Everyone strives for success, whatever that may be. Sometimes it’s a huge award, a pat on the back, or making it through another day. Our goals—whatever they are—contribute to our meaning of success, and they’re not always easy achievements. Success comes with pressure and requires time, effort, and sometimes resources that not everyone has access to. If you’re feeling tired and burned out on the road to your success, remember to take care of your mental health whenever you can as you work toward your goals.
Why is there so much pressure behind success?
Unfortunately, success will very often cost you money and other high stakes and also sets expectations on you. It’s difficult to not succumb to pressure while also trying to maintain your wellbeing, especially if you’re somebody who puts high-performance standards on yourself. Plus, the stress of achieving goals at work can exhaust you when the day ends, making it hard to bond with your loved ones or spend leisure time with yourself. All of these factors, if unresolved, can lead to severe burnout and mental health problems.
Here’s how you can establish a healthier relationship with productivity!
Set rules and goals for yourself
Instead of high expectations, try setting rules and habits that will help you instead. Break your goals down into smaller goals so you can dedicate your time more easily and with less stress. This way, you can stop doing work at a certain time after you’ve completed your daily smaller goals (for example, stop at 7 PM) so you can spend the rest of the day resting and recharging for tomorrow. Setting smaller goals can look something like this:
Goals of the week
Finish the first part of a big project
Submit the draft for an important presentation or proposal so you would only need to revise some points the next week
Respond to emails (this might be best done in one scheduled sitting, as emails can take a lot of time)
which ones are your top priority of the week, and then you can continue the next parts of big projects or new smaller ones next week.
2. Find physical activities that you enjoy
Physical activity is important to maintaining a healthy mind because it’s refreshing, boosts your endorphins, and you can even see them as smaller successes. The recommended amount of physical activity (of moderate-intensity) for the average adult is 2.5 hours a week. This can include:
Walking (a 15-minute walk before/after work most days a week is good)
Doing household chores
Organized group exercise like team sports or simply working out as a community (yoga with friends, jogging with family, etc.)
These “everyday victories” can be as simple as taking a short walk around your neighbourhood, or doing a 20-minute workout at home. The relief that comes from being active will help you feel more motivated and physically healthy.
3. Schedule time to socialize
To busy people, leisure and socialising are very precious. Humans are social creatures after all! It’s very healthy to communicate with the people in our environment to keep a calm and motivated mind. This can be done in various ways:
Take some time out of your week to socialize with your loved ones.
Seek advice from your parents or other elders, who may have worked longer than you, and can understand whatever you might be going through.
If you can, see a professional for tips on balancing success and wellbeing.
Even a conversation with your co-worker can make you feel so much better, knowing that you’re on the same journey! Socialization is important in times of stress, so collaborating with others through reaching out or even working on your tasks side-by-side can be a huge help.