Tips for Modern Life

Live longer, don’t burnout


Just baby steps, anything else it’s not worth the stress

Watching a documentary the other day about how stress affects our health and how it also speeds up the aging process motivated me to write this post.

The idea that stress is bad to our health is nothing new, we all have heard or have been told about this by our significant others, family, and even our doctors! But it doesn’t matter because in general, we tend to only listen to stuff we agree with and we disregard everything else.

In today’s world, most people see a hectic life as some sort of success… a person with many responsibilities, having a full schedule and an inbox full of unread messages somehow is seen as a good thing, it validates how important someone is… really? I believe on hard work, but there are limits in my opinion.

Somehow we all have been programmed to think that we need to be doing something at all times, because it makes us feel important, feel valuable, etc… this idea couldn’t be more wrong. Like everything in life, there needs to be a balance between work and life. While it is a good thing to be busy and be productive, it is also important to have time to do nothing, or at least nothing that requires you to make difficult decisions, just a time to relax and have a good time.

People burn out, there is not a question about it, correct? And yet many people still push themselves to the edge in a continuous basis. When you have a goal and you want to succeed, hard work is needed, no doubt about that. However, that does not mean that you have to push yourself to the limits because doing so will burn you out, it will discourage you, and will also push you further away from your goal instead of getting you closer.

In order to get to your goals faster, make sure you spend sometime decompressing and enjoying the world around you, trust me, it is something you don’t want to miss! Spending more time with family, friends and doing things that you enjoy doing besides work is something that will help you get to your goals faster, it will keep you energized, motivated and more importantly, it will keep you healthy and happy!

It is also very interesting how people feel some kind of pride when working long hours, skipping dinner, skipping their kid’s soccer game, not taking care of themselves, etc… just to be able to reach that goal… and many times even society will think of them as hard-working people who focus all their energy and time on one goal… lame. Living like this might help you get to your goal, but it would also increase your chances of being depressed, getting a divorce, missing your kid’s childhood, loosing friendships, etc… you get the point.

This does not mean that you don’t have to work hard to achieve your goals, what it means is that you shouldn’t use your goal or goals as an excuse to skip life and it also means that you shouldn’t spend all your time and energy on one thing, there needs to be a balance, remember… everything needs a balance.

A person who takes time to enjoy life and takes a moment to really enjoy the world around them, will have a greater chance to achieve success instead of burning out and even live longer! anyone suffering of burnout can’t operate at the same speed and can’t be as productive as someone who isn’t experiencing stress or a burnout. Take it easy, take baby steps and have a good balance between life and work.

The next time you are working in your startup, or any project with tie deadlines, remember to have some time to decompress and do something fun. After all, the work that we do and companies we are creating as entrepreneurs are in most cases with this one goal in mind… to have a better life.

What are your thoughts on this? please use the comment’s section below to share your opinion about this – thanks!

17 responses to “Live longer, don’t burnout”

  1. Knit4Profit Home Avatar
    Knit4Profit Home

    I personally believe that the majority of us live in a stressful society. We are taught to cope. It makes no difference how we relieve ourselves because we know that the cycle starts over and that creates more stress. The way to live is to have a “simple uncomplicated” lifestyle.

  2. I think society trains people how to signal they are good employies. Your boss might now know if you work hard but showup early and stay late and he will probably think you are more valuable than those other fools. The problem is shuch things are relative metrics and when everyone stays late, nobody goes home. And when you are the boss you are so trained in that mindset they you will wast time trying to impress someone who does not exist when you should realy go home and get some sleep.

  3. Slackers need to work harder. Tired of the boo hoo mentality that stress is so tough. Take some vitamins, get some sleep, and eat healthy and the stress won’t slow you down from accomplishing more than you believed possible.

    1. “Take some vitamins, get some sleep, and eat healthy” that is exactly what the post is about, you do whatever you need to do to keep your energy and motivation high and avoind the burnout. For some people taking vitamins, sleeping more and eating healthy helps… and for some others talking to friends, watching a movie and spending some time doing a different activity also helps.

  4. Wisdom! Great read.

  5. you just made me shut down my computer and head to bed. thanks Ricardo!!!

  6. Completely agree. in recent years we’ve lost the buffer between personal and work time, resulting in an erosion of our personal lives.

    Even during work, time should be allocated to doing nothing. Attempting to work at 100% efficiency means you don’t have anything extra to give when its needed. Better to aim for 75-80% efficiency and be able to burst up to 100% when urgent needs arise.

    It’s not that we should never skip hanging out with friends and family to get work done. But this should be the exception, not the rule.

  7. Yes, great topic for what may need to be an ongoing reminder! Until recently, having my first baby boy, who is now 2.5 yrs old, I really threw myself into work, I felt. And I agree with alot of the sentiments laid out above….It’s a combination of so many factors, tho….technology evolution can be looked at as a contributing force to this topic, IMHO. Can you imagine, the difference just the last 20 years have made? Even the last 10 for that matter. We have exponentially increased our efficiencies with meeting deadlines with technology.

    Boils down to, what we want for ourselves in this lifetime. Do we want to live longer? I know I for one do. While I play hard, I definitely counter that with working just as hard (or is it the other way around). AFAIC, we only have this life. So, the choice is ours obviously. And I choose the path that will allow me to witness my own son’s life achievements. Great read Ricardo!

    1. Great point Mary! Technology has in fact helped us be more productive and at the same time it is probably the biggest cause of burnout on many of today’s workers.

      The fact that many of us have constant access to the tools we need to do our work combined with the lack of discipline has contributed to more of us getting stressed and burnout by the constant need to be working anywhere and at all times. Having a balance is not just important but necessary!

  8. Times are hard and people are afraid of losing a job…and companies know that. Balance is important – so is sunshine.

    1. While It is true that for must of us times are hard, I really don’t believe that anyone should be working for a company that will take advantage of their employees in that manner… at some point you need to prioritize what’s really important in your life.

  9. […] coding, designing, etc… it is also true that is not necessary to do this all the time, it is not healthy and it hurts productivity in the […]

  10. […] coding, designing, etc… it is also true that is not necessary to do this all the time, it is not healthy and it hurts productivity in the […]

  11. I will be actually pleased with the writing skills in addition to with the design on your blog post. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it on your own? In any case keep up the wonderful quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  12. […] that. Being surrounded by family and doing things not related to software development are key to avoid burning out, this keeps the motivation high and it helps when feeling […]

  13. […] doing your work, and making your business successful. I wrote a blog post about this last year, read it if you are […]

  14. […] translates to productivity. It doesn’t. To the contrary, it affects productivity and can also cause burnout. You need to prioritize your time and tasks, if you don’t, then other people will do it for […]

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