I make it a point to do some serious reflecting.
As part of my reflection process, I take a hard look at “burnout.
Burnout feels like you’ve hit a wall.
Every entrepreneur has felt the frustration of burnout. It happens at the end of the day, at the end of your week, or even in a few short hours. Burnout isn’t always this big catastrophic event where your life suddenly resembles a one-sided seesaw.
Burnout happens in the small moments too. One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is what causes burnout — specifically, what causes it to happen in those small intervals where all of a sudden you feel like you don’t want to do anything at all (even if you need to).
Burnout is the result of a lack of input.
Transitions are what causes the most burnout. When you’re working in any given area, it’s important to do a good job at that work and then shift. Each activity in itself is not necessarily what causes tiredness or a lack of motivation.
Actually, the opposite is true: each activity, once you get into the flow, feels good. I think that you are clear about your focus, and you don’t have a problem remaining focused for a long time. The exhaustion comes when you just stop doing one thing and immediately begin doing another. There are a lot of transitions.
If you want to prevent burnout forever, this 1 habit is all you need.
Separate each output activity with a few small moments of input. You know it’s going to be tough when you look at the clock after a long day and realize. After a morning of working, don’t check your phone during lunch. When you break down a big goal into small successes, a series of small inputs creates a moment of output.
Instead, what most people do is they compound activity after activity, until they have no more output left.
We entrepreneurs work 9 out of 10 hours of the day in “output” mode. Most of our society (including us) spends 90% of their days in output mode.
We’re on the phone, and then we’re answering emails, and then we’re having meetings, and then we’re doing the work, and then we’re doing more work, and then we’re catering to other people, and then we’re checking our email again.
I just don’t understand why we’re not able to pause for a moment to give ourselves a transition, in between these seemingly endless lists.
Where’s the input?
That’s a habit to live by. It’s the most important habit of all, this habit of input-focused transitions. You should avoid doing just one thing all the time. You should schedule your day so that you’re not just focused on.
You need to eat lunch, don’t you? What if you never slept either? Human survival requires basic inputs, which means it is essential to get enough water, food, and air to sustain us. Productivity is hard. But it doesn’t have to be impossible.