How To Prevent Burnout While Maximizing Your Performance

We're all about working smarter, not harder. The journey to achieving your goals doesn't always have to include burnout. When done the right way, you can achieve maximum brain performance while simultaneously preventing burnout.
Fact checked by Nattha Wannissorn

We’re all about working smarter, not harder. The journey to achieving your goals doesn’t always have to include burnout. When done the right way, you can achieve maximum brain performance while simultaneously preventing burnout.

There are three keys to avoiding burnout when managing a high-performance lifestyle:

  • Knowing how to handle pushing your body and brain to their limit.
  • Managing stress and keeping your nervous system optimized.
  • Knowing how to calm your brain when it’s overstimulated.
intellectual man screaming to his laptop

The High Performer’s Dilemma: Pushing The Lines 

Part of being a high performer is finding the balance between high performance and avoiding burnout. For those of us with purposes and missions that we’re committed to, we want to have our cake and eat it too. We feel the need to be superhuman because we have to manifest our visions. The risk is that our health and life quality can go downhill if we don’t learn to manage stress and our nervous system. 

Wade experienced a very deep level of burnout a couple of years ago. Here’s the story in his own words: 

“I was in Bali, which has almost a 12-hour difference in time from most of my team. I decided to start a new company. I had BiOptimizers, a company rapidly growing. 

I was doing mornings with one business partner, very early in the day, and staying up until 3:00 am or 4:00 am. So I’d sleep for three hours, wake up, work on one business, go for a massage in the afternoon, come back, go to work again, sleep for an hour and a half, wake up, and then work in the evenings. 

After a couple of months of that, I really started paying the price. Energy and mental performance were dropping. To compensate, I increased my caffeine intake. I used my nootropics to help my brain focus. 

It “felt” like my brain was a laser because I felt the adrenaline from the caffeine and nootropics. However, this energy was coming from pushing my adrenal glands to the max, and it wasn’t sustainable. It’s like paying your mortgage off with your credit card. I was robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

Then the unexpected happened. There were a bunch of crises that came up. I had a problem in my growing business, which grew into a serious challenge with my partner, and that’s the event that took me out. 

That’s when I ran out of gas and was totally physiologically burned out. It didn’t matter how much caffeine I was taking, it wasn’t helping. My adrenal glands weren’t functioning. I was in an unresourceful psychological state and in a dark, negative, emotional place. I told Matt, ‘I’m in a living hell.’ ” 

Fortunately, Wade was able to recover using the principles and techniques in this article. So read it carefully, and more importantly, implement these strategies and tactics to avoid burning out. What we’re really talking about is managing your nervous system for maximum success, health, and happiness. 

Cycle Between Intensity And Recovery For Long-Lasting High Performance

The key takeaway is to adjust your brain cycle between intensity and recovery. Those who master this can become high performers and maintain that for most, if not all, of their lives. Those that don’t, will have a spurt of high performance, followed by a steep decline, ending with a brutal burnout. It can take years to recover from some burnouts. 

Some people become traumatized psychologically by the pain of burnout and recoil from intensity for the rest of their lives. 

man in the office stress out

Your Nervous System Operates On A 2 Gear System: Fight-Flight-Freeze Or Heal 

Your nervous system is made of two systems:

1. Parasympathetic: also known as the “healing system.” 

2. Sympathetic: also known as “fight, flight or freeze,” a.k.a. “The survival system.” 

The Survival System 

The sympathetic nervous system evolved to save us from dangerous or stressful situations. A flood of survival hormones cranks the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. Breathing speeds up to deliver more oxygen to the brain, and an infusion of glucose shoots into the bloodstream for a quick energy boost. 

This system is designed to mobilize us or help us defend ourselves against threats: deadly animals, other humans, etc.

Let’s just go back to the caveman days, a saber tooth tiger is chasing you, and you need to activate your sympathetic system. Hopefully, fight or flight kicks in because if you freeze, you’ll die. You need to run really fast or successfully fight this threat to survive. There would be no humans if it weren’t for the sympathetic system. This system has helped humans survive and thrive over millions of years. 

It’s intrinsic to being an animal. You can see that in nature. Watch African nature shows – you’ll see this when lions attack hyenas and cape buffalos. You’ll even see it in bacteria – the bacterium will recoil against a toxic substance. It’s fleeing away from it. 

One of the critical things to understand is that anything you believe or feel is a threat will activate this system. This means, if you lose your job and you have economic insecurity, you will feel fear and activate the survival system. It may be that you just launched a marketing campaign that failed, and you feel concerned. Or perhaps your romantic partner just insulted you, and you’re scared of being alone. 

the stress out life balance

The average person is caught in a sympathetic loop. 

When they wake up, they activate their beta brain waves. They check their phones, have a cup of coffee, and have food on the run. Then they have a stressful commute to work. They have a long hard day’s work, and then they do another stressful commute back home. They spend more time on their phones when they get home and then fall asleep. 

The only time they’re in parasympathetic mode is when they fall asleep, and for most of them, it’s low-quality sleep. They repeat this pattern and get stuck in a vicious cycle of ‘fight, flight, or freeze.’ 

The Healing System

The parasympathetic system puts your body in a healing state for it to recover, rest, and rejuvenate [R].

Before advancing in the industrial ages and technologies, we spent far more time in parasympathetic mode. When the sun went down, we went to bed. Apps, porn, games, movies, and shows didn’t hijack our brain’s dopamine system. There was far less stimulation than there is today. Our brains weren’t fooled by blue light coming from all of these devices.

The body requires a balance of both parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. The danger is when your body becomes dominated by one of these systems. The most common problem we’ve noticed is people becoming trapped in a fight-flight-or-freeze lifestyle. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs and motivated career-driven people easily fall into this trap. 

They travel the world, manage multiple products, start new businesses, lead dozens or even hundreds of thousands of people. They constantly learn new skills and systems. They cut down on sleep to make more time for work. They compromise their diet with restaurant meals and other low-quality food options. They deal with complex problems that arise constantly, and high-stress situations and problems come daily. This all eventually leads to mental burnout.

The Arousal Stress Spectrum 

The key is to flow between the relaxation and stress scale throughout the day, week and year. If you incorporate enough parasympathetic activities, you’ll feel balanced, energized, and rejuvenated. This will allow you to get the most out of your day and your Nootopia blends. 

If you’re “stuck” in sympathetic (stress) mode most of the time, burnout and a crash in performance are inevitable. 

stress arousal curve

The Solution 

The answer to preventing burnout while maximizing your performance is to consciously shift your mind and body into parasympathetic mode systemically. The more intense your life becomes, the more you need parasympathetic activities. This means incorporating certain habits and rituals that move you into healing mode. 

Use the “cheat sheet” below to help you manage and balance your nervous system. It’s a critical component of being biologically optimized and preventing burnout. 

The Nervous System Optimization Cheat Sheet

● Zamner Juice
● Brain Flow
● Mental Reboot AM/PM
● Power Solution
● Nectar X 
● Focused Savagery
Other Supplements DrinksReishi
● L-Theanine
● Lavender Oil
● Magnesium Breakthrough
● Stimulants 
● Nicotine
Exercise● Tai Chi 
● Yoga
● Weight Lifting 
● Sports
● Meditation 
● Sleep
● Cryo
● Soundtracks
● Heavy Metal
● Gangster Rap
● Endorphins 
● Anandamide
● Noradrenaline 
● Happiness 
● Peace
● Anger
● Drive/Willingness
● Any Emotional Reactivity
Lifestyle● Hanging With Pets
● Playing With Kids
● Making Love
● Walking in Nature
● Relaxing at the Beach
● Intense Sex
Brain WavesAlpha 
● Theta 
● Gamma
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