The Fallacy of Burnout

I’ve been warned about burning out for so many years.

The Fallacy of BurnoutI’ve been warned about burning out for so many years.

I’ve been warned about burning out for so many years.

“Do not work too hard”

“Get your rest”

“Take your time”

I think this is really good advice, BUT — I do not believe that burnout is a product of overworking.

Rather, I subscribe to this idea:

I was told and I thought for a long time that you get burned out from working too hard. And at least in my own experience, what I found is that burnout actually comes from failing and things not working. Momentum is really energizing. The lack of momentum is super draining. And I find that I have infinite energy to work on things that I find interesting and that are working and almost none to work on things that I either don’t find interesting or aren’t working. And so I think you see a lot of founders try something and fail and assume that they just can’t work hard enough or don’t have enough energy or passion or whatever and that’s actually not true. It’s just that that thing didn’t work and what you should do is shut that company down, go on vacation and try again. And many people then find that, “Oh, actually when I’m doing this thing that I like and that is working, I have a huge amount of energy and I can get a lot of stuff done.” And so when you look at really successful people and say, “How do they get all those things done,” they have the benefit of momentum and momentum is energizing. And the lack of momentum is really not energizing — Sam Altman

To watch his full talk click here.

Anyways, the lesson I learned here is that you should not let “admonitions” stop you from doing things.

While I appreciate advice ~ if I had listened to all the advice I have ever gotten in my life ~ then I’d probably be caught doing nothing.

Time is limited. That’s why I do everything I can to make the most out of every day.

Originally published at on September 30, 2016.

Tagged in Entrepreneurship, Startup

By jordangonen on September 30, 2016.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.