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EFF Burnout And The Horses It Rode In ON With Personal Productivity Systems | The JOYFull BadApp

Written by: Janifer Wheeler, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


If you’ve been working hard to make your life and business dreams come true, you’ve likely encountered The Four Horsemen of Burnout. Between hustle culture, toxic busyness, overload, and emotional labor, it can be easy to feel like you’re on the brink of burnout. But don’t worry—you don’t have to ride off into the sunset with these assholes. You can kick them to the curb with a little help from personal productivity!

stressful young woman covering her face working on laptop

What the EFF is personal productivity?

Personal productivity is about taking a mindful approach to managing your time, energy, and resources. It’s about creating systems and processes that are designed to help you get the most out of your day. It’s also about being intentional with how you spend your time and not getting bogged down by things like hustle culture or toxic busyness.

It’s focusing on what brings you JOY in your business so that your systems are:

Efficient – find and close the gaps so you are streamlined in all areas of your life & Business, operating through the lens of JOYFulProductivity EVERY DAMN DAY!

Functional – systems are aligned with YOU, so they support you – no more fitting into other bitches boxes and feeling like a failure.

Flexible – your systems create space and freedom for YOU to do whatever the fuck you want, whenever you want. In other words – DO LESS and BE MORE involved in the work, hobbies, people, and places that matter most – TO YOU.

Integrating Personal Productivity

When incorporating personal productivity into your daily routine, start by identifying the areas where you struggle most. Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the tasks on your plate? Are you constantly battling against hustle culture? Are you struggling with emotional labor?

Once you’ve identified which horseman is causing the most headaches, it’s time to get real tactical about how to get rid of these assholes once and for all.

The Hustle Culture Horseman

First up on our list is hustle culture. You know what I’m talking about: those memes that glorify working until you drop, pushing yourself beyond your physical and mental limits, and sacrificing all your free time for productivity’s sake. This might work for some people, but it’s not sustainable for everyone and certainly not healthy. Instead of buying into hustle culture, focus on creating a plan that works for you. That might mean setting realistic goals or breaking down big projects into smaller tasks, making them easier to manage. And don’t forget to build in plenty of breaks throughout your day!

Unfortunately, the Hustle Culture Horseman is often praised as a way for entrepreneurs to get ahead in their business – but it can quickly lead to burnout if you aren’t careful. Hustle culture promotes working long hours with little rest or downtime for self-care activities like exercise or meditation. It also pressures entrepreneurs to constantly be “on” and produce results even when they aren’t feeling their best, which is complete bullshit. A way to avoid falling into this trap is by setting boundaries around your work time so that you can make sure to take care of yourself first.

The Toxic Busyness Horseman

The second horseman is toxic busyness—the idea that being constantly busy is an admirable goal and something to strive for rather than an indication that something isn’t working right in your life or business.

Toxic busyness can lead to burnout quickly because there’s no time built in for rest or recovery. To combat this, take stock of what is actually important in your life (hint: if it involves Netflix binging or bubble baths, it should definitely make the cut!). Then prioritize those things above all else so you can make room in your schedule for what matters most without feeling guilty about taking a break from work occasionally.

The Overload Horseman

Overload is the third horseman and refers to feeling overwhelmed by too much information or too many tasks at one time. Entrepreneurs often take on too much responsibility for their businesses without considering how much time each task requires. They don’t consider how much energy they have available for each day. Entrepreneurs who tend towards overload will often find themselves putting off important tasks because they don’t want—or don’t have the energy—to tackle them all at once.

To avoid overload, start out by streamlining everything from project management systems to communication processes, so nothing falls through the cracks. I start EVERY day with Sunsama, an APP that helps me focus on my daily must-dos and weekly objectives. I collect all my ideas and brainstorms in the Backlog and review them weekly to see what projects or tasks are ready to be worked on.

Create specific boundaries with clients or coworkers about when you will be available (no more late-night emails!) and stick to them as best as possible. Finally, give yourself permission to say no if something isn’t necessary or feasible right now. After all, Hell NO is a complete sentence!

To prevent overload from becoming an issue in your business, it’s important to set realistic results for yourself based on what feels achievable rather than trying to do it all at once. You can also delegate a lot of the shit you hate, which creates space to be more!

The Emotional Labor Horseman

The last horseman is emotional labor. This one is a real ass kicker and mostly belongs to women. A lot of us are familiar with the term “physical labor.” It’s the kind of labor that requires you to use your body to get shit done. But there’s another kind of labor that’s just as demanding, and it’s called emotional labor – the unpaid, often invisible work women do daily to keep those around them happy and comfortable. And guess what? It’s exhausting.

Whether it’s listening to your partner, venting about their day, being the shoulder to cry on for a friend, or constantly having to smile and be polite when you’d really rather scream, emotional labor is something all women are expected to do. It’s culturally ingrained in us from a young age to be caretakers, so we often put our own needs last.

Emotional labor can be draining, and it’s important to remember that self-care is essential to keep your business running at its peak performance.

To stay sane while dealing with emotional labor, try tapping into mindfulness practices like deep breathing exercises, yoga, and journaling each day; they’ll help keep you centered when everything else feels chaotic.

Burnout is not your fault. Bad habits do not cause it, nor can it be magically resolved by changing your habits. Of course, if you start to exercise, drink more water, or meditate, you will benefit, but none of that will burnout-proof your life and business for good.

The most sustainable solution is JOYFull Productivity – developing personal systems to help you EFF the bullshit you experience daily.

If the Four Horsemen are wreaking havoc in your life, The JOYFull BadAPP can help and is now available in both Apple and Google Play.

Our new APP delivers micro course memberships, monthly challenges, and the BadAss Nation Community, all designed to meet you where you are so you can uplevel your Personal Productivity Systems.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Janifer Wheeler, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

After retiring from teaching, Janifer Wheeler realized she had a bigger calling.

She now brings her 20+ years of experience in education to the production industry to help entrepreneurs and teams find the proverbial work-life balance by following her JOYfully method.

She’s also founded The JOYFully BadAss Academy, where they teach people how not only to do more but enjoy every minute of their workday — without taking any excuses or guilt home with them either (we know what it’s like). Give me 30 days, and you won’t regret it! Click here to learn more.



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