Last week I came to a realization. I was on the verge of burning out.
Who would have thought? Its not like I was super busy, was I? Yet every morning I was waking up tired and every day was a struggle to focus. Unintentionally I was placing myself under a lot of pressure for no good reason other than in the name of “productivity”. And for what? Because I wanted to be successful? Thats a small part.
I look at people like Dona Sarkar and Elon Musk and we are told “they have the same 24 hours as you do and look at all they accomplish”. And so instead of seeing their methods of going after one giant project at a time and having a sole focus, I decided that a bunch of my giant projects need to be all done now!
For instance, my typical day looked like this…
Wake up at 5am, cook a yummy breakfast of eggs and spinach, journal my thoughts from the day before, organize my daily To-Do list (which I still highly advocate), try do some stretches, prep lunches and stuff for gym. Then I would leave home. Get to work at 7 (ish), and work till about twelve. Now at the job I am currently doing, sitting down is a luxury. We have that quiet period between seven and seven thirty, and then its all go. On an average day, I’ll do about 20+ floors according to my Fitbit and get to sit for an hour total. Lunch would roll around and I’d grab my lunch and then study or keep up with the world of tech at my desk. Which is a terrible idea. You are constantly open to interruptions. So you can never focus on one thing with 100%. Repeat the morning until 3:30 (which will normally be extended to 3:45 anyways), head to gym and this is the only disconnected hour of my day. Dealing with injuries and rehab, its basically gone from building muscle to a nice boring hour or stretch and bend. After gym, its home and time to cook dinner. After dinner, we might go off to podcast until 10pm or go to the Church group we are co-leaders in. If we stay home, then its more study (Simone has EIT and I am doing my MCSA), and then some research (read: gaming) for the podcast. And then collapsing into bed at 10 or 11pm. In-between all this, I’ll be trying to run the social media for the podcast, be active in the Windows Insider community, and keep up with all my other interests.
So yeah. Slightly busy. Add to this, I had no time off work since the 3rd of January. And now I can see why I was burning out. Sure, there are people that have a more hectic lifestyle and good for them. I am sure they can manage it. I just found mine to be unsustainable.
What have I done to negate these effects? Because surely I have done something by now, right?
I have stopped my early mornings for this week. Someone else can deal with the morning rush. I’ll go into work later and stay later if it means I get to have a sleep in till 7. It also opens up time for me to go to gym in the morning and take it easy rather than have to get done by 5pm because of the gym-horde. I am also able to listen to music or podcasts in the morning, and just generally have a more relaxed way of greeting the day. I have also stopped (just temporarily) using my To-Do list. I would put 5 or 6 things on it every day and get to tick off 4 and feel like I failed or didn’t maximize my time during the day. I still journal, and now every entry doesn’t start off with “I am tired. I need a change”. Simone and I have also decided that our Church Discussion Group can be moved to every two weeks, its no big train smash.
Its been 4 days since starting the experiment. And so far, I have noticed the benefits. Blogging in the morning being one of them. But next week, we’re back to normal. And I fear, back to normal.
If you’re looking to me for answers, well I don’t have any.