You want to earn a spot in your niche with your incredible range of insights and experience. So you work diligently by squeezing content creation in between meetings, calls, emails, professional projects, home projects, family time, and much more.
You think you’re on a great track and you’ll never burn out as long as you keep up your momentum.
Eventually, you start to stay a little later working on projects and even work on weekends. You begin worrying about whether it’s working or if you should hedge your bets with this whole writing thing.
“Never mind,” you say. You still hold on to the idea that you will never burn out – giving up and in to burnout is for idle, non-dedicated people who don’t share your vision or passion. Short of an uncontrollable disaster, all you have to do is keep up this momentum and your hard work will pay off in the end … right? Wrong.
A Seemingly Never-Ending Balancing Act
That phrase you keep repeating, “I’ll never burn out,” is a myth. This busywork that’s masquerading as “dedication” is the road to burnout. How do you know?
Do any of the following statements apply to you?
- “Bad” days are more frequent than good.
- Most of your time is spent on tasks that seem impossible or are monotonous.
- You’re exhausted – if not all of the time, most of the time.
- You don’t feel appreciated or what you do makes a difference.
- You feel unmotivated – you can’t see value in caring about your work or even home life.
- You’re overwhelmed by venturing into a new territory.
- You feel like you’re going nowhere.
If none of these apply to you, feel free to skip to the end and share your secrets to burnout prevention. If any of these apply to you, even in the slightest increment, then you’re showing signs of burnout. In turn, this could be negatively affecting your ability to accomplish your goals and have serious physical repercussions. The time is now to deal with it because you have a lot to lose if burnout gets the best of you.
It’s Time for a Time Out
To address and prevent burnout, you need to stop and take a step back. Consider not only how you got there, but how you will bail yourself out to replenish your energy to accomplish your greater goals. Use these tips:
Take a break.
“I can’t slow down – I have all of these things to do!” Once you’ve reached burnout status, it’s hard to break habits that either serve little value or perpetuate the burnout-balancing act. Slow down. This isn’t a request. Do it. Where you can, cut back on commitments that show little value and ask for help or delegate tasks, such as asking someone to proofread your content for you or even consider hiring a ghostwriter or transcriber. You cannot accomplish everything at once and deliver quality. Give yourself some time to recharge both your mind and body.
Reevaluate your goals and priorities.
“I don’t even know where to begin …” Here’s an exercise to get you started:
Break down your obligations, duties, and tasks into two columns. In the first column, write all of those things people are depending on you to accomplish or what can only be done by you. In the second column, write down those things you do that could be done by someone else or reasonably eliminated altogether.
Think of each item in your second column to be your “burnout relief” to-do list by delegating these tasks or jettisoning them from your routine if they lack value.
Next, write down your goals – personal, home, writing, and work goals that will create value in your life and work. Compare your goals to your first column. Is there anything that you can move over to the second column? Allow your goals to be the ruler that helps you measure your tasks and commitments – if it doesn’t measure up, delegate or eliminate it.
For all commitments and tasks that remain in the first column, create a plan.
Have a plan and rekindle your motivation.
“A goal is just a wish without a plan.” Whatever type of plan you choose to implement – whether it targets your personal, professional, or writing goals – make sure it contains at least these three elements:
- It targets a specific goal.
- It’s broken into actionable steps.
- It’s rewarding.
What I Do to Prevent Burnout
I’m S.M.A.R.T. – that is, I plan S.M.A.R.T. goals by asking myself the following questions:
- Specific: What do I want to accomplish and what are its requirements or constraints?
- Measurable: What are the indicators I use to measure its success or achievement?
- Achievable: What are the steps I will take to accomplish this goal?
- Relevant: Is it worthwhile?
- Timely: What milestones should I meet or when will it be finally accomplished?
Another strategy I’m a huge fan of is the to-do list – daily lists, project lists, writing lists, shopping lists, activity lists, and honey-do lists (a list for my husband …) – anything can chunked into a list. Call me peculiar, but I find an indescribable satisfaction in checking off each item as I finish it, which creates a powerful momentum that propels me through each task. For tasks I didn’t plan for and do, I’ll add it to my list (after the fact) to cross it off.
Don’t wait. When you’re burned out, anything and everything can be a bear to handle. Change your course. Own your plan. Wear it out like a pair of running shoes until you can see through the soles because of all of the mileage you got out of it. Use these tips to alleviate stress, prevent burnout, and add more valuable contributions to your family, your niche, and your own peace of mind.
What do you do to avoid burnout? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
PS: Fans of the all-new 15 Busting Myths in Your Niche Article Templates may have recognized the style and format of the “I’ll Never Burn Out Myth Article Template” that I used for this post. (Yes, even I use the Article Templates!) Click here to visit the Build Your Own Article Template Package series and then select the View Template List to check out what else is included in this package and begin writing your own myth-busting articles for your readers today!
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