Today’s post will be like my current thoughts – s c a t t e r e d.
Yesterday you were able to read how I felt a surge of motivation on Friday and how that kept me productive and efficient throughout the weekend. It is a pleasure to say that feeling still continues. (I cross my fingers and toes so that state lasts as long as it can before I get punctured and deflate.)
On Saturday I found myself waking up and heading straight towards work. Not the place where I earn money, but tasks on my to-do list plastered all over my brain. I prepared breakfast, and while I was waiting for my boiling hot tea to cool off a bit so I would not scorch my tongue, I was able to tackle one or two of the small items from the list. Then, I sat down, ate, and got back up again to go do more stuff. That is rather unusual for me because I often use Saturday breakfast as an excuse to watch or read something. And then I finish eating, but the show/ movie/ book just goes on and I lose quite a bit of time.
Not this time. This time I was up and running the moment I finished chewing the last bite of my meal. Washed it down with some tea and went off to conquer the world. As I try to be conscious of what goes on inside my head whenever I can, a slight alarm went off. It was Saturday. I just worked the whole week, came home on Friday and did some chores and now I proceeded to do some more. Burnout came to mind. Some of you might be rolling your eyes because you are always on the go, but I like to relax immediately after I get back from work on Friday. If that is not possible, I take it easy on Saturday morning. This time my wheels were still turning and so I paused.
Burnout is a rather fashionable word to use nowadays. I am sure you have heard it before, but just to remind you – it happens when you run out of fuel. It occurs when stress and demand takes a toll on you mentally and physically. Some professions seem more prone to it than others.
The top 10 professions with the highest levels of burnout include:
- Social Worker.
- School Principal.
- Police Officer.
- Fast food worker.
- Retail worker.
The truth is that it can happen to anyone at any time and place if we are not helpful. Do you not think stay-at-home moms could experience burnout? Anything that requires any kind of effort puts you in danger. If you would like, you can search for a burnout test online and see if you meet the criteria should you feel so inclined. The first link I found is from Psychology Today and you can find it here.
Back to me. For a split second, I wondered if diving right into work on a weekend was a good idea. I wondered if maybe there was a small version of burnout waiting right around the corner. I metaphorically peaked behind the corner and saw nothing. No immediate danger. Safe to proceed. I am familiar with burnout and it is not a state I enjoy being in. Once you get to know it, you never fully recover. Like an addict, you relapse every now and again if you are not careful. It seems like it takes less and less to experience it the second (or third, or fourth) time around, so be wary.
However, I realized that if I threaded carefully because I was worried about burnout, I would not accomplish much and I would just coast through the weekend. To me, a weekend with just neutrality, without positive emotions is a wasted one, because it does not jump-start me for the week to come. And then the week just seems to make me more miserable. I find that a tiring weekend can be more fueling than a lazy one sometimes. A lot hinges on what goes on in your head. If you are happy – things are good. If you are just … there, then things will get stale real quick.
That motivation from the weekend is still within me. While I am cautious, I decided to capitalize on the way I feel because it does not happen too often. Because it has not happened in a while. So what did I do yesterday? I almost went crazy. Well, I use this term very loosely here. If you imagine someone sitting in the middle of the room, with papers all around them, feverishly scribbling something on the wall, you would be picturing a scene from my life. No, not entirely. But as a writer (!?!?), I like to exaggerate sometimes.
I felt a kick in the butt, or maybe a fire was lit under my behind. One way or another, I decided to pull out a piece of paper and write all the things I wanted to do … SOON. Most of those things are related to blogging and other writings. I soon realized that simply writing a to-do list will not do, because those were items I wanted to make my habit. Those take a while to form. So I printed out a calendar to strategically plan in those actions. But then I wanted to be more specific and assign time slots to those actions. So I worked on an excel spreadsheet for that. Long story short – I found myself with a lot of ideas, but unsure of how to put everything into action. It is not easy to fill your already full schedule. What do you do when you have a lot of ideas swirling in your head and you want to get them out into the open?
It surprised me a little to see myself trying so hard to plan and organize because I like to improvise a lot. You just never know what you are going to come up with on the spot. But then, I reminded myself of other instances in which I plan – travel. It occurred to me that freestyling is alright unless I actually want something accomplished FOR SURE and in a specific time frame. Are you a planner or do you like doing things on the fly?
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