Sustain issue #50 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)
This week marks an important milestone for me. As winter turns to spring, the way I spend time starts to change dramatically.
My approach to fitness, eating, learning, working, and enjoying time is meant to change throughout the year. Otherwise, I run the risk of burning out on them.
Instead of fighting the seasons, like I used to do, I organically started to go with the energy and mood of each one.
For me, spring and summer are tied together as are fall and winter.
Let’s take a look at how it comes together for my work and how it helps me avoid burnout.
Working by the season
I focus on learning and consuming information in the Fall/Winter so I have the whole Spring/Summer to think and decide the actions I want to take. I then use the following Fall/Winter to act on what I’ve decided in the Spring/Summer.
This means the lifespan of one big idea is one full year. For example in late 2020, I decided I might be interested in launching a paid newsletter. So I started reading up on the strategies, the technology I needed, etc. I then spent the Spring/Summer of 2021 in the concepting phase. Sometimes that was in front of my laptop researching web hosts I could build on, sometimes that was hastily jotting down notes about taglines on my phone, and mostly it was thinking through concepts while I was pulling weeds or planting carrots. I then spend the end of 2021 building my new site and getting reach to launch How I Quit Burnout.
The year before I did this with my veggie gardening. I became interested in it as a covid project but didn’t pursue it until I gave myself enough time to do it right.
The way I work with the seasons also means I’m pulling double duty in my Fall/Winter. I’m executing on the previous year’s idea while starting to wrap my mind around what might come the year ahead.
I’ve found this works really well for me as long as I pull back on the pace of my work and structure of my activities in the warmer months. Less structured workouts and more time gardening, kayaking, and biking keep my equilibrium right throughout the year.
For so long I tried to fight against the circadian rhythm of the seasons and chase consistency year-round. I’ve now found it to be more productive and fulfilling to go with the ebbs and flows of the season.
Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?
Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to eliminate burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it even though I never found a playbook for doing so. So, I'm writing it myself.
✉️ Want my top tips? I share my full step-by-step playbook in How I Quit Burnout, my premium newsletter. Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >
🗄️ See the past issues of Sustain