by Paul Casey

Guest Blog by Michael Levitt on Your Choice to Burn Out–or Not!

We live in a world where we have instant access to EVERYTHING. We can order something from our phone, and pick it up or have it delivered exactly when we want it, without getting up off our ergonomic office chair.

We have more choices than our previous generation had access to, but yet, we are stressed out, maxed out, and bouncing around trying to find our purpose.

We are more connected than ever, but as a society we are disconnected from each other. How many of you eat at a dining room table? Do you even have one?

How many hours are you using your smartphone each day? If you have an iBinky like me, turn on the Screen Time app. If you are in the Android camp, there’s apps to track your usage. You will be alarmed how much you’re on the phone.

Always connected, always doing things, full of energy and scheduling every minute of your day.

You’re on the highway to burnout.

Millennials, Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and solopreneurs (one-person shops) put in some insane hours in the beginning of their companies, in order to reach the success levels they so richly deserve.

Often times entrepreneurs are wearing hats that do not fit them. They do this because they aren’t willing/ready/able to spend some funds up front to get things moving along.

Entrepreneurs burn out and often walk away from their businesses before they reach the success levels they so longed to reach. They give up just before things “take off” in their business.

Have an off-switch for work. Schedule your work days to match your energy levels, but don’t work more than 7-8 hours per day, and take weekends off as much as possible. If that’s not possible, then take 2 days off during a 7-day period. Your productivity drops off dramatically, and studies are showing that people typically only are productive 3-4 hours per day.

Sooooo, maybe schedule your day to work a 5-hour shift, and see how productive and focused you can be.

Another way to fight off burnout is to take vacations. Not just one, but several vacations. If you don’t take a break, you WILL break.

Another common recommendation about beating burnout is getting more sleep.

We are hearing more and more that each of us need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. However, that sleep for many isn’t quality sleep.

We hear the importance of sleep in our complete health. Our bodies heal while we are sleeping, from the damage that we do to our bodies (both intentional and unintentional) throughout our waking hours.

Lack of sleep significantly increases the chances of chronic diseases, fatigue, mistakes, emotional and physical challenges, etc.

We each go through stages of sleep and sleep cycles, but what’s crucial is that we have as much uninterrupted sleep as possible.

Too often, people are either not getting enough sleep, or not restful sleep.

Another tip on keeping burnout at bay is to journal. I’m a big fan of journaling. It allows you to get what is in your head, onto paper, so that you can review it later and see where you are today, compared to when you wrote your note.

Journaling your challenges and stressful situations is helpful, as it can provide clues as to what’s causing the stress in your life, and give hints to how to reduce (or hopefully eliminate) those stressful times.

There are reasons why you are not resting when you sleep. The key is to determine what those reasons are, so that you can deal with those causes head on.

Did you know burnout is a choice? You chose it.

You choose to do too much for others, and not enough for ourselves.

We almost never say no when someone asks something of us.

We suck (like I did) at delegation.

We become overwhelmed and spread our lives too thin.

If you’re burned out, it didn’t happen overnight. There isn’t a magic pill, a get-more-sleep post, etc. that will immediately cure you. It took time for burnout to appear, and it will take time to undo what created your burnout in the first place.

The key is to figure out your behaviors and choices that led to your burnout.

Visit for guidance on how to do that.

Be well!

Michael Levitt  CEO, Breakfast Leadership, Inc.


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