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Welcome to the new year!

Are you already feeling tired, overwhelmed and weighed down by all the things demanding your time, energy and attention?  

Are you dreaming of that next holiday?  You know the one where someone cleans up after you? Gosh is Easter really 4 months away? That feels like forever…

Have you reached the point where if one more person asks to you to make one more decision you might just perform a random act of violence?


Chances are, you are like most people in the modern world who experience the perpetual state of do more with less.   We have for years been asking our minds, our bodies and our spirit to do much more with less.  In fact, many of us now have unreasonable expectations of time and energy that we think

  • That being fatigued at the end of the day is abnormal
  • That eating nutritious food is for people who have the time
  • That doing more than 1 thing at a time is sign of productivity and efficiency

After 20 years of helping people return to work following injury and illness including Burn- Out, here are 5 ways you can create your own Fast Track to Burn-Out in 2020:


  1. Do not plan to schedule anything. Make sure you have no control over your calendar and please try and remember all your appointments and important deadlines.  Because after all your memory is so much more reliable than any scheduling system (including the retro paper diary with pen).  A sure-fire way to BURN- OUT is to lose control over your time and then you start missing important deadlines or meetings and you feel like you are a scatter brain and you develop a reputation for being unreliable.


  1. Wake up with coffee and go to bed with wine. After all this type of self-medication is powerful.  It comforts us, especially when the coffee is oh so velvety and when the wine is smooth and rich… Your fast track to Burn-Out is watching how much more caffeine, sugar and alcohol you start consuming as the year progresses.


  1. Please sit all day. Sit in your car or on your commute; sit at your desk, while on the phone, while watching TV; while talking to your family members – sit all day all the time. Just keep sitting. After all your body wasn’t built to move, there is no need to get that blood that has pooled in your backside, thighs, and abdomen to move around, let it sit and stagnate. Why would your body need fresh oxygenated blood to perform at its best?


  1. Do not say NO ever! For a Fast Track to Burn-Out, simply remove No from your vocabulary and ensure you say Yes to all the people all the time.  You will be Burnt-Out in no time ?


  1. Always be doing two things at once; at least. Actually, have two things on the go and have a back up third as a contingency for when one of the first two get completed. This way you can convince yourself that you are being super productive and efficient, while you can create the self-talk around nothing ever being completed; always feeling stretched and then many things go out with errors that you then have to fix.  Nothing like feeling like you are always late and always making mistakes to help Fast Track your Burn-Out.


Please know I’ve written this post deliberately to help all of us understand how close we are to BURN-OUT every day. More importantly how we have simple behavioural changes close at hand that can help us create a more integrated, balanced, effective life that includes all the things that are important to us.

Burn-Out is on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the modern workforce.  For people who are employed, full time, part time, contracted, freelance, self-employed, or in some other form of work – it’s everywhere.  We have for many years worn feeling Burnt-Out as a badge of honour.  Its not.  Burn-Out is sad, it leads to illness, it leads to absenteeism and worse it leads to ‘presenteeism’.

No one is immune to BURN-OUT. However, we can make the changes we need to help our minds, body’s and spirits perform in the ways that they were intended.  It’s time to take control of your work load, starting with the unreasonable expectations that have become your new normal and that you may be SELF-IMPOSING…

What is one thing you can change? Commit to it for 30 days, just one, make it a habit. Once you create a habit of success you will find it easier to create and other, then another then another.

You do have the choice to DEFY BURN-OUT – but it’s your choice to do something about it.


Here’s to making work, work well.


Blog written by Jo Muirhead, founder & CEO at Purple Co

Connect with Jo here




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