Break your time up into “seasons.”
Think sports: off-season, playoff season, pre-season.
What season are you in with your project?
If you’re always in, say, playoff season, always going full blast, everything’s on the line, sleepless nights, all in until the big day … chances are you’re going to burn out.
Unless that’s a temporary time and you’ll soon be in the off season or maybe the post season when things slow down.
Inspired by: John Lee Dumas’ interview with Lewis Howes and how Lewis, an athlete, breaks up his work into seasons. He notes that it can’t always be playoff season, you’d burn out.
Or perhaps you’re a multi-sport athlete and you’re playing basketball, football and badminton. Which are you focusing on? Which sport do you want to go furthest with? Do you have a clear goal with that one sport on a specific date in the future?
If you had to classify yourself as often stuck in a season, where would you be?
I’m taking a sports analogy a step further. Place your business or your course or book or art in here and the work you do towards it.
- Off-season: you don’t even need to practice … unless you’re the type who can’t not. Otherwise, relax, keep yourself busy with something completely different.
- Pre-season: the real season is coming up soon. You’re practicing, thinking about your game, analyzing last year’s performance. If you have games, they don’t count, but, uh, well, they do.
- Pre-conference play: (I’m a college football fan … sorry) these games don’t matter as much as the ones coming up (conference play), but they matter all the same. Are you going to take it lightly and maybe lose one? Not going to look great on your regular season. They don’t count as much, but they still count.
- Regular season: this is the work. This the grind, the grueling day-to-day that you need to get right. It’s hard, it’s tiring, it’s not glamorous, but you have to work it.
- Playoffs: you’ve worked efficiently and effectively in 1 through 4, now it’s time to put on the afterburners. If you think you’ve already put in the hard work, well, you have, but this is where it counts, where it shows, and where they’re watching.
- Championship: if you get this far, momentum and inertia will here either fizzle out or we see what you’re really made of. There are players who, with one second left, either want the ball and want to make the play or who would rather sit on the sidelines and hope the best player makes the play. Whoever you are, it’s your team and if you’re not stepping up, it’s time to step out.
- Post-season: take a breather. Don’t play the game. Celebrate your wins, learn from your losses. Do something completely different. Enjoy. Rest. Rejuvenate.