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Leadership, Burnout, & Just-In-Time Learning

By: Michael Blankenship |

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

~ Swami Vivekananda


It’s Mike and Alec, the founders of The Tonic — a free email newsletter that provides insight and inspiration for its readers every single week. 

In the following newsletter, we discuss when to ask who? and when to ask how? (for leaders), why you don’t need to see the full picture to accomplish your goals, how to beat burnout, and why walking after eating is a great way to regulate metabolic health. 

We’ve also a challenge for you. 🙂

Enjoy the sneak peek!

If you like what you see, you can subscribe over here to receive our future editions — it’s 100% free, no spam ever. 

Who, Not How

When something needs to get done, are you in the habit of asking how? or who?

That is…

How do I do this?


Who can do this?

There’s a time and a place to ask both of those questions — sometimes, it’s easier to learn the ropes and do the work yourself. But other times — particularly in instances where we’re leading others — it’s critical that we ask the latter question: Who is the best person to do this? 

That’s the job of a leader, after all. To manage and organize people so that things get done in an efficient and effective manner. 


Are you leading people? 

Most of us spend at least some of our time, in some capacity, leading others — and it’s during those times that we need to stop asking the easy question (How do I do this?) and start asking the important question (Who’s the best person for the job?). 

Rise, Eat, Walk

It turns out that walking after eating is a great way to improve your metabolic health. In a recent article for Level, Jennifer Chesak writes,

Exercise at any time is good for your overall health and well-being. But a growing body of research shows that walking after a meal is especially beneficial for your metabolic health—particularly if your post-meal walk falls within a specific “sweet spot” window.

Just 30 minutes worth of cardio within six hours of eating can make an impact… 

In a 2021 review of 51 studies published in Sports Medicine, researchers found that doing a single bout of at least 30 minutes of continuous cardio within 6 hours of eating decreased glucose and insulin levels in the six hours after a meal (the postprandial period) compared to being at rest. The paper is novel in that it examined the glucose and insulin responses of only people without a diagnosed metabolic disorder.

The researchers observed these benefits when study participants exercised in the postprandial state (the 6 hours following a meal) but not in the fasted state (more than six hours after eating).

But exercising 30 to 45 minutes after eating might be even more beneficial…

A 2016 review examined 39 papers, which encompassed a collective 615 participants with various metabolic conditions (such as diabetes, prediabetes, and obesity) and people without any diagnosed conditions. The study authors concluded that exercising 30 to 45 minutes after eating is the ideal time to curb glucose levels.

Just-In-Time Learning

Looking at the path ahead can often be overwhelming — and the bigger the goal you’re trying to accomplish, the more overwhelming the path will appear.

But there’s good news. People don’t accomplish great things by thinking about and analyzing the entire path, they do so by taking one step at a time and learning along the way. 

This is what I once heard Russell Brunson call “just-in-time learning”. 

If you’re writing a book, for example, you might get overwhelmed by the idea of editing the manuscript, finding a publisher, marketing, and selling… before you’ve even finished the first draft. 

But why? 

First, you must finish the draft. And during the process, it’s best to put blinders on. Don’t think about what’s coming next. Focus only on what needs to be done right now, do the best you can, and if you achieve the first step, then you can think about the next step. 

You don’t need to understand how everything is going to work out along the path to success — you just need to understand the first step… and then, eventually, the next step.


Feeling burned out? You’re not alone — a recent report from Indeed found that 52% of employees feel burned out (and 67% said that feeling has worsened over the course of the pandemic). 

The World Health Organization lists the following three symptoms relating to burnout…

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
  • reduced professional productivity

If that’s you, take heart. 

There are some practical things you can do to rekindle your enthusiasm and motivation — here are 4 steps from Harvard Business Review.

  • Prioritize Self-Care
    • “It’s essential to replenish your physical and emotional energy, along with your capacity to focus, by prioritizing good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise, social connection, and practices that promote equanimity and well-being, like meditating, journaling, and enjoying nature.”
  • Shift Your Perspective
    • “Now you must take a close look at your mindset and assumptions. What aspects of your situation are truly fixed, and which can you change? Altering your perspective can buffer the negative impact of even the inflexible aspects.”
  • Reduce Exposure to Job Stressors
    • “You’ll also need to target high-value activities and relationships that still trigger unhealthy stress. This involves resetting the expectations of colleagues, clients, and even family members for what and how much you’re willing to take on, as well as ground rules for working together. You may get pushback. But doubters must know that you’re making these changes to improve your long-term productivity and protect your health.”
  • Seek Out Connections
    • “The best antidote to burnout, particularly when it’s driven by cynicism and inefficacy, is seeking out rich interpersonal interactions and continual personal and professional development. Find coaches and mentors who can help you identify and activate positive relationships and learning opportunities. Volunteering to advise others is another particularly effective way of breaking out of a negative cycle.”

This Week’s Challenge

It’s easy to forget to be grateful for the food we have when we sit down to eat. Cooking together is both a reminder to be grateful and a fun way to bond with friends and family. Find a new recipe and cook with your friends or family.

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

P.S. Like this newsletter? You can subscribe over here to receive our future editions — it’s 100% free, no spam ever. 

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