Balance. Boundaries. Self-Care.

We hear them all the time and they’re critical to success and avoiding burnout. But we rarely hear about a system to keep them in check.

If you’re anything like me, I need a system. A clear path to achieving my goals. And balance, boundaries, and self-care are among top priorities on my goal list.

Neil Pasricha, author of ‘The Happiness Equation’, has created a simple, beautiful way to explain how to make sure you’re avoiding the dreaded burnout.

First, he explains we have four ‘boxes’ of functioning.

1. Burn

We’re banging on all cylinders here. We’re super productive. High functioning. Mind is on. Body is on. Where the magic happens. Aka WORKING.

It’s addictive. It’s hard to leave this space because it feels sooooo good. But unfortunately, as we all know, it isn’t sustainable. Which is why we need our other functions to be fueled too.

2. Think

Our body is still. We aren’t physically executing. But our mind is being elevated. Reading, listening to a podcast, watching a motivational speaker. This is where we expand the mind but let our body rest.

3. Do

Now it’s the mind’s turn to veg-out. This is physical exertion with calmness of mind. Yoga, weight-lifting, cycling, hiking. The body is exerted and the mind replenishes.

4. Space

We are OFF. There’s peace. Calmness of body. Calmness of mind. Laying on a beach somewhere soaking up rays (with no phone going *ding ding* anywhere near us). Meditation. Good old R&R.

How to Achieve Balance

I’ve previously discussed how important it is to schedule in your ‘downtime’ (or non-negotiables) the same way you schedule in meetings, work, and client calls.

But is your ‘downtime’ balanced? Are you getting time in Space, Do, AND Think?

Just like everything else in your life, you need to make time and use energy to make activities happen in all of these areas. Take some time to brainstorm activities you enjoy that fit into each box. For example, my personal favorites are meditation (Space), TED talks/SoulSunday podcast (Think), and yoga/cycling (Do).

Make sure your recipe for success includes ingredients from each box of function, then schedule those activities in and pull yourself away from the Burn… or suffer the burnout.

What do you do in each of these spaces? ✊ Leave me a comment below to tell me your favorites.