Simply put, burnout is a mess. It makes you feel like a mess too. It drags your concentration and productivity into a black hole and leaves you with nothing. It’s essentially the body’s way of saying “lay down.”
While burnout is nearly inevitable at some point in your journey, since there is ALWAYS more to do, it is also manageable.
1. Lay Down.
I know I talk about sleep all the time. But here it is again – lay down. Don’t just pass out, wind down properly. Have some tea (maybe splash it with a little Jack or a little Hen Friend), read a book, journal, whatever, THEN pull the covers up to your neck and go to bed. You won’t burn out as easily if you get proper rest along the way.
2. Make peace with your to do list.
This could also be called PRIORITIZE. There are now and will forever be 900 things on your to do list. I assure you, they don’t ALL have to be done today. Tackle the things that must be done today and leave the rest, without shame. I actually move them to a larger to do list and tackle them during down times (Thanksgiving is a LOOOOONG weekend. Maybe in lieu of or immediately after black Friday shopping, you could tackle some of the things that have gotten left behind. More on this later in the month).
My week generally starts (in my mind) on Sunday. I use Saturday to rest. Sunday, I devote the morning to my entrepreneurial ventures. I like to write, or at least plan, content, shoot my visuals, etc. I use the rest of the day for life – go to church, do my hair, and get everything set up so that the rest of the week is in auto pilot.
My tasks tend to require a decreasing amount of brain power as the week goes on. So my Monday tasks will be more intense than my Wednesday tasks. Truthfully, I’m usually worn out from my job by Thursday. So I leave very little to the end of the week because I know it won’t get done. Plus, I’ve told you before I like happy hour.
I also try to frontload the month. I try to leave one week at the end of the month with some time to fall apart because that’s just how my life is set up. And I know that about myself so I just plan for it. For instance, when I post new clothes on my consignment site, my goal is 1 piece per day. So I do 10 for the first 3 weeks of the month, schedule them to post, and magically, I have a week at the end of the month off.
4. Be real with yourself.
This one is important. There is advice everywhere, hell even here. Get up earlier, sacrifice everything, and I have to tell you I think a lot of the “you can’t be successful unless you…” style advice is bullshit. Not because it doesn’t work for lots of people, but because everyone is different. Waking up at 5 am is a no go for me because I end up at work with a headache by 2. There is no flexibility around the time I have to be at work and I have a long commute. Instead, I come home, unwind, and work on my side hustle from 8PM – 12AM. Some Fridays, like last night, I DO forgo my happy hours and work until 3AM. But I need balance. I need to reconnect with friends or I have another set of emotional crises. Don’t let people shame you out of what works for you. Yes, you should push yourself, but don’t push yourself to burnout. You’re of use to no one with frayed nerves.
5. Plan downtime.
I’ve hinted at this throughout the entire post, but it’s SO important that I want to say it explicitly. If you plan for the downtime, you won’t feel guilty about taking it. Saturday morning is my time to rest or do what IIIIII want. No one can have it and I don’t feel bad about it.
No one can go 24 hours a day. It’s simply not possible. Use these 5 tips to manage your burnout and stay on track.