Battle of the Burnout

Lose the Battle, Win the War

You keep asking yourself the question: How can I be successful?

We imagine all the trappings of success. The clothes. The cars. The house.

We imagine what success feels like. Security. Comfort. Abundance.

It seems like success could only be a step away. Maybe a reeeally long step. Over a very deep chasm. With a turbulent river filled with sharp rocks and crocodiles below.

And all those self help gurus are out there yelling at us to make the running leap. Telling us that we shouldn’t have a safety net. That we shouldn’t have a Plan B. That we should put all of our eggs in one basket.

Ummm…. Say what?

That’s all fine and good to tell people in a video. Especially ones followed by a message “We cannot guarantee results” at the end.

I’ve found that real life doesn’t work like that. In real life, there can be disastrous consequences for betting all of our resources on one number like it’s some kind of trivial game of roulette.

Sure, I want to win.

But I want to win the war, not the just this battle.

How to Win Forever

We all want the short cuts.

But think about it: even though Miracle Gro helps plants grow faster, it doesn’t work immediately.

The plant still needs soil, water, sun, and - most importantly - time.

We all know that time needs to be managed like every other resource. Lots of people believe that time is the most valuable resource.

I think there is one resource just as valuable as time… if not more valuable.

YOUR ENERGY.

I’m sure we’ve all watched those motivational videos. The one that tell us to get up early. Stay up late. Forget burning your candles at both ends. They want you to throw all of your candles in a huge kerosine fire.

After all, what’s more impressive than a huge kaboom of flames and energy?

Except that huge explosions are rarely sustainable.

There’s a reason why Aesop told us the fable of the turtle and the hair. There’s a reason why we say slow and steady wins the race.

It’s because the people who wisely use their energy are the people who win.

The Difference of Balance

This is where the key concepts of High Performance come into play.

I’ve covered the difference between peak performance and high performance before.

Peak performance is the gasoline explosion. High performance is the carefully controlled fire.

When you’re planning out your day, week, month, or year, it is crucial to balance your energy.

Think about your day. What tasks use the most amount of your energy? Is it cold calling clients? Updating your books? Submitting your reports? Or maybe something like washing the dishes and putting away the laundry? (I swear I’ll do it today!)

Now think about when you have the most amount of energy during the day. A lot of people have peak energy in the morning. If possible, time your most energy intensive tasks to coincide with your peak energy.

Here’s the next part of the equation: Once you get that out of the way, plan to have an energy recharging action.

Maybe that means a quick walk. Or refilling your coffee. Or updating your spreadsheets (one of my personal favorites!)

Regardless, whatever it is that you do, make sure you celebrate! (Click that link to learn how celebrating can lead you to bigger and bigger successes!)

Remember: your ultimate goal is to avoid burnout. When you get burned out, you become less productive. Even worse, you may stop caring about accomplishing your dreams.

Four hours of steady daily progress will always win over eight hours of concentrated weekly progress.  

By conserving our energy and embracing slow and steady progress, we build a bridge of habits over that chasm of uncertainty over to the successful side of the canyon!

 

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