Why Slowing Down Isn’t The Key To Getting Through Burnout
Dr. Ashley Margeson
Doing more does not make you more productive, and slowing down does not fix your burnout. There. I said it. Burnout is a syndrome which encompasses fatigue, apathy and exhaustion. When we get in this state, many of us go “oh, I need to take a break”, “oh, I really need a vacation.” But this doesn’t fix it, it actually makes it worse.
So stop slowing down. Start being more productive to create more time to be.
Then, don’t fill the time.
Why? There is no race and there is no winning. So stop trying to “win” at something that can’t be won.
To be more productive, try these four options.
1. Turn off your notifications
One of the greatest things I have done for my wellbeing was to turn off all of my notifications on my phone. I constantly leave my phone on silent, forget it at home, put it in another room when I need to focus on something and remove my smart watch as well. Guess what, I no longer feel at the whim of my phone. I still get all of my messages, and I get them all in my own time. It was hard at first. I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to respond to people straight away. Until I realised that was the problem in the first place. If people need to get in contact urgently they can call me on my phone — but it is rare that any message I get needs to be responded to within the first 5 seconds of receiving it.
2. Surround yourself with like minded people
If everyone you surround yourself with is go-go-go-go-go; what do you think you’ll end up doing? The exact same thing. It didn’t seem possible to slow down when everything around me suggested I should be speeding up. Fortunately for me, once I got into the slowing down headspace I discovered I wasn’t alone. It has made it so much easier to grow our business, pay attention (actively pay attention) to our kids and spend time with each other when we’re not trying to keep up with the Jonses.
3. Understand that Self Care isn’t Selfish
Learning this was so important. You’ve heard my opinions on this on the podcast too. It seems obvious, but I don’t think it is an idea which is particularly prevalent in our society. It can easily seem that putting yourself and your time first is a selfish thing to do, when there are so many people relying on you to get things done. However, that is the fast track to burnout. The best way you can help others and be more reliable is to be comfortable with creating time and space for yourself. That was you will have so much more energy and enthusiasm for everything you do.
4. Recognize that every time you’re saying “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else.
This is the one that I started with, and it’s made everything else easier. I was that person who could always be counted on to get stuff done, help out, etc. But guess what, that easily lead to burnout. Once I changed my perspective, I had so. much. more. time. Not because I was saying no to something, but because I was actively saying yes to the things that truly fed my soul.
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