And just like those systems, when we get hit by a heat wave, we have to slow down, cool off, and recharge. If we don’t take the warning signs into account early enough, then we risk catastrophic failure, sickness, burnout, or worse.
The thing is that most of us don’t learn to “monitor” ourselves and don’t know how to interpret the warning signs. Some of us even live in denial and don’t accept the truth when faced with it.
The solution is not so much to anticipate those heat waves, but rather to design our environment so that those either never happen or are much less severe.
If we feel stressed all the time, then we need to switch gears, find a new job, a new position, a different work schedule, etc. Same if we feel exhausted, demotivated, bored, anxious, etc.
We need to design our work around our lives and not the other way around. The future of work is not only remote, but it is also much more aligned with our core values, with our specific needs, and is respectful of our own biological rhythm. It’s not an option, it’s a necessity. Society just takes too long to realize and adjust. Way too long.
The good news is that we don’t need to wait for society to evolve. Maturity is responsibility. It’s up to us to take responsibility for our own well-being. Productivity really needs a rethink. Hustle culture is toxic and shouldn’t be promoted in any way. Yes, it’s okay to be in a rush from time to time, but no it’s not okay to always have to be at 110%. We are not meant to work like that. Just like the electrical infrastructure is not made to be put under intense pressure all the time. What we need instead is wellbeing-driven productivity, as Martine Ellis
calls it, or Zen productivity, as I like to call it. That is, sustainable productivity. Productivity that does not hurt us, and does not lead to heat waves.
Think about that the next time you “feel the heat”!