Avoiding burnout can be tough. Regardless of how organized or motivated you are, it is a challenge to stay productive and perform at your best when juggling multiple projects and priorities.
My weekday schedule -- like many of yours -- is jam-packed. I run a company that connects athletes with private coaches. I invest in companies, advise startups, serve as a mentor for two startup accelerators, and am working on my second book. Being involved in multiple endeavors can be demanding.
However, I have come to believe that avoiding work exhaustion begins with prevention and adequate rest. That's why time off isn't slacking off: it's a way to reset, recharge, and come up with creative solutions you might otherwise miss.
And for the rest of the time, you need a system that will help you manage daily activities. Here are my eight tips to stay focused and take control of the day-to-day grind.
1. Keep your days uniform.
While I may not wear the same thing every day, I do wake up at the same time each morning, check my email, go for a run, read while eating breakfast, and then get to work. The routine will vary for everyone, but mine helps me stay focused on the big picture and not "sweat the small stuff."
2. Do multiple things at once.
While multitasking isn't productive when it comes to tackling difficult projects, you can read articles while eating or read a book while stretching.
Look through your day-to-day schedule for opportunities to combine activities. You'll feel more accomplished and worry less about wasted time. However, keep in mind that it is important to zone in on one particular activity every once in a while.
3. Reduce meetings.
If you have a lot of meetings, try to have them all in one day. I schedule all my meetings on Monday. Sometimes they pour over into Tuesday, but reducing the day-to-day meetings helps me organize the rest of my week.
I'm also a strong advocate of walking one-on-one meetings. Taking a walk while meeting can help you form a stronger relationship compared to talking in a conference room. I've also found it's a better environment for a tough conversation.
4. Make time for human things.
I turn off my phone and laptop after 9 p.m., and spend my time at home doing human things like laundry, cooking, and cleaning.
Among all your responsibilities, know when to turn off and let your mind rest.
5. Determine your core priority and arrange tasks around that.
We all work for ourselves and our own priorities, whether it's a full-time job, several part-time jobs, or getting a new business off the ground.
For me, that means everything ties to CoachUp. It's the most important thing in my life outside of family, so most of what I do revolves around it. For example, any personal press I receive goes back to CoachUp.
My company is in the field of sports and technology, so all the time I spend learning about leading tech companies, investing in startups, and networking with other entrepreneurs, business leaders, celebrity athletes, or investors brings value back to CoachUp.
6. Change your perspective.
Work doesn't have to be viewed as strictly office time.
I believe part of my job is taking care of my body, so I can give my all to my company. This means that working out and playing sports, which are fun activities for me, are part of my career. And at the same time, relaxing becomes part of my job too.
It's about changing your mindset. Rather than focusing solely on the negative, difficult aspects of "work," find activities you enjoy and find rejuvenating, and consider them part of your overall career development. You'll find that the entire work experience is more positive as a result.
7. Reflect and recharge.
Recharging is an important part of being successful. You have to take breaks. Getting out of the daily grind helps you reflect on what you are doing, what your goals and priorities are, and find clarity.
All of that ultimately helps when you get back to the office, and can even spark some new, creative ideas.
8. Get better at saying "no."
The more successful you become, the more opportunities you will have for projects, investments, places to go, and people to meet.
Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, has made it a point that successful people say no to almost everything. Ask yourself, "Does this fit with my overall direction and the things that matter to me?" Having a strong sense of priority and knowing what you want to spend your time on is vital to remaining effective.
So there you have it: eight tips that help me maintain focus no matter what life throws my way. However, we all know that productivity isn't just about hacks and tactics -- it's an attitude and a set of habits that you must develop and practice daily.
How do you stay productive and avoid burnout? Please share in the comments.