In the quest for greatness, it’s easy to go too far and forget to rest. Working on that daily grind is great but be careful about burning out.
At the time I of writing this post, I feel exhausted like I’ve not taken a break in three weeks. I’ve had this momentum as I’ve begun following my new schedule to improve productivity. However, as I’ve started to slow down in my workouts, run out of blog post ideas and struggle to retain all the information I’m consuming, there’s signs I need to break.
What is happening?
This isn’t about taking a break from it all but breaking it up more. Taking things easier for a little while. Sometimes taking a full day out, or even a week off, can be beneficial to recover. However, in my case, it’s a little different. I am exhausted because I’ve been non-stop in the thinking about the next task. I complete one thing and then just move onto the next. When I’m taking a break via eating or just watching TV, there’s a thing in the back of my head telling me I need to be doing something else. That I have this, this and that to do still before I can relax for the day.
This way of thinking however isn’t always helpful for your well-being. Sure, I’m a lot more productive but then equally there’s a whole of self-placed guilt until I finish. The reason why I’ve been feeling guilty is that I’ve not had the same energy levels as when I first began. Lower levels has meant I’m still doing things, just slower. An expectation to do everything at the same speed all the time is ruining part of the fun. I still enjoy each activity, it’s just the in between activities that the negative creeps in.
As a result of my desire to be productive but guilt tripping when I’m not, I’ve unbalanced myself. So to bring myself back to the “I do it because I enjoy it, not because I have to” stage, I need to take a break. But this break is from the requirements, not from the tasks.
I think maybe I’ve started telling myself that I have to do these things. I’ve stopped telling myself that I get to do these things. It’s a privilege not a necessity. It’s a subtle but powerful difference.
My new necessary task has therefore been not to stop doing things that help me grow/learn/improve. It is to pick an activity on my list and do it at any time that I want, instead of the assigned time of day. I remind myself that this is something I actually enjoy doing, and also give the reasons why it’s beneficial. My break is from the structure not the tasks.
I already do this next part but also need to reinforce it: If it’s the case that I don’t complete everything, that’s okay. As long as I tried to have the best day I could have for that particular day, then there’s no reason to question it. The main thing is to enjoy your day. If I do that and it didn’t include my list of activities to complete, then that’s amazing!