Continuing our theme of sharpening our saw and resting before we get tired, let’s figure out how to avoid burnout.
Tal Ben-Shahar wrote a great book on how to quit being a perfectionist. He tells us that the root cause of fatigue, anxiety, depression and burnout in the corporate world “is not hard work; the problem is insufficient recovery.”
Think about that for a moment.
The problem isn’t that we WORK too hard per se. It’s that we don’t RECOVER enough.
That’s a really powerful distinction.
Which, of course, begs the question: Are YOU recovering enough?
Tal recommends we think about recovery on three levels: Micro + Mid + Macro.
Micro-level recoveries include things like taking a 15-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes.
Mid-level recoveries include things like making sure you have a shut-down complete that helps you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night and that you take at least a day off every week.
Macro-level breaks include taking 2-4 weeks off every year.
Let’s do a quick inventory. How are we doing?
Micro? Mid? Macro?
Personally, I’m pretty good at the Micro- and Mid-level breaks. And, I’m pretty terrible at the Macro-level. (Hah. Needs work!)
How about you?
Where are you rocking it? Celebrate that.
And, where can you Optimize just a little more? Get on that.
Remember: It’s not that we work too hard. It’s that we don’t recover enough!
Here’s to having fun going hard and an equal amount of fun recovering deeply.