If you run a business or blog from home, I’m sure you know the feeling. We all deal with it from time to time, and it’s the worst.
Are you suffering from burnout?
I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now. Before that, I ran a creative business through Etsy and Facebook for several years. And before that, I was a freelance writer on various platforms. I know all about burnout.
When I’m burned out with my business, I become irritable, can’t focus on my work, and dread doing any work at all. I can’t come up with any new ideas, and just get frustrated in general. That typically ends with me throwing my hands up and taking time off (perks of being your own boss, yes please!)
However, there are some tips I have learned over the years to help avoid burnout, and I’m passing them on to help you, too. Don’t get me wrong, I still ocassionally take some time off to destress, but I’m more intentional about it and come back feeling much more refreshed. So, let’s see how we can avoid burnout in the future.
1. Automate Your Business
We’re expected to be everywhere, every day. Answering questions, posting on social media, participating in groups, creating new content…the list goes on.
For me, this expectation is usually the hardest, because I’m pretty introverted by nature. Sometimes I just need to back away and be alone, and that includes the internet.
Now, I have a lot of my business automated.
- I’ve created templates for things like social media images, emails, and even blog posts, to save me time and energy during my creation process.
- My social media posts are planned out and scheduled ahead of time through CinchShare and BoardBooster, so I can take a breather when needed.
- I wrote down all of my frequently asked questions and created scripts that I can copy and past into a response whenever necessary
2. Stop Comparing
Your journey is no one else’s journey. It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way, because I’m actually incredibly competitive. Seeing someone else flourish faster than I did, seeing someone else do the same thing as me and see more success, is hard.
But that comparison was weighing me down. It was stealing my joy and keeping me from being inspired. Don’t let that happen to you. Focus on your own journey, and your own success, and don’t worry about anyone else’s.
3. Create Solid Boundaries
Working from home creates some really hazy boundaries as far as business and personal life goes. It’s easy to catch yourself “working” when you’re supposed to be having family time, or unwinding at night.
It’s really important to keep those boundaries in place, though, so here’s some tips I suggest:
- set dedicated work hours, and stick to them.
- time-block your day in your planner
- unplug during non-work times to avoid the temptation to “check in.”
4. Create Residual Income Streams
One of the biggest challenges for me over the years was how to make more money. I was doing okay. Enough to legitimately contribute to my family’s expenses. For a short while, I was our sole income provider, and I burned out fast. It was physically impossible for me to keep up the level of work I’d need to maintain in order to keep that income stream flowing.
That’s when I realized that I needed to create ways to work that didn’t require more time. You can do this in several different ways, like with digital products, affiliate marketing, or even some MLM businesses (research the compensation plan to find one that works like this). The great thing about residual income is that once you have the ball rolling, it keeps going with a lot less effort on your part. That frees you up to focus your time elsewhere. See how it can help with burnout?
5. Practice Self Care
Think about it. When you eat poorly and stop exercising you feel sluggish, right? Make the time to take care of yourself in any way possible. I quick yoga routine, face mask, and a good book are some of my favorite ways to practice self care. You can find some other great ideas here.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
I so often here work-at-home moms (or just parents in general) brag about how little they sleep. It makes me want to scream. It’s not good for you. It’s really, really not. Lack of sleep leads to slower response times, less concentration, more irritability, a lowered immune system, and so many other problems. Not only is it not conductive to productivity, but it’s simply bad for your overall health and state of mind. Make sure you’re getting plenty of time to sleep. It should be prioritized over just about everything else in your life.
7. Make Time for Personal Projects
This is especially important for creative business owners. It’s awesome to be able to monetize your creativity, but when you are only working for others, it can cause a funk.
Make sure to take some time to work on projects that have nothing to do with your business. With my knitting business, I incorporated “Personal Project Sunday” into my week.
During that time, I’d only work on knitting projects for myself or those around me. Nothing for profit was allowed. Those times always left me more inspired and gave me more time to think about what I could do next. It’s so simple, but it always helped me avoid feeling burned out on my orders.
8. Take a Day Off
Feeling stuck? Unmotivated? Uninspired? Take a day off and get outside. Get around people and do something completely unrelated to your business. For me, that’s usually a yoga class or a trip to the beach to soak up some nature. Whether you spend time with family or with your friends, or even alone, just get out in the world. Do something different. See something different.
Sometimes, our minds get stuck because we have the same routine day in and day out. Breaking up that routine can pull us out of a creative rut and leave us feeling more inspired than ever. I know when we get away for a day or a weekend, I usually have to ask my husband to drive home while I write out pages full of notes for ideas that came to me while we were out!
9. Don’t Check Your Phone First Thing in the Morning
I’ll admit it. I’m terrible about this, but I’m trying to get better. My goal is to wake up, have coffee and journal in quiet, and then plug in to the world outside. This allows me time to fully wake up and have a few minutes of peace before I’m immediately plunged into work mode. The mornings I do this, I function so much better all day long. The mornings I wake up with my phone in my face, I can feel the stress all day.
10. Learn When to Say “No”
There’s only a limited amount of time available in any given day, and we’re already stretched too thin as it is. It’s easy to say “yes” to every opportunity that presents itself, but when we do that, we aren’t giving ourselves time to do it right.
When given an opportunity, stop and think about whether you have the time and resources to do it well. If not, pass on that opportunity. You’ll be less stressed, and someone else will take on that job that has the time to really focus on it.
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