Any fuel for burnout? Nope, eco only.

Why don’t we get burned out on vacations? Why is there a difference in energy expenditure between leisure and labor activities? A growing number of external challenges (e.g. always connected, overtasked, unclear future, etc.) — does drain some people, but not others.

The answer may be offered by often unnoticed destructive emotions linked to gain-oriented activities. Or rather our perceived dependency on their outcomes.

Is it overtasking? Or our reaction to it?

A tremendous amount of our mental energy is wasted on spirals of underlying worries, controlling thoughts, reactions to people and undesired scenarios. E.g. it is not the stream of incoming emails that overwhelms us, but numerous destructive emotions that go unchecked with it: the fear of missing important emails/demonstrating incompetence/getting fired, anger followed by depression due to an inability to cope, clinging to money, a good position, etc. If neglected and stockpiled, these emotional undercurrents may lead to stress, anxiety and burnout.

However, the tasks we miss, cannot deliver or do not like do not have to drain our energy. It is us who turn these neutral actions into energy black holes. Or rather they are caused by the habitual responses of our mind we have left unchecked.

The state for effective time-management

Our inability to adequately respond to overtasking is also largely caused by unchecked emotions. We cannot say “no”, properly prioritize, establish scope boundaries or delegate.

Destructive emotions interfere with our ability to define an acceptable and effective workload. Our choice of tasks, tools, interactions with people, any external logistics are compromised by obvious emotions and underlying motivations.

 

Caring for our state of mind may, indeed, seem an excessive burden which our busy schedules cannot accommodate. However, it may offer the answers we seek to prioritize and manage our workload sensibly.


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