to Harvard economist Peter Q. Blair

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Photo: Simon Abrams

By Vickie An

Peter Q. Blair is on the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he co-directs the Project on Workforce. He also serves as a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the principal investigator of the Blair Economics Lab. In Inc.’s series on the future of business, he shared predictions about talent management. — As told to Vickie An

Now that the labor market has loosened, how can entrepreneurs retain the kind of talent they need to succeed?

Communicate clearly and transparently with the team. For booming entrepreneurs, whose short-run objective is worker recruitment, I prescribe a large dose of humility. Start with the personal sacrifices you are willing to make for the well-being of the team. …


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