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How to get through a busy week without burning out

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How to get through a busy week without burning out

Penny Younger

A few weeks back, I had a super full week. It was one of those weeks where I was at work all day and then each afternoon/evening, had to run to something else; not getting home before 7-8pm each night. 

My body was pretty cranky with me by about the Thursday afternoon. 

We all have our own individual boundaries and we know how far our body can take us before it asks us to slow down. During this particular week, I ignored all whispers from my body to do so, and as a result, I went into the weekend feeling burnt out and exhausted.

The following week, I had an equally full schedule. Before going into it though, I stopped to consider how I could support myself in order to get all the things done that were necessary but not fall into a heap at the end of it.

So, this is what I came up with, and implemented. It's stupidly simple, but it helped me get through the week without feeling run down and stretched to my limit.

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Ten minutes of white space - after work, before rushing off to the next thing.

In practice, it would look like this:

1. Finish work and walk out of the building (or walk out of your house, if you work from home).

2. Find a spot where you can sit down. This can be a park bench, a patch of grass or even just in your car.

3. Place all of your things down, get comfortable where you are and set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes.

4. Put your phone away and radio off if you are in your car, sitting completely undistracted.

5. Sit where you are. Allow there to be silence, and stillness in your body. Notice the energy in your body is probably still whirling around after the last 8 or so hours of 'go go go.' Allow that energy to settle. Literally just listen to the silence, or, to the sounds around you.

6. Keep sitting, keep allowing that energy from the day to quieten just a little bit. Let your nervous system settle.

7. When the timer has gone off. Don't madly rush off. Slowly take one last breath and take notice of how you feel after slowing down for ten minutes. Then, gather your things and move slowly to where you next need to be.

Even though this is the simplest little thing ever, it seriously works wonders. I do this most afternoons after work even if I don't have something else to rush to;  it lets a little space into my afternoons.

Why ten minutes on the timer?

Well, 3 minutes isn't long enough and you'd freak out if I suggested 30, so 10 seemed a good figure. 10 minutes seems doable. 

The reason you time it, is so you don't resist doing this altogether, in fear of 10 minutes turning into an hour. Timing it, means it really will only be that short window of time and you'll know when the time is up.

By carving out 10 minutes of white space in your afternoons, you'll be giving your body a much needed recharge, before asking it to take you wherever you are required next.

We all ensure we charge our iPhone's each day, because if we don't, they literally stop working. So, then, isn't it time we took the same discipline and diligence with our own batteries?