When the signs of burn out approaches and you start to feel this dread and a kind of procrastination sets in and yet as you procrastinate and take a break from the seemingly never ending slew of tasks you also feel guilty and anxious to get on with it.
In such a moment it would be vastly tempting and practical to Marie-Kondo the heck out of your work tasks and only do what is absolutely necessary. It is a good approach to take but one must avoid making this costly mistake.
Never throw out the time for play.
Play time in the adult world and in the context of work may look very different. Maybe you are working on a silly satire screenplay as an author of detective novels or you are working on a science project with some students outside the curriculum just for the fun if it or in my case producing creative content (making a photo/a video/writing a blog post/etc) that is not requested from a client but by me just because.
You see I've been down this road before, where the work piles up and in attempt to self-preserve, these unpaid personal projects are the first to get shoved out the door. However, while doing so makes room for more "paid" work to be done, to keep the love for the work going on strong, keeping the "play" in the work is of vital importance because that is where your joy and fulfillment comes from.
True joy and fulfillment from one's work is when the motivation to create or do the work is purely intrinsic. Well at least in my case, it is. The last time years ago when I experienced such a burnt out, I can attribute it to the fact that I stopped all "play" and only allowed work. The lack of fun and freedom in work created a void that sucked the joy out of it even though I was technically doing something I loved.
So this time round I will fight hard to keep play in, because play is the fuel that keeps the fire of motivation burning 🔥