Nine Ways to Avoid Burnout + How to Deal With It!
Guess what? People don’t have it all figured out and all entrepreneurs have suffered from burnout one way or another, and if they say the haven’t they’re either A– Not really hustling. Or B– Lying to your face!
There have been plenty of times where I have thought “Man, it would be so easy to get a job, sell my clients off and live a “peaceful” life” but then I think of all the benefits I have to work for myself! Right??
But seriously burnout can creep up on you.. and it can be a swift and may even be a lethal blow to you and your company. This doesn’t only apply to “creative” jobs, everybody’s job is creative. Problem solving is creativity. '
So what happens when that creativity is just *Poof! Gone!* Commence rocking in the corner.
I suffer from burnout easily, I am definitely one of those people that are the idea makers, big dreamers, goal setters, yet the follow through is…. well.. lacking. Who else is with me? I know I cannot be the only one! However, here is the game changer, I know this about myself so I know how to tackle it. I’ve noticed that when I become a bit “over” a project is for one of the two reasons 1- I have lost interest, this is no longer fun for me. Or 2– I think it’s too hard and don’t really know how to do it. And become overwhelmed and this is where the imposter syndrome creeps in or the fear of failure haunts me or my bank account is adding additional stress to my body.. I swear I have gotten 300 new gray hairs in the past 6 months!
So what do I do when burnout is near
Well if I am dealing with reason 1, “This is not fun anymore” I take a step back and ask:
1-Why is this no longer fun?
2-Was it fun in the beginning?
3-Does this push the needle in my business in a way I see fit (the “I see fit” here is super important – stop comparing your ups and downs to the Instagram highlights from other entrepreneurs) – this is why having your “WHY” figured out is soo major!!!
4-Is this helping me achieve my “why”?
If the answer was mainly “no” then I need to rethink this project/client and figure out what I need to do make it re-align back with my values!
Now, don’t get me wrong; not all projects are amazing and fun but one of my values and my business values is to have fun! We try to push the boundaries to truly make your look your best, so if I’m not loving what I’m doing am I truly churning out the best work for you? Prob not!
If we’re dealing with the biggie, “I think this is too hard” or “I don’t know how to make this happen!”
1- Talk it out! I have an amazing support system between my husband, friends, and family that are my soundboard. The more I talk it out, the more I’m verbally brainstorming! But do not get stuck here, no one wants to hear about your great idea for 3-years.
2- Write down everything, I mean everything that needs to happen to make this happen!
3- Divide those things into categories. Research | Mentorship | Developing | Refining | Creation — Keep in mind that all the research doesn’t have to happen in a day but setting achievable goals is great and with a timeline is ideal!
— Creating this big things into bite-size chunks makes the big picture not so overwhelming, you can start small to get there!—
So here is how I “de-funk” myself:
Easy results | this is more if Im in the beginning stages of burnout or funky-ness (not the good kind) but can see the light at the end of the tunnel
1- Change of scenery. I love my little office and Im like a plant and need natural light, but I also need movement… so being around people and seeing life in motion helps me find new energy to get to work.
2- Go for a quick walk! I’ve been obsessing over the History Chicks podcast lately (historical bad ass women! - Sign me up!), and listen to a bit of their episodes while I cruise around the park for a bit.
3- Treat your self! Sometimes I just want a little pick me up, hello affogatos (can’t wait to have those this summer).
4- Do some mind-numbing work activities so when you do have to sit down and do the major work you haven’t spent all your energy (hello, making to-do list, hello re-filling the office fridge with la Croix, hello sending thank you cards, hello organizing that stack of papers on your desk
Harder | Burnout is here, we are all melting!!! Ahhh!!!
5- Walk away! Walk away! Walk away! You cannot create great work when your brain is not in a good place. I know the stress of having so much to do is weighing on you but when you come back refreshed you can accomplish that task way faster than if you would have drilled through it!
6- Having clear boundaries is super important, investing in yourself, your relationships, your hobbies is a great way to not be working all the time. I know we are entrepreneurs but that doesn’t mean that I am a slave to the business I built. (Read my post about boundaries, here.) I am a human, not a robot. Repeat it, I am human, not a robot.
7- Find that thing that makes you excited or gives you your best ideas: long drives your thing? What about a mini road trip for the day, leave that laptop at home! Do you best ideas come in the shower? What about a little spa day? Who couldn’t go for a massage? Or even a mani-pedi?
8- Meet with a friend for cocktails or coffee or to go grocery shopping together and have a strict rule - no work talk - this is a bit hard at first but the whole point is to not talk about the thing giving you burnout or the terrible client email you got or the awkward convo you had with assistant or the bad news your CPA just dropped on you.
9- My favorite.. movies! I love going to a matinee of the movie I’ve been wanting to watch and getting pop-corn and just relaxing for two hours, phones off just watch something. (This is my favorite but I am a bit of a movie buff.)
Burnout is easy to come by if you are an entrepreneur, especially if you have other stuff going on. But the pressure to be busy or to have your business all figured out is crazy, if you are not learning you are not growing, so I can’t have it figured out all the time! Also remember, why did you start your business? Is it to be with your kids more? Have you been spending time with them? Is it to travel? Have you packed your suitcase lately? Is it to have flexible time? Have you met a friend for a 2-hour lunch lately? Trust me, I get it. I love my job and the people I get to work with but if I don’t take care of myself, my boundaries, my relationships, my hobbies, my business could take over me.