How To Avoid Burnout - Progressing Towards Your Goals, While Having Fun
Updated: Dec 26, 2020
I always get asked "how do you avoid burnout?".
Burnout is scary.
I’ve experienced it first hand, and I’ve seen how detrimental it can be.
When you burnout from working too hard, you actually slow yourself down in the long run.
On the flip-side of things – not working hard enough and taking too much leisure time, is also scary.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could simultaneously; progress towards your goals, improve yourself, while also maintaining strong relationships and having fun along the way?
In this blog – I’m going to teach you what has been a game-changer for me.
It is a way of structuring your day that ensures you avoid burnout, reward yourself, while also making championship progress towards your goals.
Why It’s Important to Structure Your Days:
Time is single-handedly our biggest asset.
When you look at the wealthy people of today, when they didn’t have money, they had time – and they used that time extremely efficiently to get where they are now.
Without structure in your days, you are susceptible to wasting serious amounts of time on low ROI things, that don’t contribute to enriching your life.
Scrolling through social media, watching meaningless YouTube videos, playing video games, watching Netflix – all things that can zap you of your precious time in a heartbeat.
You know that you have goals that you want to progress towards (to feel fulfilled).
You know that you want to have fun and spend some time relaxing or hanging out with friends/family (to stay balanced).
You also know that you want to improve yourself (to keep growing).
Now it's time that you take control of your day and bring in some structure.
Assuming you are getting 8 hours of sleep, that leaves you with 16 waking hours per day.
I’ve found that a well-fulfilled day is like having a well-balanced meal.
You have your protein source (your work/purpose), your carbs (your self-development), and your greens (your reward time).
If you are missing any of those three, or having too much of any of those three – it is not sustainable.
The framework I’ve found to work best is the following:
· Monday to Friday
Spend 50% (8 hours) of your day towards your work/purpose
Spend 25% (4 hours) ) of your day towards self-development
Spend 25% (4 hours) ) of your day towards reward time
If you hit 7 hours of work instead of 8 on a particular day, it isn’t the end of the world – but take this seriously and use it as a rough estimate/north star to strive towards.
In adopting this daily structure, and focusing on the high ROI tasks of each area – you will already be leaps and bounds ahead of what you previously were doing, and you will find yourself progressing in all areas of your life; your Health, Wealth, Love, and Happiness.
Let’s dive deeper into each section.
Area #1 – Work/Purpose - 50%
This will include any and all tasks related to your career, work, and/or purpose.
· If you work a 9:00 – 5:00 job, this is the category that this would fall into. Ensure that, that job you are working at aligns with your purpose and that you have a good understanding of the role it plays in the bigger picture of you fulfilling that purpose.
If you are at a job that doesn’t align with your purpose or cannot be used as a stepping stone to where you need to get to – you need to make the shift into one that does.
· If you are still in school, this will include your school-work as well as any side-hustles you are currently working on (which I strongly recommend you add).
· If you are an entrepreneur – this is extremely important, as you don’t have the structure of a 9-5 job and it will require that you are a self-starter and have extreme discipline in your work days.
Be sure that you are both efficient and effective in this time. Our time in the day is limited, so narrow in on the high ROI activities and execute on those consistently.
Area #2 – Self Development – 25%
This will include any and all tasks related to improving yourself on an intellectual, physical, or spiritual level.
With self-development, the goal here is personal growth – the day you stop growing, is the day you stop living, so this is just as important as the other two areas and should never be neglected.
My personal approach to this requires that you list out and brainstorm on some self-development activities that are important to you:
The fundamental ones that everyone should implement are:
- Working Out
Beyond this, depending on your interests and passions it could include the following:
- Playing Guitar
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Rock Climbing
Anything that enriches you and helps you grow as a person.
Area #3 – Reward Time/Having Fun – 25%
This is where you reward yourself; and this is what will keep you going for the long run.
I recall my first co-op work term. I was working a 9-5 job, while also building an entrepreneurship education website that required a ton of my time.
I would work from 9-5 at my co-op, then I would work on my website from 6-9pm. Monday through Friday.
That left me with barely anytime to see friends, do anything really fun or reward myself for my hard work!
That type of work is not sustainable. It burnt me out and slowed me down in the long run.
I learned my lesson, adjusted, and have never looked back since.
If you are serious about your goals, and are in this for the long run – you cannot neglect spending time to have fun, build relationships, and recharge.
Ensure that you are using this time to:
- Spend time with friends, family, or your significant other
- Do something fun or unique
- Do something relaxing
In doing so, you will find yourself much more fulfilled and ready to crush it in the other areas of your life as well.
Contrary to popular belief, it honestly will make you perform even better in your work-life. It just needs to be the right amount.
What Happens When You Neglect Certain Areas?
Scenario 1 - Not Enough Work Time
If you don’t allocate enough time towards your work / purpose; you will see a few things happen.