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Feeling Rundown? 10 Tips to Avoid Burnout

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You’ve been feeling tired and unmotivated lately but you don’t know why. You love what you do! You’ve been putting in long hours but doesn’t everyone? It’ll just go away – right?

“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout. We all experience it at least once and it can happen at any point during your career. It is especially common when you’re just starting out or working through a big project. What you may not realize while you’re pulling those 16 hour days is that though you may feel like you’re getting ahead, you’re actually setting yourself behind in the long run! 

Tips avoiding burnout - notepad and pen with crumpled paper in background

If you start to feel a lack of motivation, you are constantly exhausted, your work performance is slipping, or you are feeling negative or cynical emotions about work that you didn’t before, you may be experiencing burnout as we speak! It’s something to take seriously but you can fix it fairly easily. Here are 10 things to do if you’re experiencing burnout or to prevent it in the future:

01 SEPARATE YOUR SPACES

Designate a work space and a living space. Avoid working where you tend to relax, like in bed. If you have the room, set up an office space with a door you can close. If you live in a smaller space, set up a desk you can sit down to work at or work at your kitchen table. Avoid your bedroom or living room. If you need even more separation from your living and working, try working in a quiet coffee shop or a coworking space.

02 SET A SCHEDULE

When freelancing and working from home, it’s easy to lose the divide between work hours and social hours since there’s no clocking out and commuting. In order to save your sanity, set office hours and stick to them (emergencies notwithstanding). You may feel weird enforcing them in the beginning, especially if your clients are used to the 24/7 access they had to you before but you will be happier in the long run!

03 DIET, REST, AND EXERCISE

The easy but no-so-easy answers to so many problems. For you to be at the top of your game, you need to eat well, sleep well, and exercise regularly. This can leave some people feeling overwhelmed but you don’t have to go full fitness influencer! Start by going for walks on your lunch breaks! If you have trouble keeping up with meal planning and end up ordering take out, sign up for a meal kit. Finally, set a bedtime and stick to it (and unplug at least 30min before bed!).

04 TAKE TIME OFF

It can feel difficult to justify taking a vacation. Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve earned it quite yet or aren’t sure it’s worth the expense. Instead of thinking like that, switch your mindset up a bit! Taking a vacation is an investment in your mental health in the long run.

Tips avoiding burnout - woman walking in shorts along the water

05 MANAGE EXPENSES

Money is usually the number one stressor, so let’s tighten up the purse strings a little! Do you have any subscriptions you haven’t been using? Cancel them! If you’re a chronic Uber-taker, walk or take transit. If you go out frequently, it’s time to rethink how often you go out to bars or restaurants.

06 REFLECT ON YOUR PROGRESS

In the constant race to exceed your own and others expectations, it’s easy to lose track of how far you’ve come since you started. Take a moment, right now, for a mental step back from the race to reflect.

07 SET LONG TERM GOALS

Now that you’ve reflected on where you were, it’s time to reflect on where you want to be. Give yourself a goal to work towards. Whether it’s that you want to make an additional $10K next year, you want to have 10 more clients before the end of the year, or you want to transition to full-time freelance; write it down and make it real!

08 MAKE YOUR GOALS REALISTIC

You’ve set a goal, but is it attainable? For example, being the most sought after freelancer in your industry is an admirable goal. However, if you’ve committed to reaching it by the end of the year and you just started your business, is that realistic? You’re doomed to get discouraged once you inevitably don’t become the top of your field in the incredibly short timeline you’ve set for yourself.

09 LEARN TO SAY NO

This is hard for a lot of professionals! Stop feeling obligated to accept every contract that comes your way! This goes hand in hand with sticking to those office hours you just set for yourself. You’re allowed to say no, and there’s a way to say no that doesn’t close any doors in the long run.

10 FITLER YOUR CLIENTS

So you’ve separated your work and living space, you’ve set hours, you’re managing your money, you’ve set -realistic- goals, and you’re learning to say no. This last point ties all of these in together. As you get busier, you may find yourself having to say goodbye to some of your clients. You can either send them off by letting them know that once their contract is complete you will not be able to renew or give notice that you’re raising your rates.  Keep the ones that accept your new prices and let the other fall off.

YOU’RE GOING TO BE ALRIGHT

Burnout is frustrating but it’s normal. We all get caught up in work and sometimes we forget to put ourselves first. It isn’t easy to make lifestyle changes but once you take these steps you’ll find yourself less likely to succumb to it. You’ve got this.

Lifestyle

CATEGORY

9/28/2020

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You’ve been feeling tired and unmotivated lately but you don’t know why. You love what you do! You’ve been putting in long hours but doesn’t everyone? It’ll just go away – right?

you are resilient
you are innovative
and you are a mother f*ING

boss!

Just in case no one's told you today...