To give you one more idea around this one, Robert Grudin, who is one of my favorite thinkers, wrote in his book on time, “On this subject it is striking to note how many individuals pursue, outside of their own professions and with a kind of rebellious delight, hobbies that are no more than personalized forms of work. This suggests that one of the hidden desires of humanity, provoked by the inward clamor of unused potentialities, is the dream of work in freedom…”
So try asking yourself this: “What does it look and feel like when I am doing work that is feeding me as much or more energy than some of my leisure is?”
And… on to Myth #2: “I will evade burnout with careful time management.”
This one makes me kind of crazy. Look, I love a cool weekly planner as much as, oh, anybody but time management without energy management will drain you dry. We are fooled by the very orderliness of what we see on paper into believing that we are being effective, but when you look at how much it reflects your actual life? Judge says no match. It becomes something else that we try to measure ourselves against, fit ourselves into, as if we’d achieve success and true inner peace if we actually managed exactly what was in there. Yes, be organized, yes, keep track of commitments, but FIRST, know your body, know when you have energy and creativity and when you’re low, and make sure your most important work is syncing with that. And stay out of the trap of organizing instead of truly doing what is most vital, most important, and most rejuvenating. You are most resilient when you have created support around your energy-growing practices.
(Want to do a very revealing experiment? Take a week’s calendar and fill it as you go with exactly and only what you do. Compare it to your calendar/planner for the week before. Then come back and look at this post again.)