With the arrival of my son Jackson in June and working hard on a number of projects, I’ve been fighting a bad case of burn out. Here’s how I’m managing the extra workload:
1. I’m sleeping a lot.
Thanks to an amazing wife, I’ve been able to get solid sleep every night so that I can work hard during the mornings. By getting enough sleep, I get almost everything I need to do done by around noon, and have the rest of the day to help out around the house.
I don’t handle lack of sleep well (few people do, in my opinion) and I found that taking the extra time to get an extra hour of sleep has drastically improved my mental outlook and productivity.
2. I’m eating really healthy.
Musicians often neglect the most important part of their job: being in good health. If you’re not eating right, you’re going to have a hard time having enough energy to get the job accomplished.
Personally, eating healthy to me has been following a body builder’s diet of around 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats. I also try to eat a large chunk of raw or steamed veggies every day to get the vitamins my body desperately needs to keep from wearing down under the stress and getting sick.
3. I’m relying heavily on lists.
Even with the foundation I’ve built with #1 and #2, I’m still having problems staying focused. I’ve found the only way for me to stay on task throughout the day is to write down everything I need to do in Wunderlist, and let it be my memory for me.
4. I’m relying on caffeine for “bursts” to get stuff done.
This is the only point that I might not recommend (just trying to keep it honest!) When I’m really struggling to get something done and it’s stressing me out, I may or may not chug a couple cups of coffee and plough through it on a caffeine high.
My nutritionist friends would probably disagree with me, but I feel that as long as I don’t do this to often, it’s not a bad way to get things done that are stressing me out.
5. I’ve been practicing meditation.
I believe that meditation can do amazing things for stressed out people like me. Since I’m a Christian, I’ve been spending about 3-5 minutes every day meditating on a specific verse in the Bible while regulating my breathing patterns. I use the rhythm of the verse to control my focus and inhale/exhale movement, and it’s been amazing how it’s helped with stress.