Here’s a look at a page from an old journal/daily planner of mine. A few years ago, during my last semester in college I was so burnt out that I decided to quit my job and fall off the radar for a few months. I used the time to digest my experiences over the last few years before making any decisions about my future. In that time, I developed a journaling format that really helps me when I’m in a slump.
First thing I do is break out of the ol’ Gregorian Calendar system and take some time to figure out the rhythm that my body prefers. In the lefthand corner of the page is the number of days old that I am that day. Going down the left column, I break my day into 18 eighty-minute hours. This gives me 2 forty-minute chunks per hour that I can focus on one task. Or to delegate more complicated projects into 40-minute chunks across time. I think one of the biggest contributors to burnout is that the standard workweek isn’t suitable to most people’s rhythm. If I had one piece of advice to give people from this little experiment of mine, it’s that it’s never too late to start from scratch. If you’re feeling worn down, then stop the clock, and start building a new daily schedule based on your body’s own daily rhythms.
It also helps you if you want to change your rhythm—maybe kick things up a notch. While cataloging my days I discovered when I became the most tired, and which conditions led me to fall into those slumps. This helped me calibrate myself, to make adjustments, and work more effectively.
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