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Why Downtime Is Essential for a Productive Day So That You Don’t Burnout

white blank notebook

Getting back into a routine after a busy stretch at work can be challenging. Today, I'd like to share what I've been doing to help myself get back into the rhythm.

April was complete chaos. I have not sat to write in almost two months and have found it difficult even to start my routine again. We all have busy stretches at work that pull us away from our normal routine. That is fine. But we need to take care of ourselves.

I was traveling basically every other week in April and into May, and to top it off, I had a really busy stretch of work before, during, and after those trips. It really killed my routine, and focus on what I said mattered the most to me.

Before that stretch, Nicolai and I had been recording podcast episodes, and I am very excited to bring the podcast back into regular episodes. This project has been on pause for almost 6 months now, but we have recorded two months’ worth of episodes, and I am very excited to continue recording in the future.

Also, the newsletter and social media content had been going on every week since the start of the year until April. I want to keep that up. I love this medium because is where I get to hear from you on what you want to read more about as well as how my content resonates with you.

Now, let’s talk about where I failed:

  • Recognizing I was in Hyperfocus mode and not taking deliberate breaks.
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Commit to filling my cup first
  • Find a support group

It is always easy to see where I failed, looking back. It takes skills to realize when you are getting burnt out while you are in the thick of it.

If I were to do it all over again, I would adjust a few things to make sure I was not overworking myself.

  1. While working out for a full hour at 5:30 am would be really hard after a late night of work, a simple 10 – 15 min walk during the day would allow me to get up and get some sunlight. I will bring back my morning walks, especially with the warming weather.
  2. I am trying to communicate more with my team to ensure I don’t feel isolated. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of remote work.
  3. Taking 10 minutes in the morning to plan the day, reflect on the previous day, and slow down to ensure my headspace is right.
  4. Leaning on my network to find accountability partners. This could be someone either within or outside work.

I want to challenge you today to reflect on how well you are managing your workload, rest, and priorities. Remember to take breaks, recharge, and explore new ideas or places to refresh your environment.

It is important to understand why your daily schedule gets off track during busy periods before taking action to address it. By identifying the reason behind it, you will be able to find a solution more easily.

I am excited to have resumed a somewhat normal routine and am looking forward to a summer filled with engaging content and exciting new projects. I will be sharing more about my first-time experience at the Steel Conference and my involvement with SEI and the Structures Congress.

If you have any questions regarding conference attendance, committee participation, networking, or anything else, please feel free to comment below or send me an email. I am more than happy to provide answers as soon as possible.

I am going to keep it short today as I continue to develop other content for the Newsletter and Podcast. Stay tuned.