So much time and so little to do!
Scratch that. Reverse it. Thank you.
Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971
Got your caffeine in hand?
Great, me too.
Facing burnout lately? Awesome, I'm right there with you.
Last week, I was talking to my dad after a long day at work and we rambled on about what it was I actually do and how it impacts my day afterwards. Turns out, I've never really explained to my dad what my job is outside of "working with people and trying to make them happy while holding to the State and local laws".
For all of you who don't know, I work in human resources for an incredible non-profit in California. It's amazing - has it's downsides, obviously, but I'm here.
That said, there are still days where I put a whole lot of effort, thought and energy into making sure everyone who comes to me with questions and asking for help gets it immediately, but when they take it for granted or don't like the answer I give (even when it's the right one) - it becomes too much to handle.
The next day, I get a text from my dad saying, "Did you know that 95% of people who work in human resources suffer from burnout?"
I laughed obnoxiously in the parking lot outside work when I read this because, yes, though I didn't know the exact numbers, I felt it.
Then several questions came flooding to mind.
Was there a way to avoid this?
How can I move past burning out?
Is it just me?
Am I weak?
Is this a sign I'm not meant to do this kind of work anymore?
Most of the answers to my questions hold the same resounding no.
But it took me awhile to figure that out.
It's been somewhat of a hot topic lately - "burnout" - and I think it's because a lot of us are coming to realize how important it is to share the ugly, messy, and imperfect parts of our lives with others.
We've experienced how real and honest conversations can help us when going through similar struggles with another and how there really is a good side to it all (though obviously not in the moment).
The nice thing, in my opinion, is that we all go through it at some point at some level. We just wouldn't know someone else experiences this type of thing if we didn't leave enough space to talk about it.
What is Burnout & How Did We Get Here?
When you have no energy left as a result of the persistent pursuit of the hustle.
You're on a roll for days and your groove of a healthy routine has become a challenge to continue.
The boss mode has become a requirement where if you don't take a step back, you lose the passion and desire of why you were doing everything in the first place.
It's your body's way of saying you've done too much and you need to pump the breaks.
You've gone too far on the highway of goals that you've missed your rest stop four sleeps ago.
It's easy to get there and harder to figure out how when we get lost in the pursuit of perfection through that hustle we think will bring us the results we want, rather than direct our attention the simple process of becoming.
We're doing what we love, but along the way we've mixed it with the "requirements", the "must do's", the never ending to do list that all says we must reach perfection in order to reach our goals, whatever they may be.
How to Prevent The Burnout from Taking Over
Spoiler: I don't believe we can prevent this from happening ever again.
Mostly because we are human, and due to that fact we are inevitably going to face obstacles and hardships we can't avoid. The more we attempt to ignore them, the more power they have over us.
So what's the first thing we should do?
When you sense the loss of passion coming over and you have no drive to do what you're doing, take a break. Go outside. Close the laptop. Talk with a friend. Pick up a book. Listen to a podcast that may or may not have anything to do with what you enjoy in real life.
Don't get mad when this happens (you'll hear and see me say this a lot because I really do get mad at myself when I get overwhelmed with all of the bad feels).
This just means you are a 100% healthy person. Listen to your aching body. Listen to your tired brain.
Don't push yourself to the point of allowing this burnout to take over completely.
Be realistic with your time and your goals.
We have more time then we think we do, we just need to use it wisely. For example, ask yourself if scrolling through Instagram or FaceBook is really going to benefit your current goals. You also don't have to start out big and continue working in hustle mode at all hours of the day. It's good to take some things on at a slow pace for a lot of reasons. One being you allow yourself more time to think and consider different angles to approach a solution.
Set great expectations and aim for the biggest goals.
Writing them down makes them that more real and attainable for you.
Schedule some time to take a break when you know you'll be in a "can't stop won't stop" power mode. This will lessen the blow and occurrence of draining yourself of the energy you need to get what you need done like a boss. Getting your hustle on and powering through is not bad. Doing this for long periods of time is.
When You're Stuck, What Should You Do?
Have I ever mentioned how important rest is? Yes. Yes I have.
A few weeks back, I talked about how resting in the midst of wanting to control all the things is necessary in order for us to get that fire of passion back.
We can't re-fuel without taking a step back from the work we want to do. It's all part of the process, friend. We are not the Energizer bunny - we can't keep going non-stop.
Today, and really everyday, I hope we can take it easy on ourselves when go through burnouts and not allow this to give us permission to back out of what we love doing most.
This does not define your abilities, it's just showing you how to use them in a better way.
Drinking that Java and Running Late,