I’m Feeling Burnt Out. I Need a Little Rest. I Need to Re-Energise and Re-Focus

That’s Why I Need to Take Time Out From WorkLife Stories Publications

Learning Resources from School of WorkLife Learn Through Writing, Reading and Exploring Ideas
Learn Through Writing, Reading and Exploring Ideas

I’ve been writing pretty much non-stop for close to three years.

Just before the pandemic hit, I had published my first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and its accompanying workbook, Your WorkLife Your Way The Workbook.

The book and workbook focus on helping people live their best WorkLife by managing their learning, development and growth through effective self feedback, insightful self questions and the ability to shape and tell their unique stories.

When setting out to write my book, I established three criteria to guide me. 

  1. It had to be helpful.
  2. It had to be insightful.
  3. It had to be inspiring.

This simple approach continues to guide the books and stories I write and the learning resources I create.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I enjoyed writing the book. I wanted to continue the practice. 

There were two reasons for this:

  1. I wanted to learn, grow and develop as a writer. My approach to learning has always been learning by doing. So that’s what I set out to do.
  2. I wanted to raise awareness to my work as a writer. My writing is an expression of who I am – my values and beliefs. I began to share stories that demonstrated what I stand for and what I stand against.

I did this by writing a blog called WorkLife Book Wisdom. (Later renamed to WorkLife Stories). The idea came from my love of books. 

Reading has always been my go-to place for learning. 

The stories I wrote were based on real-life WorkLife struggles and successes. The protagonists in the stories gleaned the wisdom needed to navigate their challenging situations from the books they read. 

I read or re-read the books featured in the stories.

This also helped my learning, growth and development as a writer because reading is an integral part of being a good writer. 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Next, I developed the first six chapters of my book Your WorkLife Your WayPART 1: GETTING TO KNOW YOURSELF: IT’S AN INSIDE JOB,  into workshop modules.

The Six Chapters:

  1. Living Your WorkLife True to Your Values
  2. Discovering or Rediscovering Your WorkLife Purpose
  3. Your WorkLife Vision and Core Motivation
  4. Living Your Truth
  5. Who Do You Think You Are? Your Identity Your Brand
  6. Your Voice

These chapters represent the focus of my work. It begins by helping people identify a WorkLife path that’s true to their core values, purpose, and motivation. This is followed through by creating meaningful short and long-term WorkLife plans while enabling self-coaching, self-directing, and self-leadership to drive these plans.

 I was about to deliver the live workshop modules when …

… The pandemic hit, and all live events had to be cancelled.

My work stopped overnight. 

Not knowing what else to do, I continued to write the weekly WorkLife Book Wisdom stories. (Later renamed to WorkLife Stories).

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Then because I couldn’t deliver the live workshops, I decided to develop each of the twenty seven chapters of Your WorkLife Your Way (book and workbook) into individual e-books by adding more stories about real-life WorkLife struggles and successes. Each book also includes the exercises that helped navigate these situations, which are presented as assignments for people to work through and adapt to their WorkLife situations.

The collection became The School of WorkLife Book Seriesdesigned to help people continuously fine-tune their learning, development and growth in the areas that are most important to them. 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

I wanted to continue to learn, grow and develop as a writer.

I wanted to continue to raise awareness to my work as a writer.

So, I continued to write. I continued my approach of learning by doing. 

The great thing about learning by doing are the discoveries you make along the way.

I discovered the concept of Content Marketing. It appealed to me because it helps to establish expertise and promotes brand awareness. 

I adopted the approach of Content Marketing by writing stories that connected to the School of WorkLife e-books.

I needed to figure out how to reach the people I wanted to connect with.

So, I continued to write. I continued my approach of learning by doing. 

Writing and learning by doing requires research.

My research led me to discover the concept of Psychographics over Demographics.

Demographics include objective data such as gender, age, income, and marital status.

Psychographics include subjective data. 

Psychographics is about connecting with people through shared values and beliefs. It’s about connecting through a shared sense of identity and belonging. It’s about a group of people spread across all demographic lines, connected by common interests, attitudes and struggles.

This understanding helped me realise, unknowingly, I had naturally applied the concept of psychographics to my writing, creating and marketing. 

This understanding helped me to fine-tune what I was already doing. 

My approach in my work has always focused on the power of soft skills, which I sometimes describe as personal attributes. I’ve always believed in the strength of soft skills. To me, they are a superpower. 

Then my research led me to Attitudes are Skills, a blog post by Seth Godin. In which he wrote:

“Attitudes are skills 

Three words that changed my life

Once you realise that you can improve, amplify and refine the things that other people call attitudes, you may realise that they are skills.

Which is great news, because becoming better at a skill is something we’re able to do.

Some people call these, “soft skills.” That’s because they’re not easy to measure. But for me, they’re real skills. The skills that actually determine how far we’ll go and how it will feel to work with us as we move forward.”

This short post blew me away. Because once again, I realised, unknowingly, I had naturally applied the concept of Attitudes are Skills to my writing, creating and marketing. 

This understanding helped me to continue to fine-tune what I was already doing.

I changed the name of my blog from WorkLife Book Wisdom to WorkLife Stories to describe the range of stories I was now writing.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I had an idea to develop the first six WorkLife Book Wisdom stories I had written into a book.

So, that’s what I set out to do.

The book is WorkLife Book Club. It takes readers on a journey through the streets of Shoreditch, East London, as the members share culinary experiences, while discussing WorkLife struggles and successes through the wisdom found in the books and case studies they read. 

Then I developed the next six WorkLife Book Wisdom stories I had written into case studies which I called WorkLife Book Wisdom Learning Through Reading series. The stories are presented as case studies for group discussion. The case and the recommended book are the required reading for each book club meeting and help to frame the subsequent discussion. 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Next, I began to write two publications.

  1. WorkLife Book Wisdom – I had taken a break from these stories while writing WorkLife Book Club. The focus of this publication is to help people who enjoy learning through reading and learning by doing by adapting the lessons to their learning needs.
  2. The Art of WorkLife Storytelling. This publication is a series of lessons designed to help people find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations. The focus of these stories is to help people learn through writing, ideas and speaking.

Both publications are part of WorkLife Stories, from which I’m taking time out.

The publications haven’t taken off. Yet (anyway). So I figure now is the best time to take time out. 

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I’ve been writing pretty much non-stop for close to three years.

Ten/Twelve/Fourteen hours a day. Six/Seven days a week.

I’m feeling burnt out. I need a little rest. I need to re-energise and re-focus.

I need to re-group (with myself). I need to figure some things out. I need to take time out to do that.

I hope you will understand.

I hope I will be back before too long to tell you what’s next for me.

Until then, I hope you find the stories and books I’ve written helpful, insightful and inspiring.

That’s my greatest hope.

Carmel 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

PS, I realise this was a long-winded explanation as to why I need to take time out. It was as much to me as to you (actually, probably more to/for me). 

Writing is a powerful way to explore ideas and thinking to help you reflect and communicate what’s important to you.

I consider these words by Patrick Winston to be Words of Wisdom:

“Your success in life will be determined largely by your ability to speak, your ability to write, and the quality of your ideas.” 

That’s the premise behind my Learn Through Writing Publication: The Art of WorkLife Storytelling, to which I’ll hopefully be back to soon. Albeit perhaps with a different approach. That’s one of the things I need to figure out.

Watch this space …

PPS, While I’m taking time out from my publications, I’ll share occasional WorkLife Stories that I hope you will find helpful, insightful and inspiring.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning?

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. The link takes you to the complete collection. Once there, you can tap on each book title to see a preview of what’s inside.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning. 

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers), it helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of www.schoolofworklife.com My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.