Kick the Productivity Addiction to Prevent Burnout

Productivity has its place in the world and certainly comes in handy on the entrepreneurial journey. But in a culture as obsessed with check-offables and massive To-Do lists, productivity is becoming (dare I say) an addiction.

Letting go of the habit of overachieving is (still) my biggest personal and professional challenge. For many years, I wore the cloak of my industrious super power like a mantel of personal protection. Instead of questioning the need to keep going, to work harder, to be the best, I kept going, I worked harder, I pushed myself to be the best. I never stopped long enough to question for whom I was producing, or why I was achieving, or what happened after I achieved it. I became my own worst enemy —and my own nightmarish boss. I have pushed myself to exhaustion, overwhelm and physical breakdown more than once. Chronic conditions — health issues that have plagued me from childhood —crop up when I push past my energy limits. The body always knows when to say no.

Can you relate?

Recovering from burnout is one thing —preventing burnout is another story entirely.

I believe life gives us the lessons we need to learn in order to grow. To prevent burnout, I needed to learn the lesson of efficiency and ease: and to learn that lesson, I had to let go of my productivity addiction.

I had the opportunity to let go of my obsession to productivity when I recently lost a principal member of my team. I took a hard look at the responsibilities now resting squarely in my lap (again). After a year of delegating, streamlining and strategizing in my business(es), I felt like I was back to square one. In reality, the situation wasn’t nearly that dramatic. I was able to outsource some tasks and fit others into my weekly schedule with ease. I did have to revisit my annual intentions, now absent a significant support source.

Two significant revelations came during this process, however: first, many of the things I’d been doing (or outsourcing) no longer served my business but I was sticking with them out of my own un-investigated expectations of “good business.” Next, I was holding on to a belief that my productivity defined my worth.

I re-evaluated my responsibilities then I let some things go (my desire to be part of the conversation on every social platform), pared back on others (newsletter mailings are now less frequent) and streamlined others (chunked writing tasks into one day and changed blog schedule).

Quitting the productivity addiction looked a lot like pausing to retire or revision certain elements of my business in service to continued growth.

@@Shape-shifting a business around more efficiency and ease is a beautiful process. @@

So far, so good. The growth process unfolds over time and you may have noticed some of those internal shifts over the last couple months. You will continue to observe blossoming as the transformation unfolds, but it’s my hope that you’ll still be around for the Big Reveal.

In the meantime and as always, I’m committed to elevating, empowering, educating women in bringing more creative flourishing into business and life. Beginning with these powerful questions for times of transition of your own: whether you're quitting the productivity addiction, recovering from burnout or tackling overwhelm through strategic focus.

Answer these for more alignment and ease in business and in life:

:: Is your business reflecting your soul’s work?

My soul’s work is to use my life as a light for others: bringing order and harmony into daily living, seeing the magical in the mundane, and empowering other women to find that for themselves. Everything that didn’t fit that vision in my own business got sliced.

What is your unique work in the world? Once you find that, everything that can go, does go. If you're still working another job, or building your business on the side, remain hyper-focused on the actions to truly leverage your success. No chasing butterflies :)

:: What do you want your soul’s work to represent in the world?

I wanted more richness, radiance and truth, more depth and meaning, more insight and inspiration.

Do you want to leave a legacy? Do you want your work to represent something larger than you? Your work is meaningful —and the world needs it! Identify the shifts —internal and external—that need to accompany growth and long-term expansion. Maybe you need to strengthen your focus in service to long-term success. Perhaps you need an outside eye on your business (and big business vision) and some insight on next steps. Be honest about your needs and find the support necessary to catapult you to the next level.

:: What do you want less of (in life and business)?

This list should come easily!  

:: What do you want more of (in life and business)?

No censoring. Name it to claim it.

:: What are you afraid of?

Write them all down. Every fear. Worst-case scenario bonanza.

:: What are you really afraid of?

This is the root reason behind the above fear(s). Dig deep.

:: What elements of business (or life) need to shift for you to do more of your soul’s work?

Here's when the magical meets the practical. Be realistic and radiant.

Sometimes, you need to change how you are approaching an aspect of your business: social media, for example. Social media represented a huge challenge for me because it felt misaligned with my yoga ethics; however, when I emphasized a sacred approach to social media emphasizing connection, empowerment and education, I was able to take my marketing (and my business growth) to the next level. Also: engaging on social media became easier and more enjoyable. Sweet bonus!

@@When the magical meets the practical, alignment and ease are sure to follow.@@

Need more? Head over to the Conscious Creative Kula to get your daily dose of support.