Take a breath

When asked in an interview with Deloitte about strategies for managing burnout, Liz Fosslien responded, “I think it’s also [about] getting comfortable with this uncomfortable thing that you don’t have to be ‘productive all the time,’ and that’s actually better for your long term success.”

Some days will be unavoidably intense and feel like a nonstop game of whac-a-mol.

On other days that need not necessarily be as intense, perhaps out of habit or some strong belief that the day's merit is strictly based on how much you produce, you will replicate this frenzy of jumping from one task to another in many cases at the expense of your wellbeing.

It’s good to do work that you find meaningful, it’s good to be a helpful colleague. None of this is in question.

But it’s also good — arguably essential — to carve out pockets of time where you allow yourself to step back, pause, and just take a breath (or two).

If you do this enough times, you’ll quickly realize that concerns about losing all of your progress or the world suddenly ending when you stop working are completely unfounded.

You can take a break with little expense (if any) to your work, and immense benefit to your short- and long-term wellbeing.



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William Liao

William Liao


Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)