Did you run a little harder last week? I did. We saw a “sea of red” in Ampll user batteries spread out like an oil spill that covered nearly every surface by the end of the day on Friday. This was a first since we’ve been onboarding new users for testing.
What was it about last week? As a parent of young children, I can speak to it in my world at least. It was the kids second week back to full time school. That was different than their first week back for my family. Let’s back up to see why.
The first week our kids were back in school did not bring relief. The ongoing COVID case numbers and variant worries meant anxiety superseded relief in my house. We are so close to getting my son, who turns twelve on October 1st, vaccinated. And for my eight-year-old, we hope that won’t be far behind too. Now adding exposure risk in the last mile to vaccination for them is scary. But they need what only being in school can provide, so we are trying to make peace with it.
So what was different about the second week? Well, the anxiety is still there but it’s stepped into the mental background, as things do when you get used to them. Humans are incredibly resilient and adaptable. Also, despite the anxiety it is really nice to have them back in school. They are thriving with the interaction and responsibility. For my wife and I, it is world changing. There is so much more of ourselves to give now. Everything is better, from morning bike rides to read-aloud bedtime routines. For our family, quantity time is being replaced with quality time.
So, with more to give, where does it go? We still are limiting our interactions outside the home. So, for me, it’s been work. I was working about the same hours during the day with the kids home but by the end of the day, I was depleted. I’m not anymore without the stressful noises, cute interruptions, and guilt that so much responsibility was falling on my wife while I’m “at work.” Plus, I really love what I do at work. Our purpose at AMPLL to foster caring in others is aspirational and rewarding to work on.
So I took the extra jolt of energy and sprinted away! I worked basically a double on Monday, ignoring the Holiday entirely. And on top of that put in two late nights (2–4 AM). For most of the week, I doggedly ignore AMPLL’s gentle boost reminders encouraging me to take a few minutes for myself as my battery redlined. I didn’t need to work this hard or nonstop, and I don’t really feel bad that I did. It was tiring but fun.
However, it is not sustainable. It is really important in moments like this to take a step back. The best way to do this is one week at a time. A week is the most natural unit of measurement to evaluate and tune your working style. So pick a time each week to lift up your head and look around to see what is working and what you need to tweak.
Sometimes the tweak you need is just recognizing when you have been sprinting hard and may want to reset your pace. Sprinting occasionally is OK. It’s exciting and challenging. Trying to keep a sprint pace indefinitely is hazardous though. It leads to chronic fatigue and burnout. That’s according to Leah Borski, a burnout prevention expert, who recently shared this at Entrepreneur.com:
Our “hustle at any cost” culture has convinced us that this means choosing between success and quality of life (e.g. health, happiness and fulfillment). This either/or mindset is not just inaccurate — it actually threatens our bottom lines and secretly sabotages success.
What’s my week ahead look like? No, I don’t plan to slow down. Yes, I do plan to stop more often and prioritize my rest, health, and personal goals. In fact, I may just try some of the 5-minutes habits from Leah Borski’s article that neuroscience claims will change my life. Please reach out to us in our Slack user community or via email and let me know what your last week was like and your plan for the week ahead. I hope you have a productive and healthy week!