Let's Talk About Burnout . . .
It happens, whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom or a 9 to 5 mom (insert dad into any one of those please) or maybe you're a young adult still trying to figure out life and this whole creative business thing. I've been there. I've thrown my hands up after having a tough week, sometimes weeks, and wanted to quit. The running joke around here is that when mom has one of "those" episodes is that we are moving to Montana to raise goats. Don't be surprised if you see that post here one of these days folks! Haha! But inevitably once I stop running around complaining like a crazy woman, I realize that my meltdown could have easily been avoided.
Let me explain. Here are 5 ways that I've learned to help avoid burnout:
1. Set Goals
If you don't know what your goals are for your business, your home, your family or personal life, then you are just running in circles. Know what your goals are. Write them down. An awesome tool to do this in is PowerSheets by Lara Casey. You HAVE to have a target to aim for. By not having one, you are more apt to say yes to everything that comes your way & will overwhelm yourself real quick like! In case you missed it I focused on setting 90 day goals here.
2. Set Boundaries
I admit that I was terrible at this early in my career. I would answer the phone late at night, answer emails and texts too. I would take weekend sessions or evening ordering appointments. You name it, I did it. Yes, I was popular with my clients. But this took a toll on our family. I now have very strict boundaries. Yes, I have to make exceptions from time to time, but these get run by the family first. Work texts, phone calls & emails get handled the next business day during business hours. I only take a certain number of clients on each month because I know what I can and can't handle. This goes for our family life too. We only allow a certain number of sleepovers and don't make it to every big family outing. And we have to say no to cool activities for the kids sometimes because we just really need dinner around the table together. Know what your priorities are and sit down to set some boundaries that will keep them on the top of your list.
3. Don't Blur Personal & Work Life
This is related to the boundaries issue too. You have to be able to shut down. This means your mind and your electronics. Some examples: dinner out at a restaurant with your family but answering work emails on your phone (or lets maybe call it what it is . . . scrolling Facebook haha). Or at the park with your kids but taking a "quick" call. We all know how those go! Work time is work time. Family time is family time. By combining the two, neither get your full attention. And they both deserve it, just at separate times :)
4. Schedule Time To Unplug
Do you remember the time before the iPhone or Blackberry? The time when you had to physically be at your computer to deal with work. It can still be that way! I purposely don't have notifications on for my email (or social media) because I seriously don't want to be distracted by it all day long. Ok, that was off topic, but still . . . We do not have to be connected to the outside world 24-7! Schedule time to just walk away, put your phone on silent or do not disturb and just enjoy life around you. Go for a walk. Play in the yard with your kids. Finish a project in the house you've been meaning to get around to. We need that time. It's still there, just like it used to be. We just have to be willing to unplug. For real, schedule it! Make yourself unavailable on your calendar & just do it.
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5. Exercise & Eat Well
I can tell when I haven't been eating right or when I've gone a few days without a good workout or run. I feel sluggish & beat down. And that's just about the time for another meltdown. When I take care of myself, I get so much more accomplished, and I'm in such a better mood. Take 30 minutes a day to do something for yourself! It doesn't have to be all work or all raising the kiddos. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the rest of it :)
So, there you go. Definitely some things that we can do to avoid feeling burnout. I had to take a step back this week and reevaluate some things myself after having a little "moment". Hope this helps you avoid one this week! I'm not the only that has them, right??? :)