Use “Energy Buckets” to Avoid Burnout

Burnout. You know the stages, you know the signs and you know how to  avoid  it. But despite our best efforts, it still happens.

Entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer James Clear shares his simple visualization to help us lead a balanced life: a bucket.

Imagine that your health and energy are a bucket of water. In your day-to-day life, there are things that fill your bucket up. These are inputs like sleep, nutrition, meditation, stretching, laughter, and other forms of recovery.There are also forces that drain the water from your bucket. These are outputs like lifting weights or running, stress from work or school, relationship problems, or other forms of stress and anxiety.

Clear says that if we want to keep your bucket full, we have two options:

  1. Refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means catching up on sleep, making time for laughter and fun, eating enough to maintain solid energy levels, and otherwise making time for recovery.
  2. Let the stressors in your life accumulate and drain your bucket. Once you hit empty, your body will force you to rest through injury and illness.

Recovery is non-negotiable: you can recover on your own terms or on the terms burnout sets when it inevitably catches up to you. The choice is yours.

This post was originally published on 99U.