Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dealing with Burnout: Reset, Revitalise, Refocus

I am completely burned out at the moment.  There I said it.  I have been trying to work out how to write this blog post for the last week and I always seemed to start it but never have a great way of introducing the topic.  When I sat down today to write this post I figured that I would just tell you how and why I burned out and what I am going to do to get myself back on track.

Why did I burn out?

I took on too much...

An entrepreneur friend of mine inspired me greatly with the amount of things that we can do if we only realised how much time we had in each day.  It was a great idea and it worked wonders for me - over the last year I've done more than I could ever have imagined possible...but I'm now tired!

A quick list of things I have been doing:

  • Working a reasonably intensive job (not as bad as investment banking but still 10 - 11 hour days)
  • Writing 2 blogs in my spare time
  • Planning a wedding
  • Travelling - I think I went overseas 4 times last year
  • Attempting to have a 'full' social life (I have all my weekends for the next 2 months booked out...and it has been like this for a long time)
  • Trying to get into shape (gym 4 times a week)
  • A bunch of different hobbies with weekly commitments
  • Maintaining relationships with my fiancee and family
There are probably people out there who could do all of this on a consistent basis and never blink...but trying to do this has really taken it's toll on me and as I've gotten more tired I've dropped the ball in several departments including this blog.

...and I haven't been resting...

Getting sufficient rest and resetting is important.  I know this but I'm the type of person who does not rest easily.  If there is a gap in time I'm going to try and fill it with something that I want to get done.  If I have a free night I want to catch up with someone who I haven't seen in a while.  Even when I'm on holiday I find it very hard to relax - I have to see everything!

...but at least I caught it early

This is not the first time that I have burned out.  The last time it happened I was working in Investment Banking and working crazy hours.  The feeling and mental effects were all too familiar: I was constantly tired and lost the motivation to do absolutely anything...but unlike last time where I didn't realise what was going on for months this time I caught it relatively quickly.

How do I get back on track?

As the heading of this post suggests, getting back on track requires resetting, revitalising and refocusing on what I want to do and what is important.

How to reset and revitalise

Resetting and revitalising is what I need to do up front.  It involves getting a bit of rest and cutting back in a big way the things that I am doing.  I need to give myself nights to rest during the week and to sleep an appropriate amount.  No more nights where I think that 4 - 5 hours will be enough and that I can just 'push through' the next day.

I wish I could take some leave from work to give myself a proper break but I'm saving it for my honeymoon later in the year.  I'm going to have to be more disciplined with what I commit to in the near term as I recover.

Then comes the refocusing

Clearly what I had been doing is not sustainable so I need to spend time working out where I want my efforts to go.  Perhaps there are some things that will need to be put on the back-burner for the near term (while I am planning my wedding). I'm not sure what these are just yet but it is a process that I need to go through.

In the near term I'm probably going to be posting less on this blog (but don't worry - it's not going anywhere) as I try to sort everything out but I will keep you up to date on how it is all going.

You May Also Be Interested In


  1. Good to hear you've acknowledged this 90M, I know where you are coming from with the social activities as well!

    From my perspective, what are your thoughts on thinking about if you enjoy doing all the activities? If you do then could always keep going.. What I realised though is that by racing around and trying to please everyone, I ended up not really being able to have time for myself, the quote less is more is something I've looked to apply..

    Interested to hear how it keeps going! :)

    1. Hey Jef - for me the problem arose because I already had a very full life and then tried to stick organising a wedding on top of that. I've been trying to balance everything for about 4 months now and I really couldn't manage it.

      I, like you, love all the activities that I am doing so didn't really want to give anything up. Luckily I'm having quite a short engagement so it looks like I'll be able to pick everything right back up after the wedding.