Monday, November 1, 2010

Beating Burn Out

I am not doing NaNoWriMo but I thought this post would be relevant for everyone!

Have you ever felt so burnt out that everything seems exhausting? That you just want to crawl back under the covers and turn off the lights?

I always make mini to-do lists. A writing to do list. A reading to do list. An exercise one. Usually, these lists push me into the right direction. Crossing things off is gratifying.

But lately, it's been difficult to get things done. I tried to write last night but could not beat my exhaustion. The thing is, I know that if I keep saying that I'll write "when I have time", then I will never get around to it. So...I've been pushing myself. And then I push myself more.

I have learned the hard way that as important it is keep pushing, it is very important to know when to stop. Sometimes I only "stop" when my lids are too heavy to keep open. I need some serious help in recognizing those other "signs."

So, how do you know when to take a break? What do you do to recharge?

Sending a lot of love and encouragement to everyone doing NaNoWriMo!! I'll be including things throughout the month to keep you guys going.


  1. I’m so glad to finally read a blog by someone who isn’t doing NaNo!

    It is difficult to know when to stop pushing, and have a rest. I just wish I knew that point.
    The enigmatic, masked blogger

  2. Like you, I stop when my eyes are burning and MUST close! That sure is a tell-tale sign! But it's probably better to stop before that point, lol.

    Usually when I feel a cold coming on-a slightly sore throat, a stuffy headache-then I know I must slow down and get more sleep because the only times I ever get colds is when I'm not getting enough sleep! So whenever I do get cold-like symptoms, I know I'm working too hard and my body is telling me to rest mentally and physically.

    Gotta get back to NaNo! I'm procrastinating too much already, haha!

  3. I think it's important to take breaks and I often do it when it feels like nothing is working.

  4. I know what you mean. But the funny thing for me is that Newton's first law applies all too well for me.

    So unless I *MAKE* my ass get up from the seat to do something it will never get done. I am very good at ignoring the lists that I made up... *sigh*

  5. I'm with Laura! Those symptoms are when I know it's time to stop and take a break. :) Good luck with everything on your list!

  6. I love making lists, too. I get so much more accomplished that way and it feels productive. But I also having trouble knowing when to stop--and it's usually not until I've pushed myself too hard.

    Maybe I should add "take a break" to one of my lists! But really, sometimes I purposefully schedule a weekend off from blogs, writing, etc. in order to recharge. And in that time, I definitely try to get out of the house and spend time with family.

  7. I make writing lists and they do keep me going, but there are times, when I feel like you do, that no matter how long I sit in front of the computer, nothing comes. That's when I take a break from any projects, including writing. It can get frustrating sometimes, but it's for my own good! I feel rejuvenated after a week or so and then I'm back in gear with fresh eyes.

  8. I love a massage or a good movie to recharge! :O)

  9. Hi, Saumaya,
    I always know when I am not getting ideas, I must stop. I don't worry about such things for it is not a life or death matter, and I am not appearing for some exam. I stop and do other things, and don't think about at all. After some time I would be automatically drawn towards my incomplete work, and in a jiffy I would complete it.
    This is what I think, is called working without expectation : the minute you detach yourself from it, and stop bothering about it for sometime, you will see like magic it will come to you all by itself.
    Wish you the very best.

  10. Dude, why did you post this two days ago? I was up to 4 am thinking about my WIP!!!
    (Okay, I had too much caffeine, I admit it).
    But yeah, I have to just take a break sometimes and stop all the pushing!

  11. hey I love this. I actually love every single post you put up. but seriously, I get it chica. you've always been a master of to-do lists (plural for a reason)

    I love you