3 minute read

At one moment you feel like the most motivated person in the world.  The next, burnt out.  You have no motivation to do anything, and its impossible to complete what you have started.

Not Doing Enough

Everyone has been in a situation where they have had a to-do list, completed it, and have not been satisfied.  A strong driving force behind burnout is never feeling satisfied.  If you finished what needed to get done, why do more?  You can unintentionally overwork yourself, which will effect you in the long run.

This is the time to pick up new fun hobbies, and do “lazy tasks”.  If I wanted to watch this great anime, why keep doing my schoolwork if I completed what I wanted to.  Although us productivity maniacs want to maximize our efficiency, we do not want to overheat by doing too much.  Use this driving ambition to do more, to continue on the following tasks to keep that momentum going.

According to Zen Habits

We all have the energy to carry on, but it makes no sense to expend it all.  I’m not saying to do the bare minimum, but its important to know when to stop.

Think of it as running a 5k.  In the first 1000 meters, I definitely could sprint the entire thing.  However, I will then be fried up for the last 4000 meters.  I am a big advocator for taking things slow and steady.  Keeping a comfortable productivity pace, will prevent longer breaks later on from burnout.

Focus on Why

The process, everyone is focusing on the process and the end result.  It’s easy to get wrapped up on the end goal without knowing why you want to do something.  What is the significance of a new project if you do not know your own driving force.

If you spend too much time worry about the result, you will never achieve your real goals.  It is possible to lose interest in the end-game, but if you constantly remind yourself why, you can prevent burnout.

I recommend every time you start a new hobby, skill, or project to write down the reason why you are doing it.  Put it on a sticky note, or in my classes I write it down on the last page of my notebook.  Whenever I am fed up, or stressed out I look back at that statement to remember my reason for work.

Live Your Life to the Fullest

To prevent burnout you should go and do whatever you want.  Not only should you be setting goals and creating projects for yourself about things you love, but its ok to be lenient with yourself.

For example, if you want to start running more but you set a strict eating diet for yourself, it might become miserable.  If you want a bowl of ice cream, eat the bowl of ice cream.  Its always key to be lenient on yourself if you want to do something, literally just do it; its not that deep.

I like to make a lot of analogies to running, and this is no different.  Every small motion you make, is practiced to use the least amount of energy possible while maintaining speed.  However, nothing can be forced; it all needs to feel smooth and natural.  Life is the same way, you cannot force yourself to follow the perfect routine, or perfect mindset.  Try to be as productive as possible, without wasting energy – you cannot force it.  In essence, set goals for yourself to go through with all of your plans, but it is ok if everything does not go as arranged.

Setting goals for things you are actually passionate about falls back to knowing why.  If you really do not know why you want to do something, you might just be in a phase and will become very unmotivated very fast.  If you do not like what you are doing then you will burnout.  In other words, live your life to the fullest.


Burnout is very influential to the maximization of your productivity grind.  You need to take breaks, even if you feel you have not done enough.  Always remember why you are doing something; I even recommend writing it down.  Finally, if there is something you want to do, have lenient rules with yourself.  It is always important to live your life to the fullest.