I want you to know that I totally get it and it’s ok not to be ok.
So, right now, your head feels like a heady mix of cotton wool, mashed potato with perhaps a side order of clouds. Everything you try to do feels like you are wading through treacle. Why is it all so hard?
Your creativity isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Your mojo took a hike.
Your enthusiasm is waning.
Your body aches.
Regardless of how much sleep you are getting you feel totally and utterly exhausted.
You don’t wanna stop, you wanna continue pushing because surely if you stop you are going to drop the ball, you won’t be serving your clients and everything is going to go tits up.
So you keep wading.
AND things don’t get any better.
Surely, there must be something wrong with you. You have this overwhelming exhaustion. This can’t be normal.
Now, I’m not a doctor and if you think that you have something amiss then it’s VITAL that you get that shit checked out. You owe it to yourself to take care of you because without you there’s no business.
NOW, let’s talk about burn out.
Ignore these signs for too long and you will be forced to stop, you will be forced to step back and you will really have no choice. I’ve seen people push through, I’ve seen people trying to do stuff that they are simply not feeling and pushing harder and harder. Now’s the perfect time to tell you that all which is pushed moves away from you, all which is chased makes a run in the opposite direction.
So, let’s just stop a moment.
We don’t want this to turn into out and out burnout. We know that that bad boy has it’s own rules and it may stop you for a week, a month, a quarter or even longer. I’ve seen the fall out of this. I’ve seen amazing people sidelined. Worn out. Burnt out.
I’m not going to beat about the bush with this one nor am I going to offer you a magic way that you will avoid this. The first thing you need to do is get much more self aware.
Pushing and pushing means things move away from you. It’s not going to develop your business, it’s going to make everything trickier. I get that you have to put the work in and particular in the first stages of building your business you have to do everything yourself. You business has effectively become your baby and needs your care and attention – even when you’re not with it you are thinking about it and the guilt of leaving it without your attention can be massively overwhelming.
I know that in the early stages of business I certain rode the wave of burnout on occasions. There were times where I was in my offer, after the keeps were in bed, deep into the wee hours.
Then the more you do it then more you want to keep doing it, you feel then the obligation to continue to put ridiculous hours in and you turn into a mean boss >>check out this blog here all about the mean boss<<
So managing your energy means that you have to look after yourself – if self care makes you slow blink, roll your eyes or even poke them out then you might wanna consider the fact that if you had a machine in your business and didn’t take care of it then it would eventually break and then you wouldn’t get any work done, you’d loose money and it’d take time to sort the problem out YOU ARE THAT MACHINE EXCEPT YOU ARE NOT REPLACEABLE!! If you need to think about self care a little differently then >>check out this blog post<<
So if you are on the cusp of burnout right now then what should you do?
- STOP – it’s super fab that you have recognised it but you need to just stop for a moment, settle (even if it’s just for a moment) and inhale! The constant-ness of your action has been exhausting and overwhelming. Chances are that you haven’t taken a great big deep inhale for AGES!
- REFLECT – Take a look at what you are doing right now – are you busy or are you productive? Busy and productive aren’t the same thing. Do a little list of where you are spending your time. Are you wasting lots of time on Social Media? Are you spending time in (dis)organised chaos? Are you doing jobs that you actually don’t need to do anymore and are merely completing out of habit?
- DITCH, DELEGATE, DO – which of the jobs can you ditch? Which can you get some help and support with? Which do YOU need to do?
- CLEAR THE DECKS – work through and get rid of the stuff that’s pissing you off – that will then open up some bandwidth for you and allow you a little more space.
- I HAVE A LITTLE CHALLENGE – if I am ever tempted to fall into overworking (and at times it’s tempting because I bloody love what I do) I implement a little 7-7 challenge. I shut down at 7pm and don’t do anything work related until after 7am and wherever possible I stay off line during those periods too – this gives me a little downtime.
- FOCUS – start to focus more on the task in hand rather than masses of multi tasking and make sure you aren’t falling into the Social Media vortex and spending time that you are dressing up as work flicking through your social media timeline.
- FILL YOUR CUP – do stuff that fills your cup, revitalises you and gives you more energy – whatever that means for you! The article I shared earlier (here to) has some ideas of this.
- GET REAL – stop taking on too much work that you are battling all of the time, prioritise your diary, make time to work on stuff that needs your attention.
- CHECK OUT ENERY DRAINS – do you have any particular clients or projects that are taking up too much of your time and energy and you aren’t in fair exchange on those projects? You may need to re-look at the relationship, the boundaries or end that working relationship with that particular client.
- IMPLEMENT GOOD BOUNDARIES – and self boundaries might be the biggest one you need to look at here. I know you absolutely want to help your clients but you mustn’t do that at the cost of your own health and well being.
I want you to know that you aren’t a #fail for ending up feeling this way – it’s about making sure that burnout waves don’t keep consuming you and ultimately wash you away because that leaves the decisions out of your hands.