Thoughts on beating burnout and becoming more productive — with my teen in mind. (Check out her take here.)
“Get more done!!!!” is on my brain right now — this space is quicksand.
I know you’ve spent plenty of time in “go harder, do more, work harder/longer/faster” mode. I’m going to guess that much of the time here hasn’t been tons of fun for you (I can’t pretend to know what you’re thinking or feeling, though know I feel like crap when I’ve living here.) Frankly, the way lots of life is typically structured (e.g., traditional school day, 8/9am-5pm work schedule) feeds into this mode — and I know I’ve espoused it before in any variety of subtle or less than subtle ways to you and others, especially when I’ve felt out of control about how things were going (or appeared not to be) and felt like we all needed to work harder(!!) to make sure things got done.
Yes, I spent years believing this was the way to go. If I wanted to make something happen, I just needed to work harder!! Which typically meant longer hours, less breaks, and at an ever increasing speed. Life continues to teach me that this mode is not helpful nor healthy to live in. We aren’t computers meant to go 24/7 with multiple programs going at the same time. We need rest (and lots of it!) regularly. Heck, we may even be most productive when we focus intensively for short periods and then take a total break rather than when we work and work and work and work harder!!!!!!
At some point you can’t work harder. At some point you hit a wall. At some point you might not even be able to work (or function) much at all. I found that I eventually couldn’t.
Today I watched a video on beating burnout and becoming more productive by Marie Forleo, one of my favorite entrepreneurs. I was reminded of all of this — and also got it on a new level.
We are NOT computers (nor meant to function like one). Rest is good. Working harder and harder and harder ultimately wears us out — and seems to end with everything becoming harder. Taking a break, drinking some water, moving around, walking away from our screens — and not doing a lick of work for a while — these can be some of the BEST things to do to actually get stuff done. (And yes, I’d totally recommend checking out this video — though coming from a work/business perspective, I think it’s widely applicable, less than 10 minutes long, and offers some legit science-backed ideas along with a lovely dance video).
I’m going to remind myself of this today, and I will do my best to keep it in mind as I watch you go through your day. Chilling out at times is important (and “rest” to me may look different than how it looks for you — and that’s okay).