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Jeff Bezos, Arianna Huffington and 3 other business leaders on how to avoid career burnout

The climb to success can have an unanticipated byproduct: burnout.

In a recent survey of U.S. adults who experience symptoms of stress and burnout, 25 percent said they feel run down and drained of physical and emotional energy. Twenty-six percent said they feel they are still achieving less than they should.

Try these habits that successful leaders swear by for maintaining balance and make 2018 the year you get ahead without becoming overworked and overwhelmed:

Jeff Bezos

The Amazon founder, husband and dad, is strict about maintaining balance. In addition to saying “no” to morning meetings, he’s agreed to meet with Amazon investors for only six hours a year. The few meetings that are on his schedule are meant to be hyper-focused, and follow a simple “two pizza rule,” which means that Bezos won’t call a meeting or attend a meeting if two pizzas won’t feed the entire group.

The self-made billionaire has also sworn off multitasking and only focuses on one task at a time.

“When I have dinner with friends or family, I like to be doing whatever I’m doing,” he said in an interview with his brother at Summit Series in Los Angeles, according to TechCrunch. “I don’t like to multitask. If I’m reading my email, I want to be reading my email.”

Arianna Huffington

Self-made millionaire Arianna Huffington has not been shy about sharing her experience with career burnout. In fact, it was burnout and exhaustion that led her to collapse and break her cheekbone two years after launching Huffington Post.

“That was really the beginning of reevaluating my life and recognizing that I, like millions of other people around the world, had been suffering from the delusion that in order to succeed, we have to burn out,” she said at the iConic conference in New York City earlier this year.

Her advice for anyone looking to avoid burnout is to unplug from their phone, get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, eat breakfast every morning and to take a break during the workday. Her new platform, Thrive Global, focuses on how people can create a healthier relationship with their career in order to achieve success.

Author Dan Brown speaks on stage during the third day of the 2015 Web Summit on November 5, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

Bestselling author Dan Brown follows a strict daily routine that helps him maintain a balanced and productive lifestyle.

He wakes up every day at 4 a.m. and makes a smoothie consisting of blueberries, spinach, banana, coconut water, various seeds and pea protein. He also makes “bulletproof” coffee with butter and coconut oil, ingredients that he says enhance “the way your brain processes the caffeine.”

Surprisingly, the author also stops writing every day at noon. During the time when he is working, he sets his computer to freeze for 60 seconds every hour, and does sit-ups, push-ups and other tasks during this mini-break.

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest has a lot on his plate as television host, radio host and executive producer. However, the Hollywood businessman makes a point to stop work every day at 6:30 p.m. by sticking to a strict routine.

He says he’s up and ready every day by 7 a.m. and in the office by 8 a.m. After he goes live with Kelly Ripa at 9 a.m. he says the rest of his day typically consists of checking emails, attending meetings and checking in on the other projects he has in the pipeline.

His trick for avoiding email overload is key to maintaining a balanced day. Unlike some people who deliver long email responses, Seacrest only replies to messages with concise answers. For anything more involved, he picks up the phone.

“Two-line emails, okay? Very, very short emails,” Seacrest says.

Jason Fried

As the CEO of software company Basecamp, Jason Fried is proof that you don’t have to be overworked and stressed to be successful in tech. He adheres to a strict 40-hour work week, and also mandates a 32-hour work week policy at his company for the summer months.

Fried also avoids mandatory meetings at his company and says that any meeting that does take place is coordinated according to the personal schedules of the individuals involved.

“If you’re overworked and tired you make mistakes, and mistakes are costly,” Fried tells CNBC Make It. “If [companies] want people to be sharp and make fewer mistakes you can’t work them 60-70 hours a week.”

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Courtney Connley


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