In today’s go-go-go society, burnout is a prevalent theme. We’re told “if you give it your all, you will succeed” and “success is a measure of hard work”. So it’s no wonder why so many are pushing themselves to their braking point, giving up and burning out. I can absolutely relate to this. Right now, my life is pretty hectic. I’m sharing this with you all not for bragging rights or to say my life is “busier” than yours- we all have different capabilities and needs for free time. This isn’t a comparison game, this is just to share where I’m at.
I have a full time freelance position as a copywriter at a location that is an hour commute each way from my house. I also write freelance articles outside of that for extra income- usually an average of one or two a week. Between creating, photographing, editing and writing I spend about 3-4 hours on each blog post, and usually post about 3 times a week. Plus I like to do art projects on my own for fun that aren’t showcased- usually an hour or so a day. Scott and I go for an hour long walk or so daily- it’s our time to catch up with each other after a long work day. I have recently started working out with a trainer and my workouts last about 1 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Did I mention we are also renovating our entire house by ourselves? Oh yeah, we have friends and family and dogs too.
Typically I will leave our house at 7 am for work and get home after working out around 7:30 or 8pm. Then I spend an hour with my hubby, write my blog post and go to bed by 11-but the earlier the better. Cause if I am being honest, I am a little exhausted these days.
But not burned out. Why?
Cause I have a secret- I get 27 hours in a day instead of 24. Just kidding. 🙂 But here are some things that I think have really helped me keep pace and stay focused.
1) Keep your eye on the prize.
For example, why am I doing all this extra freelance writing, on top of writing full time and writing a blog? Because we are going to Europe in July- for three weeks! And we want to have an incredible, unbelievable kick-ass time. It will be pricey if we do everything we want to do- so to pay for it in cash, and not go into debt on credit cards, (been there- done that, hello Mexico 2010), we are both working hard to generate extra income. Scott is doing tutoring after school for an hour or so, and I spend a couple hours a week writing freelance. We get our checks and put all the extra money in an account that we won’t touch until July. Yeah it’s a little hard sometimes to give those extra hours but when we are lounging under the Eiffel Tower, drinking a cafe au lait with a croissant au chocolate, I won’t be remembering the hard part- I’ll get to really enjoy!
2) Think short term.
When I am doing a workout with my trainer, and my thighs are burning and my booty is shaking so hard and sweat is in my eyes and I feel like I might die right there- I think short term. Really short term. I’ll tell you all a secret…during my workouts, when I get tired, I just fantasize…about my protein shake. Yup. Lame as it is- I just think how good that cold almond milk with that vanilla protein powder mixed in will taste. I build it up so much in my head that I practically convince myself it tastes just like a vanilla milkshake. (It doesn’t). With our house, we think of things in stages- we don’t think “it’s gonna take us 6 months to have a working kitchen”, we tell ourselves, “in 2 weeks we will be ready to install the floors!”. If I allowed myself to think of every single thing our house project encompassed, I would’ve ran away screaming. I’m still here. 🙂
3) Reevaluate for each season.
This is a tough one, but a good one. There is a reason God made seasons. Yes, scientifically, but it’s also a way to look at life. There are seasons of life where it’s appropriate to do one thing, and at the next season, that thing may end. I know that I can’t workout 1 1/2 a day forever. There’s going to be an end to this season at some point- who knows why- kids, finances, broken legs (hope not!), whatever. But since I can workout this season- I want to hit it hard while I can.
4) Choose what- and who- you invest in wisely.
During busy seasons you will only have so much free time to spend with people. So choose to spend it with the people that really fill you up and encourage you- people that pursue you and people you enjoy being around. Be a good friend and make sure you reciprocate as well. 🙂 When I was younger I always wanted to be around big groups and large crowds, but now that I’m older and have less love-capacity, I crave smaller groups and one-on-one time with people. Sadly, when I stopped pursuing people- calling, asking them to hang out, etc, they never reached out to me. It’s sad but also in a way good to see who is a “true friend”. Sometimes growing up is hard. Boo.
5) Work hard- but play hard too!
Fridays are my rest days from working out. I jokingly tell my friends “I’m gonna rest SO HARD. Ya’ll will just have to wheel me around the office in my chair.” But seriously- on Fridays, I don’t work out. I might go for a leisurely walk with Scott and our dogs, but that’s really it. I don’t feel guilty about laying around. I relish it. I enjoy it. I use that extra time to spend with my husband, watch movies, do art, whatever I want. Right now watercolor and calligraphy are my favorite. It’s so fun!
I also love to have a few hours to relax, lay outside and read books. The weather will only be so pretty for so long, so I’m soaking it up as long as I can. 🙂 LONG LIVE SPRING!
So, that’s how I’m coping with the busyness of this season. Do you guys have any more tips to share? I want to hear! 🙂