B Is For Burnout

I don’t know about you, but I’m currently going through a particularly stressful time. We’re all sharing a stressful global event right now, and the media ensured that many people are panicked and scared about it. This is when they should have calmed people down so they are able to make good decisions. But anyway. For me, personally, my workload quadrupled during February and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down… Unless I told a few people to replicate and copulate, but I don’t want to hurt other peoples’ feelings so I won’t. That’s why B is for Burnout. I’m on the brink of burnout, and I want to research and implement ways to prevent full-scale burnout. So I figured that I might as well write an article about it. If you’re here, you probably want to know more, so read on! 

First things first, full transparency. I have no idea how to deal with burnout so I’m searching for techniques while writing this article. Please don’t see me as some kind of expert, since I only seem to be an expert in burning out. 

Secondly, I can’t take time off right now so I’m searching for ways to deal with burnout while unable to take time off. 

Thirdly, you can implement anything you read here because it’s your choice, but it’s your choice alone. I am not endorsing these methods, I’m only saying what I’m going to try and see if they work for me. Life is not a one-size-fits-all so what might work for me might not work for you. 

Fourthly, I’ll link to all the pages I’ve found techniques on at the end of this article so you can check it out yourself if you want to.

With all of that out of the way, grab a chair, and let’s get on with the show.

First Tactic To Prevent Burnout: Recognise The Signs

I’m all over this part. I’m recognising all the signs relevant to me. My brain and body tells me that it needs to switch off and take it easy. I’m experiencing the following: 

Brain fog 

My head feels like it was stuffed with cotton wool, especially Monday mornings and during work hours. When I do something fun, the brain fog goes away.    

Flu symptoms 

I know what you’re thinking since I wondered about it myself. But no, these flu symptoms happened two Fridays in a row and I was 100% healthy the Saturday mornings after. I don’t get the flu and have it disappear that quickly. Especially not two weeks in a row. Sounds like a rock concert or something. “For two Friday nights only, Full On Flu Symptoms!” 

Spinning my wheels 

The lack of concentration is incredible, dear reader. I imagine this must be what ADHD feels like. Every random thought I get? I chase it down the warren. And again, that’s only during work hours. 

Dreaded nerve-pinching 

Just this morning, my right hand had a very definite nerve-pinchy feeling at the base of my middle finger. I’m trying not to think the words, “carpal tunnel syndrome,” but I sure can type that well enough.

So in short, my burnout signs are all present and accounted for. On to the next. And here’s where it gets tricky so I’m going to list the ones I can’t do first so that you can see which of these could apply to you. I’ll list the ones that I can implement after.

Tactics To Prevent Burnout That I’m Unable To Use Right Now

For various reasons which I will list, here are tactics that sound amazing but aren’t feasible for me right now. Lots of love to the people who recommended these, of course, no fault of theirs.

Take a walk in nature 

This is a wonderful technique that not only makes sure you get some time away from work, but also makes sure you get some exercise. In my country, though, we’re currently in a 21-day lockdown and they want us to minimise our movements to protect the vulnerable members of society. We’re not allowed to go out unless it’s for essentials like groceries. I’ll keep this one for the 16th of April.

Scale back the workload 

So, the short answer is, no. I’m one of very few of my team members who do the gruntwork of digital marketing. I can’t exactly scale back, nor can I delegate.

Tactics I’m Able To Use Right Now

Take stock of my basic habits

This is something I can do right now. I can document my amount of sleep, what I’m eating, and how much I’m moving around the house. (That last one is easy, I already know the answer. The answer is: not a lot.)

Diversify my interests 

While this may seem counter-intuitive, it’s actually really important for the brain to switch between different types of tasks. The old saying of, “All work and no play,” is really accurate. 

(Side note, but I notice that people look down on our ancestors as people who didn’t understand anything, as if they were dumb or something. Chances are excellent that our descendants will do exactly the same about us and our ways of thinking and doing. We’re only the modern generation for a short time in human history, so cut the ancient ones some slack and see that they were just as clever as we are today. Sometimes even more so.)

How I plan to diversify my interests 

That’s easy, I already want to do all the hobbies. Painting, reading, pyrography, learning all the languages, woodworking, pottery, paper-making, book-making, crochet, making miniatures, drawing… the list goes on and on. I’m incredibly keen on writing, which is why you’re reading this right now. So I want to continue my Spanish, Russian, Zulu… well, all the languages. I can do that with Duolingo. Sadly not Zulu yet, but hopefully one day. Duolingo is my prefered method of learning a new language because of the repetition and gamification.

Schedule time for Deep Work

A big part of my burnout is that lack of focus. And look, you don’t need to sell me on Deep Work. I agreed with so much that Cal Newport said in his book on the subject. Check it out here

It is my dream to book myself in at an AirBnB for two or three nights and just write, all by my lonesome. That would be the ultimate. Until I can afford that, I’ll check on my daily habits, improve them, schedule time for deep work, and learn new languages.


Usejournal article on burnout. 

QZ article on burnout. 

Rescuetime’s article on burnout.

New to the Irrational side of the Pie called life? 

Your next read: Strapped for cash but want to market your book? Check out my list for free book publicity strategies you can use right now.

Leave a reply