Bandwidth — the hidden truth behind your burnout.

Stephan Gardner
4 min readApr 4, 2022

What’s the most important thing to remember about living a productive life?

Parkinson’s Law. Space and Time expand to fill the void. Here’s why. In my Behavior Mastery program, where I guide high achievers through 30 days of behavior tracking, everyone discovers for themselves one powerful insight — BANDWIDTH.

That’s right. You have a bandwidth. It’s equal to the average amount of things you actually do on any given day.

My latest client has been in the program for just three days. In those three days, on the first day she did 100 actions. On the second day, she accomplished 50. On the third day, she accomplished just over 40.

She then messages me feeling numb, depressed, and trying to figure out why she gets so burned out and confused about her life and her business.

The reason is simple — she overwhelms her bandwidth.

In the first three days of the program, I saw it immediately. She went heavy on the first day, and then went back to what she’s naturally capable of achieving. This isn’t something that’s wrong, it’s just the way her system is built — she’s able to handle about 40 things every day and therefore, should only do 40 things a day.

People do this all the time. You’re probably doing it unconsciously — planning to do more than you’re capable of, falling behind on yourself, and then feeling shitty about it.

Here’s the thing (and why this really matters): In my Behavior Mastery program, when I review the data, I’ll find that you have a daily action average — the number of things you can sustainably every day.

Mine is 25. I can do 25 things in a day, sustainably, without binging on video games. If I do any less, I naturally want to stay up late and do stupid shit. If I do more, I’ll naturally take a day to be ‘sick’ and just sleep.

I’ve become aware of this because I track my behavior.

Most people think that the way to be successful or fulfilled in life is to TAKE MASSIVE ACTION — and so they get excited about changing their lives and overwhelm their bandwidth by planning all these big changes in their life, and then they crash and burn.

Here’s the rule — ADDING MORE TO YOUR LIFE USUALLY ISN”T GOING TO WORK.

The idea is to work inside what’s already working.

If you have a car that’s not performing correctly, is the first idea to jack on a 400hp supercharger and turbo boost? Umm…. no. You’ll blow up your engine, because the problem might just be a spark plug or a gasket. Fixing what’s inside the engine first, might help it work properly. That’s what a mechanic does.

People don’t act like mechanics. They think that the way to get more is to do more, and this is almost always incorrect.

This relates to Parkinson’s Law because it’s playing out in this concept — if you don’t fill your day with high priority actions, it will automatically fill with desperate ones. Likewise, if you put more space and time than the void can fill, you’ll spill over like a glass of water and then have to clean up the mess.

This is why ALL of my clients undergo behavior tracking. Why? Because most of my clients are in some way students of personal development, but nearly ALL OF THEM forget that in order to do that, you must know your person — and the fact is, most people have no idea who they are because they don’t clearly understand what they’re doing. That’s not to say that you’re stupid or ignorant, but the reality is that most of your behaviors are done automatically and thus, you don’t think about it.

You just live day to day, doing the same thing every day, sometimes expecting to have a different result, while sometimes buying into some delusional ideology or personal development program that promises that if you do this and this and this, you’ll change your life… and add 10 things to your ’25 per day’ bandwidth, and then find yourself burning out, binging, and reverted back to your original state.

The real and raw personal development that I’m dedicated to inspiring into you is becoming aware of what your bandwidth is, what’s in it, and working inside of that to transform what you’re capable of doing. That’s where real change happens, because it’s something you can handle.

It’s also the only way I can guarantee a result — because it’s ONLY ABOUT YOU. It’s not about you learning some new pseudo science or bowing to some cult leader or outlandish one-sided ideology that attempts to support your weak self-righteousness (or rationalize the intelligence of your teacher at your expense).

Personal development is about you, your life, as it is — starting from there and developing THAT.

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Stephan Gardner

I’m a videographer, musician, mindset analyst for people wanting to find more emotional presence, courage, and certainty in their lifestyle.