Illustration by Yukai Du.

Back in 2013, I was flat out. After 4 years on the run at a startup, I had my one and only “busyness breakdown.”

And I’m not alone. Almost 50% of Americans say that they are regularly exhausted from their work. But how did we get here? And, more importantly, what are we going to do about it?

In this episode, I talk about my personal journey to burnout and back, the cultural shifts that are luring us into over-commitment, and a new project I’m working on to help us recalibrate our approach to productivity.

Key takeaways from this meditation:

  • Why we’re on the verge of a burnout epidemic
  • How self-help advice is driving us to push ourselves too hard
  • What you can do to reset & recalibrate the way you work

Go Deeper

RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday. RESET is a new course from Hurry Slowly host Jocelyn K. Glei that shows you how to take a “heart-centered” approach to productivity that’s intentional, energizing, and inspiring. Watch the 30-second trailer at

Get Jocelyn’s brainwaves in your inbox. If you like Hurry Slowly, you’ll love this twice-monthly email highlighting new ideas about how to be more creative, productive, and resilient. Sign up at

Favorite Quotes

“The way we work today, and the way we work tomorrow, quickly becomes the status quo. Until, all of the sudden, working in a way that is completely unsustainable starts to seem quite normal.”

“I was creatively, emotionally, and physically burnt out. But the reason it took me so long to figure it out was because I wasn’t listless or unproductive or disengaged from my work. Which would be the normal signs of burnout. The real problem was: All I was engaged with was my work.


References and additional reading for those who want to go deeper:

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