Prevent Burnout With Time Audits: Part Two
- Prevent Burnout With Time Audits: Part One
- Prevent Burnout With Time Audits: Part Two
If you missed the first part of this post, I recommend you read part one and do the time audit first. Once you’ve completed your audit, you’re aware of what in your life is fueling you and what is draining you. Now what? The following steps will assist you in creating more balance in your life.
Assess Your List
Did your list contain equal amounts of activities that boost and drain your energy, or did you have a predominance of one type? Neutral items are fine, but take note if you have more items depleting you than ones fueling you. Will power is limited. You can only force yourself to perform actions that drain so many times before you’re burned out.
The next time you do a reassessment, check to see if you’ve made improvements and have fewer items that drain you. The goal is not to give up everything you don’t like. Finding a balance that works for you is the goal.
Add More Gives
Don’t stress yourself by adding five new things to your calendar. Think about how you could incorporate more activities that bring you joy and happiness. This may include solo self-care rituals like a bubble bath, getting a massage, going for a walk alone, or reading a favorite book. If you thrive on social time, coffee with a friend, cooking classes, or group yoga may be more pleasurable.
Find items on your list which fuel you that you can do more often. For example, if you love painting but only pick up a brush once a month, can you try doing painting twice a month or more? Remember what you enjoyed before the busy job and kids invaded your schedule. Maybe you miss playing tennis or going to art galleries. And don’t forget to daydream about the online coding course you’ve always wanted to try or the second language you want to learn. Keep them on a shortlist to try as long as they give you energy rather than feel like a burden.
Find one thing you can either add to your list or something you can spend more time doing each week. Choose something simple and inexpensive to avoid excuses not to do it.
Reframe The Drains
We all must perform tasks we don’t love. But, we can often transform activities from depleting to neutral. This gives you more energy to do other tasks you want in your life.
Find an item on your list you feel drained after completing. Can you pair this with something enjoyable? For example, if you hate filling out repetitive paperwork at your office, is there a humorous coworker you can talk with while doing the task? Listening to upbeat music or watching your favorite television show while you clean the house or exercise can instantly make them more enjoyable.
Is there a reason certain tasks on your list drain you? Look for items you procrastinate on performing. What’s keeping you from doing it? Anxiety, anger, and other emotions may cause you to feel depleted at the mere thought of a certain activity. How do you feel thinking about the weekly meetings with your boss or sitting through another six-hour baseball tournament?
I work with many individuals to heal these patterns through an emotional resolution to help them have more peace and neutrality. It’s amazing how our reactions shift when we let go of old patterns no longer serving us. If you notice items that cause a strong emotional reaction, consider digging deeper or getting help to resolve the root cause.
Burnout is real and too prevalent in our society. We burden ourselves with to-do lists filled with things to make us feel productive, but which steal our energy and our health. Grant yourself the gift of exchanging one unfulfilling item with one that fulfills you. No one else will do it for you. Be selfish. Take care of yourself so you can live more joyfully.