Prior to Thanksgiving, I felt the most extreme burnout that I’ve ever felt in my business.

As I considered how to move through the burnout to renewed energy to finish the year strong, I reached out to my friend Whitney Johnson.

I’d been contemplating going completely dark during the holiday weekend: shutting off my phone and disconnecting completely from work. But the more I thought about it, the more anxiety I felt about the mound of work that I would face at the end of the weekend.

Whitney turned from talk about work to one my favorite topics, running. “Do you interval train when you run?” she asked.

The truth is… no. I’ve done some speed work, which is a kind of interval training. Mostly, I run at the most difficult pace I can comfortably sustain, every time I go out.

Just like I work. All out, all the time.

Whitney encouraged me to consider altering my pace by giving myself freedom, especially over weekends and holidays, to adopt a slower pace by choosing to do whatever I want to in the moment. For example, I could choose to watch mindless TV for a period of time, and then later I could choose a work activity. Rather than pile myself with the guilt of have-tos and I-musts, I can choose, in every hour, what I most want to do.

Following her advice, after unplugging on Thanksgiving itself, I clocked 6 1/2 hours work over the weekend, which was more than enough time for me to enter the week prepared instead of overwhelmed.

I also took my kids shopping, played cards beside our Christmas tree, went to a movie and out to lunch with kids/friends, and took the girls roller skating. I read for-fun books, stayed in bed later than normal, and went running with a friend.

I created a weekend of intervals, going fast and slow, and started December with more energy than I’ve felt in a while.

The idea of interval training in my business has been in the forefront of my mind through this busy month and I have been mindfully choosing to pace myself, taking 45 minutes at the start of my workday on Wednesday to tidy my kitchen and put dinner in the crockpot — arriving at my desk at 9, when I would typically dive headlong and all-out into work at 7:30.

If you find yourself burned out or depleted, consider your pace: could you vary your pace to find renewed energy and purpose? How can you structure your life to create more freedom and enjoyment?

Tell me something! Have you tried interval training? What do you do to renew your energy when you feel depleted?