Early last week I checked in on one of my closest friends around the issue of burning out. It’s something that many of us deal with but few really get a handle on – at least in a sustainable way. The phrase “work-life balance” hits us upside the head quite a bit doesn’t it? Especially for those of you who are overachievers (I plead the fifth!), it can sometimes be confusing to think about which aspect of your fulfillment/responsibility you should focus on at any given moment.
To be honest, I don’t think there really can be a balance when you’re fired up about building something or creating things of impact. But more of a constant ebb and flow of seasons that are aligned with your body of work, responsibilities and (most importantly) people that are closely tied to your ability to see the bigger picture/keep you recharged. If you’re reading this, then you most likely feel that you have a purpose to build and maintain something of substance in our society – you want to contribute to something. Which is of course, fantastic, I feel the same way. But often times that sense of purpose leads to frustration if you’re constantly feeling like you’re on the verge of burning out from too many demands of your time.
So what do you do? During my conversation, I told my friend that when you produce great work, people want you to do more for them — they see opportunity to benefit from it in some way. Not an inherently bad thing in itself. However, you still need to keep doing your great thing, continue your learning. Still want to have an impact, stay engaged with your family and friends as well as have margin to enjoy life? You need to actively schedule your life and have boundaries. No question about it. Here’s the thing: by not putting boundaries around what matters to you, what matters to others will constantly slip in to attempt to take priority. Notice the word attempt there. Doesn’t have to happen.
Stay tuned for a blog post on how I get this done (trust me, it’s always a work in progress).