Are you on the verge of a burnout? Tips for Overcoming Workaholism.
Has anyone else noticed the current collective mindset is something along the lines of “productivity = success?” I swear people are treating the hustle as the only measure of real productivity, and it’s taken quite the toll on our daily lives.
I got a story, here, for you, today. An experience of mine that shed tremendous light on the importance of balancing our work lives, and letting go of the feeling that we’re not doing enough.
A couple of days ago, I had one of those “AHA” moments. I came to the realization that, despite my efforts to stay away from the endless pit of workaholics, I was actually running (full-speed) with the rat-race.
I woke up, that day, and realized that I had more “goals” than I could count on both hands. But, bear with me, here. Cause, honestly, I didn’t take any breaks until the very last task on my (never-ending) to-do list had been fully accomplished.
When I did (finally) achieve some sort of inner fulfillment, I stopped myself for a moment of honesty.
“Sarah, what the f*ck are you doing? Where is the balance?”
Between the work-after-work activities, book-after-book reading, and the “maximizing-my-waking-hours-in-a-day” through coffee and writing , I really started neglecting any sort of play or relaxation.
Do you think I noticed I was burning out?
Hell, no! Sarah equals Denial at its best.
According to my own state of mind, I was naturally exhausted and pissed off at the world. Life is supposed to be lived getting as much work and productivity fulfilled as possible.
It was these last few days that I could barely get out of bed, I was taking nap-after-nap-after-nap, and that all my goals looked more like an idea board than an actual to-do list. I’m having trouble making regular conversations, I’m experiencing anxious withdrawals from my work, and I’m really starting to think I’m moving backwards rather than growing or making any progress forwards.
Now, before I bore you with my factual complaints, let’s get to the point.
Why is it that we work ourselves to the point of complete exhaustion to feel any sort of internal validation, sense of productivity, or worth in success or intelligence?
Don’t get me wrong, I could do my job all day (literally… and I have been) – I love what I do and I’m passionate about my career and serving others. But there’s gotta be more than just waking up every day and trying to cram as many tasks and goals into my schedule, in order feel to “successful,” like I’m “getting there,” or I’m being “productive”.
After having to take a break from my work for a few days while, luckily, taking a vacation in the process, I felt like all the progress I made was gone.
I took me the last couple days to realize the pillars I’ve killed myself to build over the last few months are still there even if I don’t work on them for three days.
For real! I intrinsically believed that, unless, I was reading, studying, working, or writing – the foundation of my career would crumble overnight.
Can you relate?
So, here it is, guys. I decided that, despite, the time I needed to take to rest, that it’s important for me to write a laid back article about what to do to achieve a better work-day balance.
This is a quick and easy guide on helping you gain awareness of your current mindset about what productive work really looks like, and maybe inspire you to recognize that working hard sometimes isn’t as effective as working smart.
I’m just going to incorporate a few Mindful practices to help us all overcome the feeling of not doing enough, so that we can do only what is absolutely necessary for our growth, find balance in our life, and avoid overworking ourselves to the point of depletion.
My #1 tip is that you ask yourself “What is it I’m trying to prove?”
This was my reality check.
I actually came to ask myself this question when I recognized how tired I was (and how late it was at night) and yet, I still had things I felt the urge to do.
I think it’s crucial that we sometimes stop and ask ourselves this question whenever we notice we’re doing more than we should be. The reason it’s important to ask yourself this question is because it puts your intentions and expectations back into perspective. It helps us consider the fact that we may be comparing ourselves with the work and development of other people.
So, really, what are you trying to prove? Are you trying to prove yourself to your peers? Your colleagues? The billionaire guy that hasn’t known when to stop a day in his life? Are you trying to prove that you’re better than someone? That because you work more you’re more entitled or deserving of the success you desire? You can even be (unconsciously or consciously) trying to prove yourself to a family member or a significant other. Are you trying to prove your worth or value to a team mate or partner, by showing them how much you can accomplish in one day, or how much you know?
Because, it’s extremely important to reevaluate what your current expectations are of yourself and where this comparison is rooted. The thing is, when we try to prove ourselves or our worth to another person or circumstance, there’s no end to what we’ll be willing to do to get that validation. And, no matter what you think or what you’re willing to believe, this mindset stems out of a lack of self-worth and self-confidence.
And, here’s a news flash, trying to prove your worth when you don’t see it for yourself is a cycle that will never end.
Not to mention, we’re all on different paths.
When I realized that the person I was trying to prove myself to was on another plane of existence, it was so much easier to accept and be grateful for where I am now. I stopped comparing myself to how much, or how little, they were working – and who’s success was outstanding who’s – and I just appreciated our current milestones, without undervaluing it by comparing myself to someone else’s.
It’s important to ask ourselves this question when we feel like we’re not doing enough. Not doing enough in contrast to who, or to what? What are you trying to prove by pushing yourself beyond what you need to do or learn?
Make sure you’re honest with yourself. If you realize that you’re trying to prove your worthiness or value to an external circumstance, don’t shame yourself. It’s perfectly normal, but it could be deviating you from the point. Just let go of your expectations and do what you have to do.
Anything after that can be rescheduled, reconsidered, or relinquished.
My only other tip for you is to keep your Priorities, first.
Now I know how common it is to get caught up in our endless (imaginary) to-do list. I mean, with the current collective mindset that “more is better,” it’s no surprise to know how many of us mistake effective workmanship with overworking ourselves with meaningless tasks.
This is why it’s important to set our priorities ahead of time, and really pick a few extremely important goals to tackle, and then get them done efficiently.
Luckily, there’s amazing tools out there now, that can help you pick your major objectives, and break them down into the small and specific tasks that will actually get them done. There’s really no need to work all day, anymore. You just have to be definite with your choice of goals and intentions, and then find out what exact actions you need to take to get them done.
So, set your most important goals of the day in the morning. If you need some help finding out how to develop your goals into a minimalist schedule, I’ve got the perfect guides to get you started. It’s ideal to structure only three of your most crucial intentions of the day, then brainstorm ideas that support your goals, and build an effective plan-of-action to accomplish each one.
I don’t know who taught us that productivity means working all day and getting as many goals crossed off our lists. It’s wrong, and it’s a mentality that will set us up (not only for failure, but) for total exhaustion. Your work is a means for creativity and service. It’s not a measure of how much you can do, or how overworked you are.
It’s absolutely vital to find balance between work, learning, resting, and play. All work, no play was never, ever Okay.
I hope my tips will serve you well. There’s no need to shame ourselves anymore with this illusion that we’re somehow “not doing enough.” Do what you want, do what you need (fulfill your responsibilities), and just let yourself enjoy the rest.
To spending the rest of my Saturday on the couch and watching my man play video games!
Woohoo! *Kill me now* *Just kidding, love it*
*Itches to check Current Marketing Analytics*
*Fingers crippling with Writer’s Urge*