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In the age of information, it’s tough to find a job where you can put down your phone or step away from the computer for extended periods. It’s almost expected that you’ll be able to respond to emails and messages 24/7.
This opens up a lot of opportunities but also creates an environment for burnout. Working without boundaries is both liberating and exhausting.
I have been there. We all have, at some point in our careers. The dreaded burnout phase is where you are so exhausted and drained of everything that you start feeling like you can’t do anything right anymore.
This is the sign that you need to take it easy, or maybe even get away for a while.
It is not easy to find a balance between work and your personal life. It’s even harder when you are working long hours each day, trying to make it in the competitive workforce.
Check out this blog post on how to focus on long-term business goals.
Burnout is a state of mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is a very serious condition that can lead to a person having a nervous breakdown.
A person suffering from burnout may experience depression, cynicism, detachment, loss of creativity, and enthusiasm for life in general.
Many of us live very fast-paced lives where work is more important than anything else.
We may take on too many tasks at the same time without delegating some of our responsibilities which results in us getting overwhelmed and stressed out more often than not.
It may gradually creep up on you. You’re ecstatic about the jobs or contracts you’ve obtained, or maybe you’ve been promoted at work with additional duties.
But one of the most essential aspects to maintaining this level of productivity was left out.
Balance is the key to everything in your life. We need balance to keep our focus laser-sharp. We need to stick to our schedules, routines, and actions that compound our goals and the results of those goals.
Everything needs to be in balance. This is why staying active, spending time with friends and family, getting enough sleep, and having fun are all critical factors that can ensure you are properly maintaining your life.
Burnout happens when this balance is lost and your work begins to suffer.
The greatest risk for burnout is working long hours. If you spend a lot of time working, it’s only a matter of time before your personal life starts to fall apart.
You may not be getting enough sleep or exercising as much as you should be. The lack of activity will inevitably lead to deteriorating physical and mental health.
Burnout is common even among parents, as parents we forgot to put time into ourselves and before we know it, we feel frustrated and our mind is fuzzy. We are overwhelmed by the number of things on our plate.
We also saw this happen during the pandemic with doctors and nurses working so many hours they lost their passion and excitement for working, many feeling burned out and want to change careers.
This can especially happen to any freelancer, working from home is a very different ballgame that requires you to set your limitations and boundaries.
Do you ever feel like your life is just going through the same motions each day? You go to work, come home and do what needs to be done.
It might be that nothing really exciting happens in either place of them or with yourself because there always seems so much pressure from everyone else for everything they need.
Burnout manifests itself differently in each person. However, burnout symptoms may now be recognized, allowing self-employed professionals and workers of all types to take steps to avoid it.
If some of these sound familiar, it doesn’t always mean that you’re burned out – but it’s important to pay attention and remember these signs so if you are burned out you can stop it in its tracks before it becomes more serious.
Fortunately, many of the same options available to help recover from burnout are the same as preventing burnout from happening. You may need to make significant changes in your lifestyle choices, either by modifying the sources of stress in your life or by using different coping mechanisms depending on the root causes.
Prioritize your mental health before anything else. When you’re having a bad day or week it’s hard to be productive as a freelancer. If you make time for yourself and do the things that make you happy, then you can come back to work refreshed and ready to go.
Burnout is a lot easier to avoid if you have a good work-life balance. This means that your personal life and work-life need time dedicated to each other every day, but not necessarily every day of the week.
Bonus: Don’t forget to exercise! Burning out isn’t just about mental fatigue – it’s also physical. Exercise is so important for your well-being. Not only does it improve your physical health, but also your mental health!
Take a look at your current situation and surroundings. Are you overwhelmed with work? Is it getting in the way of your personal life?
Ask yourself if it’s worth it, and if not – what can you do differently to improve that situation? Burnout can happen anywhere, so why not try changing your environment for the better!
One of the main causes of burnout is not being able to manage your time efficiently. Instead of trying to push yourself too hard, try prioritizing your work so that you have some free time for yourself.
This doesn’t mean procrastinating everything till the last minute. It just means cutting back on unnecessary tasks or cutting out time-wasting activities.
Be sure to spend your free time on things you enjoy or help you unwind from your hectic day.
Is it taking photos? Working out? Cooking? Ask yourself if what you’re doing at work is bringing you joy, or draining the happiness from your day. If it’s the latter, maybe it’s time to try something new!
Keep everything in perspective. Burnout can happen for a ton of reasons – some might be bigger than others. By learning how to manage your time and put yourself first, burnout definitely won’t be something you encounter often.
Laughter is a good way to break out of a funk. Check out these hilarious freelancing memes.
The main way to avoid burnout is to recognize the signs early and take action before it gets really bad. It’s common for people who experience burnouts not to notice what’s going on with them until their condition has become severe enough that they’re no longer able to function properly.
Even if the deadline is nearly here or there’s so much to do that you can’t even imagine doing it all.
If you keep pushing yourself when your body tells you to stop, then eventually there will be nothing left to give.
Self-employed professionals and freelancers burn energy on both ends. But remember that even a place like Chick-fil-a closes one day a week all the time. Compare their business success to that of McDonald’s who is open 24/7, even on holidays.
Which people are happier and in better moods at work? My bet is the folks at Chick-fil-a. Working more doesn’t always get you lines around the block for your service or product.
How many small businesses do you see open when you feel they should be closed for the day or holiday? Too many. It’s a hard-knock life out there for entrepreneurs. They’re either already burnt out or worried that they will end up like this. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Be committed to your health and well-being and operate much like Chick-fil-a does, only be available a certain amount of time and be productive within that time frame. Customers will still bring you business and you’ll all be happier for it.