Chris McCann's Personal Blog

Life's too short to not do awesome things

Burnout

with 3 comments

It was 5am. I don’t remember the last time I ate and I can’t seem to think about anything other than market numbers, financial projections, and executive summaries… it’s time for bed.

That was two days ago when I had the great idea to get loaded on caffeine and work throughout the night. Between IQueue the incubator program I started at Cal Poly, my full time job, JobShoots my company that I’m incubating through Innovation Quest, and all my volunteering activities for Angel Groups and other non-profits, I haven’t had much time to sleep or much else.

It literally feels like my life has been moving at 10,000 miles an hour while I have been moving 10 miles an hour trying to pick up the pieces and keep the whole thing from crashing down. This all became very real and apparent to me yesterday morning.

After my second day of working throughout the night and a collection of 20+ days of working a full time job plus a full time startup I finally crashed. I woke up in some sort of weird haze with the worst stomach pain imaginable and I realized I hadn’t eaten since lunch 20 hours ago after sleeping for only a couple hours. I hopped into my car and I was driving down El Camino road in Palo Alto when I started to get these weird flashbacks of graduation, moving out of my previous house, and other memories.

I started to feel that my life hasn’t slowed down since graduation a little over a month ago and I haven’t even gotten a full day to sit back and digest what the hell I have been up to since then. Then I remembered I was driving again and swerved back over to my lane and ending up at In-an-Out. I love In-an-Out and I could eat their burgers everyday of the week but for some reason my body was outright rejecting food and I couldn’t hold anything down to save my life.

It was the weirdest experience. I kept slipping in and out of dream mode and I couldn’t even tell if I was awake or sleeping, it was all one big blur. After managing to eat a couple pieces of my burger, what did I decide to do? Go back to work again of course. I grabbed a cup of coffee and off I was to finishing up my business plan.

Without diving into too much detail my state of mind deteriorated further until the point of today when I decided to come home from work early and not do anything work related for the rest of the day: I got home, I took a nap, I went for a bike ride, I meditated to clear my head, and I am going to go to sleep early today. I didn’t check any of my emails and other than this post I haven’t touched the computer.

Most importantly I realize I need to take a break from work at least once a week and I need to pick one job not two. I have to make a choice about where I want my life to go and what path I want to go down. More about this in the next coming week.

[Inspired by Steve Blank’s post]

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Written by Chris McCann

July 28, 2009 at 4:50 am

Posted in entrepreneurship

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. Hey Chris,

    Hope you are out of burnout mode already! I think working a lot and all the time is fine, AS LONG as you have a natural (meaning more than 5 hours) amount of sleep and food. I think this type of body burnout is more physical and is a bit different than a mental burnout. You gotta take care of that engine of yours so it can take you places. However, the most damaging is if the driver doesn’t even want to move forward anymore. That’s when you are truly burnt out and done.

    Hope all is well and take care!

    Yu-kai Chou

    August 11, 2009 at 5:25 am

    • Hey Yu-kai, thanks for the comment!

      I’m officially out of burnout mode already and I’ve been taking much better care of my health 🙂 It might just be me but I need my 8 hours of sleep, 3 meals a day, and some form of aerobic exercise on a daily basis.

      It’s sometimes hard to squeeze all that in a day +a full time job +a startup life but hopefully this will all change soon!

      Chris McCann

      August 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm


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