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A Powerful Way to Avoid Burnout and Overwhelm

How to avoid burnout and overwhelm

There are all sorts of ways to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed. But today I want to focus on just one.

The reason I want to focus on this one is because it is often overlooked, but really powerful.

Before we dive in deeper into this strategy, let me ask you a question:

Have you ever seen a marathon runner sprint a whole race?

No. Of course you haven’t. And you don’t have to be a running expert to know why.

If a marathon runner tried to sprint their race they would never finish it. They would burnout quickly and not achieve their goal (not to mention putting their health and wellbeing at risk!).

This is because they just don’t have the energy or reserves to maintain that pace over the long haul.

The same is true for avoiding burnout and overwhelm in your life, work or business.

It is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t achieve the results you most want to achieve if you are sprinting the whole time.

You will end up burnt out and overwhelmed. You are risking not achieving your desired results and goals. You are reducing your personal effectiveness significantly. Plus, you are risking your health, wellbeing and quality of life.

We live in a world that lives and works at breakneck speed and the pressure to conform to the status quo is strong. But just because everyone else is living and working that way doesn’t make it right, effective or healthy.

Maybe you think taking a sprint approach is the only way to manage all the roles and things you have to juggle in your life and work. But that is a myth. Being over busy is counterproductive. It reduces your personal effectiveness. The quality of your actions, thoughts, decisions, relationships etc., is negatively impacted and, therefore, so is the quality of your results, life and work.

So, what is the solution?

How can you avoid burnout and overwhelm and, at the same time, increase your chances of achieving the results and goals you most want to achieve?

No prizes for guessing that I suggest approaching your life, work and business like a marathon runner. Their whole strategy for success is built around pacing.

Stop sprinting! Embrace pacing!

When you embrace pacing in all areas of your life and work, not only are you taking positive action to avoid burnout and overwhelm, you are also boosting your personal effectiveness, and that will deliver better results.

Work out a pace that supports you in avoiding burnout and overwhelm. Experiment with it. Tweak it if necessary. Regularly review if your pace needs to adjust up or down to keep yourself at your optimum level.

The benefits of shifting from a sprinting strategy in your life and work, to a pacing strategy are many, on many different levels. It is a powerful way to help you avoid burnout and overwhelm and improve your personal effectiveness.

Life, work and business isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon. Choose your pace accordingly.

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  • Charity C

    I love your use of the running metaphor. I run, and my daughter is learning to run. Last night, she ran sprints of 1/4 mile under 2 minutes each, but her mile pace is 10:58, because as you said, you just can’t maintain a sprint.

  • Great that you and your daughter get to see the metaphor in action.

  • At the age of 55, I feel that I am more overwhelmed now more than ever, yet you would think it would be just the opposite.

  • Antionette, so important to be proactive with dealing with stress. Wishing you well in dealing with it. I know it isn’t easy but so worth all the effort to create change and a new reality.

  • Great advice! A bit of down time, quite time is always recharging!

  • Thank you. Glad you liked it. Yes, it is important to make down time and quiet time a top priority. Every area of life and work benefits when we do.

  • Michelle

    I really REALLY needed this today.

  • Terrific advice Ali! I have burned myself out so many times and it’s always because I’m trying to sprint. This really touched home for me. Thank you!

  • Hi Michelle, delighted it was useful for you.

  • Hi Rena, have fun implementing pacing as your new way of being!

  • Marie Mack

    This is such a great reminder. It is so important to remember that we need to pace ourselves in order to achieve what you want.

  • Hi Marie, yes indeed. Good to remind ourselves of this every day!