Productivity: Simple Trick to Avoid Burnout

burnout productivity Feb 13, 2020

The last newsletter, I talked about the emotional response to doing more.

I mentioned the more we do, the more we open ourselves up to disappointment and hurt (catch the post by clicking here).

As complex as we think our emotional responses are, they really aren't!

They are quite primitive.

In many ways, it operates like a simple if-then switch

If we make a mistake or something doesn’t go our way, then release negative, discouraging emotions.

If we do something right or something goes our way, then release positive, encouraging ones.

That’s why a minor mistake can cloud our day.

We can do a hundred things right, but the one mistake be all we think about.

The mind is designed to dwell more on the negative and for longer

In fact, it is said it takes as much as 5 to 10 compliments to neutralize a criticism.

That’s because we are fragile beings in a world of threats, and even minor ones can have detrimental consequences.

Therefore, the mind pays more attention to threats or negative outcomes.

If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have survived.

What’s more, we live in a world where things are speeding up

We are doing more things, in less time, and bringing our A-game longer.

It’s exciting when things are working and we’re making progress, which motivate us to keep moving forward, push harder, and do even more.

Though there is a challenge to doing too much

The more we do, the more we open ourselves to mistakes

The more mistakes we make, the more often the mind releases feelings of disappointment, doubt, anger, criticism, and regret.

Again, the mind doesn’t look at everything else we’ve done or has gone right.

The one situation triggers the if-then switch to release a barrage of demotivating emotions.

This is what often leads to burn out

It’s not necessarily how hard we’ve worked or the stress we've endured.

But more exposure to the emotional effects of mistakes and things not going right.

More doing => more mistakes => more disappointments and criticism => burnout.

In fact, our stress stems not from the fear of an event or outcome, but our emotional response to the fear or outcome.

It fears how we’ll feel!

Be on a careful watch

This is a common pattern on the journey of growth and doing more.

We hit a wall or make a mistake, and the series of emotions the mind releases clouds everything else we’ve done or done right.

Unless we wipe away the cloud, it follows us into future actions and efforts, bringing with it the disappointment, doubt, and frustration.

Therefore, it’s important to keep our emotional responses in check.

Since our mind doesn’t look at everything else that’s gone right, we need to do so for it.

Anytime this happens, take inventory

Immediately take inventory of everything else you’ve done right.

It helps to sit in front of a notebook and detail all the ways you’ve shown up, including in other areas of your life – being a good partner, friend, being on time, keeping your cool.

Doing so releases the negative response or at the very least turns the volume down.

This will stave off burnout and keep you pushing stronger and longer.

Kam

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