Setting goals & being a boss - without the burnout
This summer has been a busy one for my family - between travel and business and trying to enjoy days at the pool. I’ve found myself frequently overwhelmed or rushing. My to-do list feels never-ending and I keep putting off things that I really want (and need) to do. Some days I have so much planned for once the kids are in bed, but when that time rolls around I feel paralyzed by my list and just veg out to Netflix instead. And while we definitely all need to take a break and rest regularly, taking a break doesn’t necessarily relieve the pressure. To do that you have to take a few steps back and begin by managing your lists and your time in a way that doesn’t take over your whole life. Changing the way you approach and think about all the things you need to do can truly be life changing!
Have you ever felt burnt out? Burnout is caused by a prolonged state of stress - from constant pressure and overwhelming feelings. It can weaken your immune system and cause you to get sick more often, it’s emotionally draining, and actually reduces your productivity! Even if you’ve never felt burnt out, it’s easy to imagine how these feelings would spill out into the rest of your life - affecting your relationships and home life. Here are some steps to help you set goals and stay organized - without burning out.
1. Be honest and reasonable with yourself to set goals that are actually achievable.
Are you going to be able to catch up on work, wash and fold all of your laundry, deep clean the kitchen, AND take your kids to the park all in one day? I’m sure some of you are capable, but for those like me this is not really realistic. I’ve found most success by creating a smaller to-do list and keeping less urgent items on the side for whenever I might find myself with extra time.
2. Use a planner - digital or paper. Write it all down!
You might think you’ll remember everything and you got it, but we all only have so much bandwidth. There’s no shame in using a tool to help you keep it all together. If you’ve always got your phone on you, try creating reminders or calendar alerts to keep you on track. If you’re more into paper, choose a planner you’re most likely to keep on hand and set aside time each day or week to write it all down.
3. Break it into smaller pieces.
Break large tasks into smaller pieces - beginning with the most urgent, followed by the tasks you’re avoiding, with the easiest/least urgent for last. If you need to spread these tasks out over a few days, then do it! I like to focus on just one large work task and one small home or family task each day (or vise versa). Remembering that the world will still go round even if I don’t do everything all at once is crucial for me - and splitting up large tasks into smaller pieces helps me remember that.
4. Readjust as needed.
Be flexible. Instead of getting stressed about all the “overdue” items in my planner, I like to just bump undone tasks to another day. Instead of feeling like a failure for leaving so much unfinished, I now have just rescheduled things. Just don’t do this infinitely. ;)
5. Give yourself grace.
Some days you just can’t do it all - but is doing it all worth the cost of your mental and physical health? Try to imagine other versions of the situation: if a coworker had a rough night with a teething babe and was struggling to keep up all day, you’d probably say “No worries - you’re doing your best” - right? Try to give yourself the same generosity and realize that others are probably not putting the same pressure on you that you’re putting on yourself.
Even though slow living is one of our family values, I can easily get caught up in the hustle. But lists like the one above help me refocus and recenter. It’s a work in progress, and that’s okay!
So next time you’re getting organized, put on our latest Spotify playlist and get down to work. And if you need more motivation, here’s one of our favorite podcasts on the topic.
Do you have any tips for staying productive without burning out? Share with us in the comments or on Instagram.
Looking for more resources for business, finance, or just life? Check out our resource guide here.