I used to have a team mantra, that actually motivated quite a few individuals. It was: “work hard, play hard”. We were a bunch of traveling consultants- partly why I’ve been to 49 out of the 50 states- who were mission driven. But we were also quite susceptible to burnout. Traveling for work is not all that glamorous. It’s not good when you wake up in a hotel and for a nanosecond can’t remember which city you happen to be in. Trust me, that has happened to a high percentage of business travelers. And, then when you are home, that too seems a bit strange. Add to that travel delays, rude fellow passengers, and the cultural navigation of new cities. Unlike what Sheila E sang about, it wasn’t a glamorous life.
You get the picture. As such, my rally cry for the troops was work hard, play hard. Everyone had to define for themselves what play hard meant. For some, it meant catching a Blue Man group show in a small town. For others, it meant clubbing till 3am. My point was to say we will work hard, but there will be something at the end that will offset that. There will be a balance of sorts.
Nowadays- five years later- its work hard and recharge. Apparently play hard went out of vogue. Maybe too much pressure physically and mentally. Now we are to recharge. I suppose that means quite time and a cup of tea or a literal recharge detox juice. When you work hard and play hard, you do eventually run out of fumes. You sputter. You toss and turn. You end up burning out.
Here’s the thing. Even with recharging you can burn out. You can try to zen out after work. However, if work is toxic, there may not be enough room or capacity to recharge. At that point, it may be more its time to work hard and move on.