Burned Out? Admit to It and Push Yourself

I am burned out.

My vacation was not very restful. That is okay, because a family vacation with young kids does not give the parents a chance to truly rest. You still have to care for your children. Luckily I also plan vacations for just my wife and I as well as ones where I am by myself (like Gen Con).

On top of the not-so-restful vacation my return to home was immediately followed by a five day long power outage. Unexpected, but worse things have happened to better people. You just have to roll with the punches.

But I am feeling drained. I do not want to write for my own blog. I do not want to prep for any games. Gen Con is right around the corner, and I just do not want to do anything for it.

It is so important to recognize when you are burned out. Both as a GM and for life in general. You need to knwo when your body and mind need a break.

But you also need to reach that point of exhaustion in order to discover just how far you can push yourself as well. Yes, you need to make sure that you do not harm yourself. Again, burned out people need a break from whatever it is that burned them out.

But champions take shorter breaks during their burned out phases. Micro breaks such as setting aside two hours a day when they will not allow themselves to work on a project. Champions learn to take a break of the right length to prevent an injury, and at the same time increase their endurance.

If you want to be a champion GM you need to know when you have reached your limits, but you also need to have a plan and a goal to move past them.

For me that means posting to this blog everyday even when I do not want to. It means prepping a little bit each day for Gen Con even though I do not want to. Finally, it means setting aside some time each day where both writing for my blog and prepping for games is not allowed at all.

This will make me a better GM and writer in the long run, because anyone can take a long break when things get tough. The people who want to improve take a break just long enough to help them get through the tough times. The only way to make your work easier is to master it, and a master never settles for the easy way out when there is so much knowledge to be gained by facing a challenge instead.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below and let everyone know how you feel.