Avoiding Burnout: 7 Ideas for Happier Workdays (an excerpt from Operation Happiness: Kristi Ling)

Operation Happiness is an incredible quick read written by Kristi Ling that everyone should pick up. She outlines some amazingly simple life changes that help you learn to choose happiness and cultivate it as you would a skill.  What changes does she recommend? Change your view, change your mornings, create new habits. That’s it! READ IT! This book is amazing.

Operation Happiness, Kristi Ling

I’ve chosen to highlight an article from the end of the book (her 30 days of positive life lessons) on avoiding work burnout.  I think work fatigue is an issue for everyone from time to time and this advice is inspiring. I happened to read this on just the right day and it was exactly what I needed!


“We’ve all been there: that feeling of being overwhelmed and mentally exhausted from ever-growing lists of tasks, messages, and e-mails demanding our energy and attention.

The drive for fifty-hour-plus workweeks, combined with technological advances that keep our mental gears constantly turning, has resulted in millions of over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, burned-out employees and business owners who dream about moving to an island to work at a seaside mai tai bar.

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So, You Want to Turn your Creativity into a Business?


You’ll obviously need creativity and the inclination to turn that into a business, so let’s just say you’ve already got that in the bag. What next? What do you do? How do you become great?


An incredible illustrator asked me this recently: How do you do it? How do you turn your artistry into a business and make it successful? So I am sharing with you what I shared with him.


This is so easy, it’s mind-blowing. Are you ready?

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Why Deep Work is Important

Finding Your State of Flow for Creatives

Most creatives dream of those scarce days when we find the perfect state of flow– being fully immersed, in the zone, energized, where productivity is coming easily, naturally, freely. How do we get there? What does it take?


Through a series of experiments and findings, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi proposed that people are at their best when they are working hard and in the zone:


“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

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Big Magic

Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic basically jumped into my arms at the airport book store. The bright colors I admit grabbed my attention but it did literally fall of the shelf into my arms. I basically had to buy it; I couldn’t tell the universe no!

This book is such a fascinating read, I was cover-to-cover when my plane landed. For all creatives (a writer, painter, designer, creative thinker, etc.) this book is a must.


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Commit to a Mark

Ink mark on the page

When I was in art school, I took a studio art class for drawing. I was nervous. I never thought my studio work was superb as my drawings always have a “wonkiness” about them. (Maybe that’s how I see the world?)

So, I was at my art easel, doing my best to sketch out this still life of a snake plant and a few various fruits (from most likely the school’s dining hall).

It was tough. I wanted all the elements measured, at right angles, clean. So, the lines on my page were light. Okay, “light” isn’t quite accurate. I think perhaps only I could see them (if tilting my head just so).

My professor walked up behind me, observed for a while. She then grabbed my pencil from my hand, scooted me out of the way. She held the pencil with her fist, all fingers around the graphite, and made dark outlines around all of my objects. She stepped back.

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