It’s no secret that we as a society have glamorized overwork. A thriving culture that asks ‘if you aren’t putting in 80 hour weeks at the office under a framed “rise & grind” poster, what exactly are you doing with your life?”
Which is exactly why I’m still ruminating over a conversation that I had with Rachel Pitts on a recent episode of Women Your Mother Warned You About where she quoted Tim Grover, best-selling author and athlete, and encouraged us to replace “grind” and “grinding” with “build” and “building.” Offering the explanation, “when people talk about the grind, when you grind something, you’re grinding it down, sometimes to nothing. You’re grinding away, you’re destroying it as you go along.”
Obviously the term ‘building’ has a very different meaning, one with more positive connotations. It’s similar to when life coaches and those super positive Instagram influencers tell you to start everyday with “I get to” instead of “I have to” because it changes your perspective. The language you use to describe your day, yourself, your life, has a huge impact on your consciousness.
Tim Grover would go on to say “it’s about purpose, [learn] how to say no to opportunities and take more time for [yourself].”
The goal? To avoid burnout obviously.
Many of us struggle with taking on too much work because we fail to set realistic expectations for our workload. But how? Below I’ve compiled a list of my favorite burnout prevention tactics. You know, so you don’t end up shaving your head, overdosing on amphetamines and attacking people on the street with your umbrella or something.
5 Tips to Thwart Burnout
- Find work-life harmony – or in the words of Dan Price “I would burn out way faster working five hours a day at a job that was hurting my soul than I would working 15 hours a day at a job that’s feeding my soul.” Essentially the easiest way to avoid burnout is to do something you’re passionate about with a team that you care about.
- Schedule free time – if you don’t already know I’m a big proponent of ‘what gets scheduled gets done’ and am often guilty of scheduling every minute of every day with client meetings, prospecting work and brainstorming sessions that I forget to block time off for myself. A nap in your car, a yoga class, eating lunch away from your desk, hiding in the back of your closet where your kids can’t find you for 15 whole minutes – whatever free time looks like for you, block time off on your schedule for it.
- Change your environment – this one has been one of my favorites as of recently. I’ve always worked from home to some extent, as most small business owners do at some point. That obviously changed to full time during the pandemic and I about lost my mind. Always having to report to the same workplace or even worse, never being able to leave work because your office is your kitchen table can prove to be problematic. This is why I started reporting to the Sales Gravy offices in person on occasion. It not only always me to reconnect to my team but also changes up my scenery allowing my work to feel fresh and me to feel reinvigorated.
- Take a nap – listen to me, naps are not just for kindergarten classrooms. Skip that afternoon latte and close your eyes for 26 minutes. Why 26? Because NASA says so and they seem like a pretty cool authority to listen to.
- Take a vacation and fully unplug – so admittedly I stole this some other list I found on different ways to avoid burnout and since I can’t remember the last real vacation I took I’m adding it to my list so that maybe because it’s scheduled it will actually get done!
Do you have other tips or tricks you’re using to avoid burnout? I’d love to hear them!
Want to listen to the full episode? Listen HERE! A rogue episode where things got a bit personal and we touch on how to move through times of emotional struggle and grief, ways to prioritize and how to get unstuck simply by ‘doing the next thing.’