5L Issue #027

Burnt out emergency alarms; the collapse is coming


Remember, you’re here forever..

I’ve stumbled upon a lot of good stuff talking about burnout lately. It seems many people around the world are struggling with work-related ‘cant be arsed’ and are looking for help on how to deal with it.

Some examples include: this story on a burnt-out lady that started a new career in her 50s, this lifehacker guide to identifying your burnout, this transparent example of burnout in investment banking, and this story by Matt D’Avella on burnout in content creation.

But my favourite piece was this opinionated and fiery (and in my view, spot on!) deconstruction of the typical corporate response to the 'burnout problem’. That is - don’t offer employees shiny products to help deal with burnout - fix the problems causing the burnout!

If you are a company that cannot work out why people are burned out, let me simplify it for you: burnout is caused by working with seemingly no end. It is a form of exhaustion. It is not, at its core, a mental health issue - it is an issue with being overloaded and having no respite from said overload, and trying to solve it by offering “mental health” and “wellness” and “meditation” stuff is disingenuous.


The Washington Post also spent a great many words trying to define burnout, carefully landing the story with quotes from experts, in which the experts offer solutions like letting staff set their own schedules, “checking in with them to monitor their well being” and “letting them set their own hours.” There are some smart points around companies not normalizing or praising around-the-clock work, but somehow this extremely long piece barely touches upon the fact that the solution to burnout is dealing with the things that cause burnout in the first place rather than checking if someone’s burned out.

The Burnout Conversation is a Corporate Tool to Turn Your Suffering Into Marketing | Ed Zitron

(via Refind)


Too young to be that wise..

Steady readers of Five Links will know I love a good ‘life tips’ article. I could have quoted almost all of this list of 32 lessons learnt by Madeleine Dore in her first 32 years.

Hold plans lightly

Taking action is more important than figuring out what’s the right decision

don’t believe in the parameters people make for you


Most things can be done in 45 minutes

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches” — Dita Von Tease

An evolving list of 32 things I’ve learned in 32 years | Extraordinary Routines

(via The Curious Bunch)


New year, old me..

We’re half way through the year and it’s a good time to reflect on all the January ambitions that died on the vine. And perhaps it’s worth flirting with the idea of ‘anti-goals’. That is, things in our lives that stand in the way of that which would make us happier.

A few years ago Andrew Wilkinson, the Co-Founder of Tiny, was unhappy: work was getting in the way of the life he wanted to live. His calendar was packed with meetings, he was doing business with people he didn’t like, and he was stressed with the demands on his schedule. In an attempt to regain control and make work feel less like work, he took a novel approach to turning things around: anti-goals.

Wilkinson imagined his worst possible day –– meetings, travel, fatigue –– and worked backwards to set anti-goals, rules for avoiding this worst case scenario. For instance, in response to his desire to leave behind a day “full of long meetings”, he set the following anti-goal: “Never schedule an in-person meeting when it can otherwise be accomplished via email or phone (or not at all)”.

Forget About SMART Goals: 5 Unconventional Goal Setting Methods to Try Instead | Ambition & Balance

(also via The Curious Bunch)


20 years left..

Just gonna leave this one here without comment.

The study was published in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology in November 2020 and is available on the KPMG website. It concludes that the current business-as-usual trajectory of global civilization is heading toward the terminal decline of economic growth within the coming decade—and at worst, could trigger societal collapse by around 2040.

MIT Predicted in 1972 That Society Will Collapse This Century. New Research Shows We’re on Schedule | Vice

(also via Refind — not very diverse sources this week!)


Beep beep beep..

A lighter but related link to finish.

Watch this guy rate different countries’ emergency alarm sounds.

This guy on tiktok rated emergency alarm sounds from different countries and there’s no reason it should be this funny | Twitter


If you enjoyed any of these links, the best way you can help me is by forwarding this email on to a friend. They can browse past issues and subscribe at this link

- Bennett


Cover Photo by Nad X on Unsplash