Mar 6, 2018
In this episode, I share the gruesome details on how I ended up hurting relationships, creating distrust around me, and even harmed the reputations of some friends who were relying on me.
...and I did it all in an effort to be my very best and perform at the highest level.
I want to help you avoid the horrible consequences of burnout and successfully recover from it if you're already there.
There's still hope...
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The Importance of Time Budgeting
The only way you're going to know if you've committed too much of your time, before it all runs out, is to use something called "Time Budgeting" or "Time Mapping." Just like you do with a financial budget, you set your time budget up by putting portions of your time aside for specific areas of your life.
I'm a misfit, I'm not very good at budgeting... time or money.
This is what caused the great burnout of 2016, as I committed to do more than I had available in my schedule. This caused me to work 18+ hours per day (yes, you read that right... over 18 hours of work each day). I was getting up at 5am and coming home at 1am, eating up my dinner and laying in bed to eat it.
I was also dealing with addiction issues among some family members which was incredibly taxing. I discovered part of the issue was a major case of co-dependency. That's since improved.
Here's what I did to recover:
A complete check-out from as much as possible for 6 months. I realigned what I could accomplish and what I needed to back off from even if it meant a drop in income.
As much intentional down time as possible with no obligation to a schedule. This isn't easy, but you should try to get as much of this time as possible.
Start exercising. You don't need to go crazy with a two hour gym routine, you simply need to move your body during the day. Start with walking. If you're not in very good shape this will be enough to put your heart-rate into the fat burning zone.
Eat nourishing food which doesn't come from a factory. It should have as few steps as possible between it coming from the ground and going into your body.
Meditate. This will help you mind learn how to stay present on whatever is right in front of you. You'll become less distracted and you won't be constantly drawn to the next thing that catches your eye.
Here's How You Avoid Burning Out
Use a time budget such as time-blocking or time mapping. This will let you know when you've allocated too many tasks in a certain category to your schedule. This is the only way you'll know when you're running out of time.
Schedule rest into your day, week, month, and year. Make it one of those "high priority" items so it doesn't get pushed to the bottom of the list. You must give yourself time to recover or you will collapse.
Assign an estimate to every single task you put on your to-do list. Without doing this, your time budget will be worthless.
OVERestimate how much time each task will take so you don't come up short. If you have time left at the end of the day... REST! If you are out of the recovery stage, you could get a head start on one of tomorrow's tasks, but rest will be a higher priority.
Put in a buffer block of time to make sure you're not surprised by unexpected things in your day. This is the same as your savings account in your bank. It's there to cover those unexpected expenses so you don't have to borrow from your future money. Same thing with your time, you don't want to borrow from your future time.
Say NO more often. Don't fool yourself into believing this is the very last great opportunity coming your way. There will be plenty more. You can say no to this one which will allow you to perform at a higher level right now. That will do more to bring new opportunities than you can imagine.
The Power of "Interval Hustling"
Utilize intervals in your work schedule. That means working for a short period of time and then resting for a bit. This is commonly called the Pomodoro Technique.
With the Pomodoro Technique you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. Repeat four sets like this and then enjoy a 20-30 minute break.
Doing this will keep your mind rested, sharp, focused, and working at it's peak level.
This is what I did with my running and I was able to to run longer, further, and faster withou any injuries. It works for your body and your brain. Try it.
Make sure you include intervals of rest at the end of your day as well as the end of your week. Do your very best to include a full day of rest outside of your schedule. There should be nothing pressing your time and nothing you need to do next. Just rest.
Include longer periods of rest once a month and a nice long week or two each year. These down times will help you become more protuctive than pushing through would ever do for you.
Potential Areas For Stumbling
Burn out is a horrible situation to find yourself in, but it's not without plenty of opportunity to learn and grow. There is hope still for you if you're feeling burned out in life.
Do everything you can to avoid burn out, it's much to avoid it than it is to get out of it.