How do you know you’re burned out?
Maybe you click to read about children who mysteriously fall into an impenetrable sleep — not because it sounds like a terrible affliction, but because you think a mild case wouldn’t be so bad. Or, you might be a bit envious of Chinese workers’ “lying flat” trend. Perhaps it’s a more traditional cue, like crushing anxiety.
Dealing with the stressors causing your overwhelm may only amplify them. Instead, consider giving yourself a break: idle a bit or try a “minimum viable day.”
We Americans tend to believe there’s something wrong with you if you feel unmotivated and unproductive. The message you hear is push harder, and you’ll be fine.
Of course, countless studies disprove this theory. Stress negatively impacts every system in your body and increases mental overload, decreasing productivity, focus, and effectiveness. This leads to a logical conclusion:
You can’t fix the problem of being overworked by working more when what you actually need is to set boundaries and take the time to rest.
As a meditation teacher, I tell this to my students all the time. The mantra-based technique I practice prioritizes effortlessness and provides deep rest. This supports living consciously and allows people to show up more vital, engaged, and creative than ever before.
The Five Ps of an MVD
An MVD is what it sounds like: a day where you do the minimal amount of work to get by (i.e., answer urgent emails). Then, use the rest of the time to do absolutely nothing.
This concept was created by fintech product manager, Rachel Pendleton. She advises to mind your “Ps” when you need some Q(uiet):
- Purpose: Stay focused on your mission to reclaim your brain (and your sanity).
- Prioritize: Self-care comes first, so do only what you absolutely can’t do tomorrow.
- Postpone: Put off what you can, and, while you’re at it, see what can be delegated or deleted from your to-do’s.
- Performance: How little you do is the measure of success.
- Ponder: Reflect on why you needed an MVD in the first place, so you can make some changes to lead a happier, less anxious life.
Check all of those boxes, and congratulations — you’ve achieved absolutely nothing. Now that’s a win we all deserve every once in a while.
One unlikely culprit to burnout? Your lack of laziness (Fast Company)