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Jun 14, 2019 22:36:23

Is your streak burning you out?

by @jasonleow | 390 words | 🐣 | 299💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 299💌
Total words: 131541 (526 pages 📄)

My short discussion with @knight made me wonder if anyone here in the 200wad community is feeling burned out due to having to write everyday to keep the streak. Are you?


We were talking about Makerlog, a task log that helps makers stay productive and ship faster. It uses the streak mechanism as well to motivate people, but it also has rest days built in - you get 1 rest day for every 10 streak days. Makerlog's rest days were a response to maker burnout in the makerlog community which over time, became quite rampant. People also started to abuse the system, posting #life tasks (that's not maker/shipping-related) just to keep the streak. I loved that the founder took a stand and decided to prioritise wellbeing and balance over the endless pursuit of the streak. I just wonder if the situation is similar here at 200wad? Does a majority of 200wad feel burnt out and out of whack by having to write everyday?


This question is also kind of relevant to what I was talking about recently, regarding writing gibberish as a way to keep showing up, as part of a writing/creative journey, part of writing for emergence, part of self-growth and learning. Even though writing daily is great for that, I do feel that there is one situation when you shouldn't keep writing, even gibberish. 


When you feel burned out. 


When pushing yourself to keep a streak means losing wellbeing and work-life balance to the point of physical or emotional exhaustion, or even dysfunction and maladaptation in daily living, then no streak, no matter how glorious and hard won, is worth it. It's uncanny that the emoji for the streak is the flame?, the exact same emoji we would associate with for burnout, isn't it?!


My own experience: I'd burned out from work before, so I know how that feels like. But writing daily here doesn't quite feel like that. Maybe initially I did feel kind of 'browned out', especially during my slump. But now, the habit had gotten quite ingrained, the effort less straining, and writing here is becoming quite comfortable and enjoyable. But that's for now. Who knows what will happen in the future?


One thing's for sure: if I ever feel burned out from writing daily, I'll be the first to scoot. Wellbeing over writing, for sure.  


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    @jasonleow Couple thoughts. I am absolutely not even CLOSE to being burned out writing on 200WAD. Second, if sitting down to write at least 200 words each day is the tipping point of activity that somehow is deleterious to your health, either writing is not for you or you have to upgrade your resilience.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Jun 14, 2019 12:40:42
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      @brandonwilson that's great to hear. Same here. I think in fact the longer you write, the easier and more enjoyable it gets isn't it?

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 15, 2019 14:49:51
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      @abrahamKim nice one! commented!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 15, 2019 14:59:04
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    @jasonleow Learning to break your streak and get back up is part of the growth mechanism. The main critique I formulated to Sergio is that adding rest days is not going to help with establishing the right mindset.

    It's important to learn to break your streak. I kept breaking streaks for five years throughout college. Workout streak, journaling streak, blogging streak... Learning persistency helped me overcome many hardships in life, but that's a story (several ones actually) for another day :)

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jun 14, 2019 17:24:40
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      @basilesamel yes so true. If you can break the streak and climb back up anyway, then the habit is yours to keep! Tbh it's something I'd been thinking about with my 200th day coming...

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 14, 2019 23:31:04
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      @jasonleow Take a break :P It's no big deal, just whatever works for you.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Jun 14, 2019 17:34:30
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      @basilesamel Yep, no big deal. I'm not burned out, so I can keep going if I want to. Just considering intentionally breaking it anyway, just to up the challenge and see what can be learned from it.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 14, 2019 23:39:37
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    @jasonleow thanks for bringing this up. You've given me a chance to examine my thinking on motivation.

    I think there's internal and external motivation and they reinforce each other. But total (or primary) dependance on one over the other can lead to imbalance.

    If I'm only motivated by self satisfaction, I'm selfish. If I'm only motivated by applause, I'm letting others evaluate me.

    A "streak" is only one measure (external). And to some extent it is only a "signal" (a warning light).

    Thanks for this post.

    Mike Byrnes avatar Mike Byrnes | Jun 14, 2019 10:19:53
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      @mikebyrnes thanks for your reflections! Yes, whatever the internal or external motivation, so long as burnout doesn't happen, it's all good.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 14, 2019 23:37:15
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    @jasonleow -- a little secret I wasn't going to let anybody on to -- was that many of the leaders on the fellowship board have a single streak -- while, those of us who happily abide a day off here and there -- have several streaks ;-)

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 14, 2019 08:10:04
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      @brianball that's why I quite liked the teardrop 'streak', despite not accumulating a streak on it before. Was considering toying with it then, but alas it was removed. But anyway, single streak or several streaks isn't the main point I was making..so long as there's no burnout, single streak is fine too. One is not inherently better than the other.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 14, 2019 23:35:28
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      @jasonleow @brianball A day off here and there is just life. Nothing special about it. Consistency and discipline are in short supply.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Jun 14, 2019 12:40:35
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      @brianball @brandonwilson exactly. though i would build on your point: consistency and discipline that doesn't compromise wellbeing. ;)

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 15, 2019 14:44:08
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    @jasonleow I think that keeping a streak is important and does help motivate you. However, having a cheat day does sound an interesting concept. I guess we just have to remember that the writing is for us, not just for the streak. I have already found myself thinking of writing things that might be more readable, or on topics that might get more comments, which is a bad thing. 200wad should be a place to write whatever you want, with the freedom to drop that streak if needs be.

    Twizzle avatar Twizzle | Jun 14, 2019 16:01:09
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      @twizzle well said. Ultimately the streak serves us, not the other way round.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 14, 2019 23:09:45
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      @jasonleow @twizzle Yup, what you said. My streak is MY streak. I can continue, I can break it. Whatever. I just write to write, occupy/amuse myself and anyone else who may want to take the time to read. I'll keep writing until I don't and this is ok for me too.

      Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Jun 14, 2019 14:27:56
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      @Rawhead yeaaah nicely put. ?Took the words right outta my mouth

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jun 15, 2019 14:42:07
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