Do you ever reach a point of burnout that you don’t feel you can recover from? I’m guessing yes. Growing up I don’t recall having that issue since I was more bored than anything. In the 1980’s I didn’t have a computer or cable TV so I was forced to inspire my own creativity. I built forts, obstacle courses on the mountain I lived on, rode bikes with friends and climb local peaks with my dog and just sat and daydreamed. Now if I have an extra second of time I fill it with something. It’s the same with work, hobbies, family…pretty much anything. We live busy lives and the onslaught of technology has become a gap filler. I regularly detect my burnout meter approaching redline and I have to slow life down to reshuffle things. And since I share the house leadership role with my wife we have to ensure our kids aren’t overcommitted either. We want to model good behavior, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
Recognizing your load capacity and allowing 20% of fluctuation is a survival mechanism. If you constantly run at 100% then your body will eventually shutdown. Have the courage to say no! Nobody else will regulate your abilities, so if you continually say yes and take on additional tasks then your job, friends, social groups, etc will continually add to your load.
Step away from the norm. Get out and exercise! This is critical for me in that I tend to balance a lot of different things but when I can get out for a hike or run I’m able to release a lot of the burnout stress and refocus. It’s amazing how anchored we become in our daily routines, making it seem impossible to step away for 30 minutes to an hour. Force the issue, it’ll pay dividends!
*I purposely kept this short to not add to your burnout load. 🙂
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV)