05 June 2016

The ultimate burnout

Ever been so mentally burnt out that you feel bad for yourself? I won't lie but I'm currently at a point where my mind has decided it just needs to go for a walk...out of my head. So far, after waking up today, I've had a  very tough time not getting distracted. Kind of like having a dam with a lot of leaks and even though the dam is still filling up faster than the leaks, somehow those leaks won't stop.

I had a few things I wanted to get done today but it got to a point I had to categorize my mind is ill ahah. It's something I've had a tough time accepting because I know we can push that little bit more, heck have a cup of coffee, hit that extra supplement or just push yourself, but it's these moments that shift me from "enjoying the moment" to "going through the motions". And right now, other than this entry, today has been a very big going through the motions day.

So the last week has been intense, I've finally gotten back to my Olympic Lifting training (finally!). I got to enjoy a live band show thanks to Underground HK's Heavy #14, and man, it totally threw me back into my drumming days. I literally spent all the time staring and enjoying the drummers. I remember leaving feeling good but also disappointed that I stopped my drumming and kept thinking "maybe I could just start again on the drum pad?". Ah, and this is where the whole "time waits for no man" factor stands in front of me once again.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a efficiency/productivity freak. Like I find so much fun is squeezing out every potential value out of each minute of life, but the older I get, the more I realize productivity/efficiency is only half the game. The ability to make the right choices is the other half. I mean, doing something you don't want to be doing, but doing it at maximum productivity doesn't exactly make it something you want to be doing. Sure at least I feel like I was wasting the minimum amount of time at doing it, but it shouldn't be about wasting the least amount of time, should it?

And that brings me to the next issue that anyone and everyone faces -- doing the things you want to do vs. doing the things you need to do. I guess that's where someone's sense of responsibility and integrity comes in and that is going to be the infinite battle and frustration between responsible and irresponsible people. Oh man, it boils my blood when I find myself doing someone else's job/responsibility because it's for the good of the big picture.

I guess as you can see, it's been quite a struggle for me recently, especially after the drumming incident where I thought "why aren't I drumming anymore!?" and I have no one to point at or blame other than myself. Hmm, maybe I'll have an answer in 10 days time? Maybe not. I'm too burnt out to give an opinion on this :P

Now, going to do what I'm really good at right now -- get distracted without trying.

4 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Kong said...

Burnout is one of the most confusing states and unfortunately happens to the best of us and those who are extremely passionate, it sucks even more when it goes unnoticed by the ones we work with or work for...

On the topic of doing someone else's job/responsibility, Cantonese is very concise when we describe someone as having 冇手尾. I've recently learnt that this term doesn't exist in Mandarin but they say 爛尾 "broken tail". Chinese is so efficient! I've tried to consider explaining this to Aussie colleagues but not worth it lol... and even then if I've stopped doing special favours for them they still won't notice, people can only help themselves. Too much helps makes people helpless, but then again some people are simply put as beyond help!

15 June, 2016 22:17  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Yeah, youre exactly right. 冇手尾 is something I really value, I mean something I appreciate when someone has 手尾! It's those little things that can burn you out.

Anyway, there are 2 ways to do this, either rest or pump yourself up with caffeine and power through (but you always end up paying for it in the long run)....but yeah at times you just have to say you know what...forget it, let there be a 爛尾 then

But ahha yeah I love these terms that only exist in Cantonese...or is something part of the Canto life style, it's just so representative of the culture as well ahaha...

16 June, 2016 10:47  
Blogger Daniel Kong said...

Thanks for sharing, it's actually something I needed to read or discuss since I know I'm at the pre-burnout stage at the moment. A recent book I finished reading and am still re-reading is "Working with Bitches" by Meredith Fuller (interestingly based in Melbourne) had a simple page on burnout: put simply it's a psychological response from overworking that results in 'running on empty' and 'loss of equilibrium'. So by logic to restore that one must rest, simple concept but difficult in practice when everyone wants a piece of you because they see you as someone who will always say yes.

The best translation for 手尾 in English I found was "unfinished tasks" so that's 2 vs 4 syllables... and even then it's lost in translation.

17 June, 2016 21:47  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ah yes, "loss of equilibrium" is very correct. When I'm burnt out, I kinda feel like my scale's tipped to one side and nothing functions properly. And yep, "rest" is always the solution but to do that...man that's a whole different game because a lot of it has to do "no, but I think I can just do this one more item in my list"....when you're conditioned to "get stuff done", you end up adding "rest" to your to do list for it to have any chances of happening lol

18 June, 2016 13:41  

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