Staying Productive When Burnout Strikes

Burnout is something everyone struggles with at one point or another. That overwhelming feeling of knowing what you need to do, but having no drive to do it. You just want to lie in bed and watch YouTube videos on your phone.

I fell into this trap a little this week. Slowing down from my usual frantic pace. I found myself struggling to come up with ideas or get even tasks as simple as getting an email sent.

During this time, I still managed to keep the most important things moving forward despite my mental fatigue. Let me tell you how.


Nano Tasks

I’m a big believer in planning. Planning something well helps make the task at hand a million times easier. When I’ve planned something out, I then break the overall goals into habits I can act on daily to always be moving towards what I want to achieve.

But when burnout strikes, it’s almost impossible to imagine getting these tasks done.

Instead of getting overwhelmed, when I’m feeling shitty, I take my usual habit and break it down even further to the smallest possible action that can be made.

Momentum is everything when it comes to following through on your plans. So when it comes to those hard time where you feel you can’t get your usual expected task completed; take that task and do just the first small step of it.

By doing this, you ensure that at least some progress is made and you don’t break your habit of activity. A potential bonus that happens as part of this exercise is that you are sparked back into action by seeing the foundations of work come into place.

In taking the things you usually do and cutting them down to their smallest and simplest possible form, you learn how to split things into nano tasks.

These tiny actions are fantastic to keep streaks going, or to kickstart things into life when you’re not feeling 100%.


The War of Attrition

Things aren’t always easy. There will be days where you want to say “fuck it” and make a post cancelling what you’re working on. But these are the moments you need the be strongest.

By taking action through smaller steps, you fight the war of attrition how it was meant to be fought. One step at a time.


This is Not the Cure

While the nano tasks help you get going in times of need, they can’t be used as a regular system. Not enough action would be taken, and if you continue too long trying to work when burnt out and chipping away with small tasks, you’ll pay for it.

So use these tips for that extra boost when you need to keep a steak going or get something important over the line. But remember to take time away and have a break when you can.

That time away will give you the mental space needed to make your very best work.


Until next time,
Jamie

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