Much overload is driven by your desire to maintain a reputation as helpful.
Based on interviews with 200 highly collaborative, networked leaders, researchers found many reasons for collaborative burnout.
They discovered in many cases that external time sinks were matched by another enemy: individuals’ own mindsets and habits. Fortunately, leaders can overcome those obstacles themselves with some strategic self-management.
The research showed three broad categories of self-management: Your beliefs about collaboration, your collaborative role and schedule, and your collaborative behavior.
Making improvements in these areas enabled leaders to recapture 18%-24% of their collaborative time.
While this article is focused on collaboration in organizations, many of the principles and practices proposed in the article easily apply in a network leadership context as well.
Rob Cross, Scott Taylor, and Deb Zehner. Collaboration without Burnout. Harvard Business Review. July-August 2018. pp.134–137.