Newt Gingrich, American author, historian, and politician, said, “perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of the hard work you already did.” From childhood, we’ve been taught that we can achieve anything we set our minds on. But what happens when we hit the wall and our minds work against us? Here are proven strategies to help you overcome brick walls and keep going.
1. Focus On Your True Values
Passion is one of the best drivers of motivation. When your goals don’t align with your true values, you’re likely to have difficulty finding or maintaining motivation, leading to burnout. According to research, when you are passionate about what you do, you foster a high cognitive engagement, making you master and achieve your goals.
Moreover, we naturally enjoy and invest more time and effort in things that connect with our values. One study investigating passion and academic achievement revealed that passion directly relates to academic excellence in science, mathematics, and reading. And that students who are more passionate about these disciplines excelled the most.
2. Set Goals
After finding your true values, it’s time to set goals. Set your goals starting with the simplest to the most complex. Avoid multitasking when actualizing your goals. Research shows that multitasking can prevent you from being productive. When you multitask, you get distracted from what you were doing. And it takes lots of mental energy to regain your focus and concentration. So, establish a good focus routine that would let you focus on one goal at a time.
According to studies, exercise boosts cognitive abilities – learning and retaining new information. Exercise also reduces anxiety and stress and improves mood, thanks to the endorphins produced when you exercise. What’s more, exercise can also sharpen your creativity, improving your problem-solving skills. These benefits can help you regain your motivation when you hit the wall.
4. Take Power Naps
Power naps have been shown to improve cognitive functions. When you take a short nap of about 15 – 30 minutes, preferably between 1 pm to 3 pm, you help your mind recharge and replenish your energy. Make sure you don’t nap more than 30 minutes. Doing so can make you enter into “deep sleep,” which may cause you to be more tired upon waking up. Studies also reveal that short naps may help improve creativity and alertness.
5. Try Relaxation Techniques
Whenever you experience burnout, try relaxation techniques. Having a wind-down routine is essential in helping you relax and have mental clarity. Activities like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing are great relaxation techniques. Research shows that everyday meditation may improve your mood, attention, and memory and help you regulate your emotions.
6. Take Breaks
They say, ”work without play makes Jack the dull boy.” When you work long hours without taking breaks, your mind becomes overworked, leading to fatigue and burnout. But when you take short breaks, you let your mind rest and recharge.
The Pomodoro technique is an excellent tool for getting started with short breaks. Scientifically proven, the Pomodorothe technique lets you work for a short time (25 minutes) before resting for five minutes. The process continues for some time before you can take a more extended break.
7. Plan Your Day
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” As with anything, planning is key in ensuring success. When you fail to plan your day, you may prioritize less critical tasks at the expense of important ones or waste time doing things that don’t matter. So, remember to make a To-Do-List every day, prioritizing essential jobs for the day and giving lesser attention to the least important.
Since we are living in a world where there’s always pressure to perform, more people are likely to experience burnout. Burnout can be overwhelming. But the feeling of being overwhelmed is just a sign, not a long-term sentence. And the way we respond to burnout matters.
So, anytime you experience burnout, practice the above strategies. Remember to take things slow, be kind, and be compassionate about yourself. If the above techniques don't work, the problem may be your job or career. And in that case, you are the one who knows what’s best for you: to stay in the wrong job or to quit.
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