For the past five or six months,
I have spent the majority of my time feeling somewhat overwhelmed.
Pretty much every single day,
I wake up, and I feel like there’s just too much to do,
too much on my plate,
and not enough time to get it all done.
This is a situation that I really can only blame myself for.
For about the past six years,
I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur,
which means there’s no boss breathing down my neck.
There’s nobody specifically telling me
that I have to get things done
because they want me to do them.
It’s really just me taking on more than Ican handle.
I’m still kind of in this situation,
but for the past few weeks,
I’ve been taking some steps to rectify it,
to actually fix the situation,
bring back some balance into my life.
Really, what this video is going to
be is me sharing the plan that I’ve outlined for myself,
because I know that I’m not the only person dealing with this.
I get a lot of emails, a lot of tweets,
a lot of DMs on Instagram from people who feel
overwhelmed in their own lives as well.
像我之前说的 几周前 我坐在电脑前
Like I said before, a few weeks ago I sat down,
I opened an Evernote document,
and I started creating a plan for bringing back some balance into my life,
and the first step to that plan was doing something that I’m going to call a “reset sprint”.
Now, somewhat coincidentally,
my friend Matt D’Avella just released a video on his channel
a few days ago about burnout.
In that video, he talked about the reason
for why so many people end up burning out.
The reason is that they keep sprinting.
When you’re an ambitious person,
when you’re an entrepreneur trying to build a business,
or you’re a student trying to get ahead,
or you have a lot on your plate,
or you’re just a professional who has a lot of things going on,
you often take on sprints where you make sacrifices,
you don’t get to the gym as often as you should,
or you’re making really quick not-so-healthy meals.
You’re not sleeping as much as you should,
and you have to make those sacrifices to get ahead.
Sometimes extraordinary action was required for extraordinary results,
but the problem is,
once you get those extraordinary results,
there are still more opportunities.
In fact, once you become successful,
there are more and more and more opportunities,
and it’s very tempting to take those on.
The situation that a lot of people find themselves in is,
they keep taking these opportunities,
and the sprints never end,
which leads to burnout and eventually leads to this feeling of being overwhelmed.
The key to not burning out is to make sure you’re not always sprinting.
Do sprints sometimes,
but then eventually back off from that and actually bring some
balance back into your life.
This is one thing that I’m definitely trying to do,
but I did realize that if I wanted
to really bring balance back into my life,
there was one last sprint that I needed to do right now,
and it was a reset sprint.
I needed to put some time into reorganizing my life,
because over the past several months,
I’ve had so many different projects going
on that a lot of my organizational systems
are a kind of decay.
A lot of that entropy that I like to talk
about seeped into them,
so the first part of my plan has been reorganizing things,
doing a little bit of a sprint to reorganize my to-do system,
to reorganize my Evernote.
Because I just moved to a new house,
it’s also a good time to evaluate what I own,
see what I need to reorganize physically or get rid of,
or donate, or just otherwise give away.
Step number one, if you are constantly overwhelmed,
then carve out some time to do one of these reset sprints.
Evaluate all of your systems, your file organization system,
your physical living space and your workspace,
your task manager, all these things,
and take some time to get them back into a
state where they reflect reality and they are actually useful to you.
All right, so after the reset sprint is done,
step two of the plan is to reestablish your routine.
This was really big for me.
Because I was so overwhelmed,
because I constantly felt like I had to get things done, I had
so much on my plate,
I kind of let my routine fall by the wayside.
I would wake up each and every morning and think,
“I have to get to work immediately.
Otherwise, I’m going to run out of hours in the day.”
The ironic part is,
this attitude of thinking I need to work all the time
actually made me less effective.
I know I wasn’t using every single one
of my hours as effectively as I possibly could,
so letting my routine go to the wayside was really,
it didn’t gain me anything at all,
so I have made a commitment to myself to rebuild my morning routines,
rebuild my daily routines,
and I know that even if I have a lot to do,
that one to two-hour window in the morning
when I should be doing my hobbies is kind of off-limits.
Now, one thing that I want to
bring up about doing this is that if you’re going to reestablish
a morning routine that used to be quite complicated,
if you have a lot of hobbies that you were juggling,
and then they all sort of fell
by the wayside because you got overwhelmed,
it’s probably not a good idea to try to pick up all
of them at the same time again.
我最喜欢的书之一 Nick Winter写的The Motivation Hacker里
There is a concept from one of my favorite books,
The Motivation Hacker by Nick Winter,
called success spirals.
He often talks about how when you’re building new habits,
you have to start small, and eventually,
you prove to yourself that you can remain consistent
on a small number of habits or
something that’s kind of a small commitment.
Over time, you add more and more difficulty.
You maybe take on more habits,
or you add more difficulty to habits that are already in your routine,
and you kind of spiral up,
but crucially, if, for some reason,
you fall off the horse,
you’re probably not going to be able to climb back on it at the exact same level you were.
You have to go back to the beginning
of the spiral and start easy again.
Now, some people may be able to
climb right back up and do exactly what they were doing before,
and that’s great,
but if you try it and it doesn’t work,
then go back to basics.
Establish a really simple morning routine or really simple set of hobbies.
Prove to yourself that you can do those going forward,
and then slowly work your way up from there.
In my case, that meant,
number one, getting on a habit tracker once more,
and I’m personally using an app called Strides for this,
but number two, establishing a morning routine
that was really simple at first.
It was just waking up early, drinking a glass of water,
taking care of my plants,
and doing some pushups.
That was it.
I wasn’t reading.
I wasn’t writing.
I wasn’t doing instructed practice.
These are things that I want to bring back into my routine,
but I knew when I was starting
if I wanted to remain consistent, it had to be simple.
Of course, now that I’ve been doing those things
for a few weeks and I’ve actually proved
to myself that I can do them consistently,
I’ve started to add some more things into
the routine, and so now I’m waking up,
and I’m also reading for 25 minutes.
I’m making sure to write for 10 minutes,
and I’m also practicing piano every single day.
In summary, step two, reestablish your routines,
and I think that even if you’re spending time
on your routines, remember that when you have these routines,
you’re a little bit more grounded.
There’s more structure in your life,
and I think you’re going to be able to be more efficient
with your normal working hours when you havethat structure.
That brings us to my third step of the plan,
which I think, for me, is actually the hardest one.
It’s to define your priorities and learn tosay, “No,” more often.
One of the things that I really struggle
with is that as my businesses become more successful,
as the audience has grown,
the opportunities have increased as well,
and every time there’s an opportunity,
there’s this little voice in my brain saying,
“You should go for that. There’s no reason not to go for that.
You’d be leaving money on the table,
or you’d be not helping as many people as you could
if you left that opportunity on the table,”
but I also realize that one of my big priorities
in life is the process of discovery,
learning new things, of being able to pick up new skills.
For example, like I said, I’m practicing piano every single day.
This is something that’s pretty recent in my life.
Even though I’m basically a complete newb at it,
it is a lot of fun,
and I’ve noticed that every single time I sit down to the piano and practice,
there is a breakthrough.
Like just the other day,
I figured out how to play a three-two polyrhythm on the piano.
If you’re somebody who’s been playing the piano for quite a while,
then that probably seems pretty trivial to you, but for me,
it was something that my brain just could not
do for like the first hour while I tried to do it,
and when I finally figured it out,
when I finally realized
that one hand was doing one-two one-two and the other hand was
doing one-two-three one-two-three one-two-three at the same time,
it was amazing.
That feeling of discovery is something thatI crave.
One of the problems is
that with all the opportunities that come up in my business,
there’s like this voice in the back of my head that’s kind of telling me,
”Any time you spend on things
you’re not already good at,
on things you’re not already established at, like playing the piano,
is wasted time,
because you could be using that time to make another video.
You could be using that time to improve your website,
to train your employees, all this
kind of stuff.
Why would you be using it on something that you’re not established in?
Your business is a force multiplier, and you’re not using it.
Plus, there’s zillion other people
out there who are already way better at piano than you’ll ever be.
Why would you do that?”
This voice is toxic,
and I realize that if I continually listen to it,
if I continually put all my time into my business just
because I feel that the force multiplier is there,
just because I feel like there’s more opportunity there,
I’m going to burn out.
I’m going to feel overwhelmed,
because the desire for discovery is not going to go away.
It’s just going to be kind of stifled,
but it’s still going to be there, and it’s still
going to cause me stress.
Step three of the plan is to say, “No,” tomore opportunities in my business,
even if they are lucrative,
even if it seems like I would be a fool to leave them on the table.
I have to learn to say no,
because I need to have priorities,
and one of those priorities is the joy of discovery,
so I’ve actually printed out a list of my current priorities,
and I’ve put it on the wall right there,
and it says, “Practice piano.
Get back to a weekly schedule on the YouTube channel.
Make sure I’m doing the things that are actually important to me,
and say, ‘No,’ to anything that is going to block those.”
Hopefully, this is helpful in some way to you,
and just to summarize really quick here,
step one, do a reset sprint.
Get your systems back in order, be they physical or digital.
Take some time to really do this correctly.
Step two, reestablish your habits and routines.
Don’t give in to the temptation to let
those things fall to the wayside because you feel
like you don’t have enough hours to do your work.
Have work hours, and have hours for your routines.
Then finally, step three, define your priorities going forward,
and then learn to say, “No,” more often.
It’s really difficult, but it’s worth it,
and if I might make a suggestion, one of those priorities should be,
as my shirt says,
to never stop learning, to maintain that constant joy of discovery.
This is something that’s really important to me and
that I’m really trying to make more
of a priority in my life.
If you aren’t doing this already,
then try to learn something new every single day or at least every week.
If you’re like me, maybe start playing the piano,
or pick up a new book,
or possibly start watching a documentary on a servicelike CuriosityStream.
CuriosityStream is an extensive and constantly updated collected
of exclusive and high-quality
documentaries that was actually created by John Hendricks,
who is the founder of the
Discovery Channel, which was my absolute favorite
TV channel when I was a kid.
Now, unlike normal TV channels,
with CuriosityStream you can access those documentaries on all
of your devices whenever you want.
They’re in your web browser.
They’re on iOS and Android.
They’re on Roku and on many other platformsas well.
Once you start digging into their library,
you’re going to find tons of different documentaries
and topics ranging from science, to technology,
to nature and lots, lots more.
If you’re looking for a recommendation of where to start,
最近我很喜欢的一部纪录片是Order And Disorder
a documentary that I really enjoyed recently was called Order And Disorder,
specifically the episode on the story of information,
which traces the development of how we communicate with each other.
Membership on CuriosityStream is really affordable at just $2.99 per month,
and if you go over to curiositystream.com/thomas and sign up,
you’re going to get 30 days of completely unlimited free access,
so it’s a great way to try out the service.
A big thanks goes out to CuriosityStream
for sponsoring this episode and being a big supporter
of my channel, and as always,
thank you guys so much for watching.
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