There are days when I absolutely love my job. In those glorious moments, I feel deeply proud of my career and appreciative of the independence, variety and excitement that being a registered dietitian and entrepreneur brings to my life.
Then, there are days when I fantasize about deleting all my social media accounts, moving to the country and raising chickens.
Can you relate?
No matter your job, everyone is prone to occasionally feeling fried. And I think entrepreneurs, with our workaholic tendencies, are especially vulnerable. When I come down with a bad case of burnout, here’s what I do to help shake it.
I Do a Social Media Fast
There’s nothing like cruising social media during a burnout spell to send me plunging into a comparison trap. Suddenly my job-fatigue is compounded by envy (“Why didn’t I get that gig?”), frustration (“How can other bloggers be so prolific when I feel so stuck?”) and discouragement (“My photos will never be that good, so why even bother?”). When that toxic brew of emotions overtakes me, I know it’s time to step away from Instagram and enjoy real life. I go off the grid and don’t feel bad about it.
I Get Smarter with My Time
When I feel burned out, part of it is invariably related to feeling scattered and overwhelmed. When that happens, I fall back on a favorite work app, Focus Booster. It’s a simple timer for working on projects in 20-minute chunks, with built-in breaks (it’s based on the Pomodoro Technique of time management). When I zero in on just one project at a time, I’m amazed by how much progress I can make — which, in turn, eases my stress level immensely.
I Log My Successes
Earlier this year, I felt like I was spinning my wheels, working a lot but not accomplishing anything. So I started keeping a record each day in a notebook on my desk of the tasks I completed or worked on in a significant way. It sounds crazy, but knowing I get to log a task in that notebook motivates me to dig in. And seeing that list every day makes me realize how much I truly am accomplishing.
I Take a Break
When I’m in the bad place, I’m never confident that a break will help — but it always does. A day, week or couple of weeks away from the grind has hugely restorative powers because it gives me room to recharge and gain perspective. When I want to take a breather, I use my social media scheduling tools to stay in the game while I’m away, get extensions on projects where I can, and ask colleagues for guest posts (or simply post less, knowing that the world won’t end if my blog goes silent for a week).
I Confide in My Colleagues
I joined a mastermind group last year, and since then the members have become much more than professional advisors. They have become my friends, and I can confess my stress and exhaustion and feel not only safe venting about it, but also feel completely understood. Knowing that we all feel frazzled sometimes is reassuring — and a few kind, encouraging words go a long way when you’re in that kind of funk.