Re: Staying motivated.

Adam Rifkin (
Sat, 8 Jun 1996 20:58:28 -0700 (PDT)

This one comes from MIT. Apropos, Rohit?

Burnout Prevention and Recovery

1.STOP DENYING. Listen to the wisdom of your body. Begin to freely
admit the stresses and pressures which have manifested physically,
mentally, or emotionally.

MIT VIEW: Work until the physical pain forces you into unconsciousness.

2.AVOID ISOLATION. Don't do everything alone! Develop or renew
intimacies with friends and loved ones. Closeness not only brings new
insights, but also is anathema to agitation and depression.

MIT VIEW: Shut your office door and lock it from the inside so no one
will distract you. They're just trying to hurt your productivity.

3.CHANGE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. If your job, your relationship, a
situation, or a person is dragging you under, try to alter your
circumstance, or if necessary, leave.

MIT VIEW: If you feel something is dragging you down, suppress these
thoughts. This is a weakness. Drink more coffee.

4.DIMINISH INTENSITY IN YOUR LIFE. Pinpoint those areas or aspects
which summon up the most concentrated intensity and work toward
alleviating that pressure.

MIT VIEW: Increase intensity. Maximum intensity = maximum productivity.
If you find yourself relaxed and with your mind wandering, you are
probably having a detrimental effect on the recovery rate.

5.STOP OVERNURTURING. If you routinely take on other people's problems
and responsibilities, learn to gracefully disengage. Try to get some
nurturing for yourself.

MIT VIEW: Always attempt to do everything. You ARE responsible for it
all. Perhaps you haven't thoroughly read your job description.

6.LEARN TO SAY "NO". You'll help diminish intensity by speaking up for
yourself. This means refusing additional requests or demands on your
time or emotions.

MIT VIEW: Never say no to anything. It shows weakness, and lowers the
research volume. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do at

7.BEGIN TO BACK OFF AND DETACH. Learn to delegate, not only at work,
but also at home and with friends. In this case, detachment means
rescuing yourself for yourself.

MIT VIEW: Delegating is a sign of weakness. If you want it done right,
do it yourself (see #5).

8.REASSESS YOUR VALUES. Try to sort out the meaningful values from the
temporary and fleeting, the essential from the nonessential. You'll
conserve energy and time, and begin to feel more centered.

MIT VIEW: Stop thinking about your own problems. This is selfish. If
your values change, we will make an announcement at the Corporation
meeting. Until then, if someone calls you and questions your priorities,
tell them that you are unable to comment on this and give them the
number for Community and Government Relations. It will be taken care of.

9.LEARN TO PACE YOURSELF. Try to take life in moderation. You only have
so much energy available. Ascertain what is wanted and needed in your
life, then begin to balance work with love, pleasure, and relaxation.

MIT VIEW: A balanced life is a myth perpetuated by liberal arts
schools. Don't be a fool: the only thing that matters is work and

10.TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Don't skip meals, abuse yourself with rigid
diets, disregard your need for sleep, or break the doctor appointments.
Take care of yourself nutritionally.

MIT VIEW: Your body serves your mind, your mind serves the Institute.
Push the mind and the body will follow. Drink Mountain Dew.

11.DIMINISH WORRY AND ANXIETY. Try to keep superstitious worrying to
aminimum - it changes nothing. You'll have a better grip on your
situation if you spend less time worrying and more time taking care of
your real needs.

MIT VIEW: If you're not worrying about work, you must not be very
committed to it. We'll find someone who is.

12.KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR. Begin to bring job and happy moments into
your life. Very few people suffer burnout when they're having fun.

MIT VIEW: So, you think you work is funny? We'll discuss this with your
director on Friday, at 7:00 P.M.!