When your gas light comes on, you don’t floor it. You stop for gas.
Before you get completely burnt out, there are signs. Indicators that you need to refuel. Most of the time, those indicators come in the form of decreased productivity or efficiency. So what do a lot of us do half the time? We work harder to compensate!
That makes as much sense as flooring it when the gas light comes on.
One of the problems I see is that for a lot of people, they don’t actually know what refuels them. They default to “not working,” but for a lot of people (myself included!) that makes us feel worse. Lazing around my house doesn’t refuel me at all.
What refuels me, specifically, is productive time spent on something totally self-indulgent – but productive nonetheless. Tinkering with my camping loadout. Organizing my board game shelf. Building a piece of furniture that I want. Stuff like that. When I come away from that, I feel totally refreshed and ready to floor it again.
It took a while to figure that out, though. Like lots of people, I assumed that if I was feeling burnt out, what I needed was just rest. So I would set aside a day to do nothing… and feel like garbage.
Some people need “R&R.” Other people recharge with social activity. Still others renew themselves with a physical reward of some kind. There are plenty of different ways to fuel up. But the one thing that never works is putting the pedal to the metal and trying to make it on fumes. The fumes run out. Fuel up.