Beware of the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

Many times people are stuck in their mediocre lives and careers because they won’t slow down long enough to figure out what truly matters.  Other times they use their busyness as a form of numbing and avoidance to take action.  Insert a vicious circle here.  Like many overachievers stuck in a rut, are you juggling a gazillion balls in the air?  A better question is, are you addicted to busy?  When asked, “How are you?” might your responses include; busy, swamped, or explicative buried?

In a 2013 Harvard Medical School Study, 96% of leaders report they are burned out to some degree, 1/3 rank it as extreme.  Let’s agree to stop being addicted to busy.  I’ll pass along some great advice from my Mother, who was tired of my self-imposed insanity.  She said, “You make your own schedule.”  Well, how’s that for brutal honesty?

Recovery begins with fully acknowledging that you are in charge of your time.  I get it.  There’s work, parenting, caregiving, volunteering, school, chores, and sleep.  Sleep you ask, what’s that?  I’ve discovered the key is not how you manage your time, but how you manage your energy and if you give yourself permission to drop a few balls.

Paula Davis Laack, an international stress and resilience expert, offers an extensive Blueprint for Burnout Prevention on her website outlining six powerful strategies and techniques to effectively self-coach your way back to sanity.  Download Paula’s helpful tips and workbook.

  1. Manage your energy, not your time: Create recovery rituals, 5-10 minute breaks every 90-120 minutes. Know your six sources of thriving; positivity, engagement, relationships, meaning, achievement and health
  2. Clear the mental clutter: Identify the mindsets that undercut your happiness; people-pleasing, judgment, lack of self-care
  3. Let go of perfection: Build shame resilience, stop being a maximize, and settle for ‘good enough’
  4. Stay plugged in: Change your job without leaving your job; optimize the job you have, develop quality connections, reorder your day
  5. Develop authenticity: Ignore the critics and identify the happiness myths you buy into that begin with, “I’ll be happy when…”
  6. Believe that you can produce results: Develop self-efficacy by keeping a list of your ‘wins’ and by all means, cultivate hope!

I encourage you to carve out time to design the life and career you imagine.  You have permission to nap often and drop a ball or two! Your sanity will thank you for it and so will your Mom.

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