Burnout and lack of motivation – how to deal with them?

During the past few months, I wasn’t feeling myself. I was tired all the time, had no self-motivation nor energy. Considering all the things that I was working on lately and the energy I put into these things, I’m sure it was a burnout. And a couple of weeks were a complete disaster. So I decided to find a way out of this ridiculous and devastating situation.

First of all, I thought I was able to do more than I actually could. In one of my previous posts, I already mentioned that currently, I’m working full-time and also studying for my master’s degree. Studying itself is not an easy thing. Reading all the papers, attending lectures, preparing for the exams and writing Master thesis feels like one more full-time job. When I’m trying to do my best in all that, obviously, it’s way too much. 

As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. That’s exactly what I was trying to do. 

The worst thing about this situation is that not only I burned-out. All my motivation seemed to be gone. I wanted to quit both my work and university and just sleep until the Spring will come. Of course, I understood how stupid it sounded and that for sure I wouldn’t quit. However, seeing the days fly and being stuck in never-ending to-do tasks and routine was killing me. What used to bring me joy and excitement was dull and uninteresting.

When it’s a burnout…

Well, because of the burnout, I was wishing for a couple of months-long sleep, this was the first thing I did. Just instead of a couple of months, it was around 4 hours of sleep in the afternoon on my day off. Instead of working on my thesis, I got into bed and slept. A lot could have been done during those four hours but sleep was the best way to spend them. Once I was well-rested, I had enough energy to think through all the details of that tricky time and to look for solutions.

Also, I didn’t have quality time with myself for quite a long and that was what I needed most (after sleep). A hot bath and a cup of coffee with a good book made me feel calm and stress-free. That’s what I’m dedicating at least one hour each evening for the past few weeks. It’s not much but it helps to keep the balance.

Motivation, where are you?

Speaking of motivation, each Monday I open my planner and write down all the things that need to be done – both long term and short term. Also, I asked myself why each of these things needs to be done. Besides, I plan not only on such things as studying, sports, groceries shopping and cleaning but also family and friends time. Seeing the full picture of duties and pleasures and knowing why exactly I do what I do, helps me to do everything on time, avoid more chaos and keeps me motivated. 

Besides, for motivation reading also helps a lot. The books I’ve been reading lately were not also interesting and great for leisure but also inspiring to do your best in life and make the most of it. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight was absolutely wonderful and made me find the strength to keep going.

Of course, your ways of dealing with burnouts and lack of motivation can differ from mine but the most important things remain the same. First, identify what your body needs. And them figure out why you do what you do. That’s the best solution.