Suffering from burnout? In the first few years of your biz, you’re inundated with marketing, promotions, along with providing your offering. It almost feels like its 80% promotion and 20% actually delivering your product/service. Yep, sounds about right. It’s a juggling act of sorts with multi-tasking and taking on too much all in the hopes of doing more, being more, reaching that coveted success mark – whatever it looks like to you.
For me, it was years of putting my business FIRST, while still juggling a semblance of a life which lead to massive burnout, not just once but multiple times. It was like a continuous cycle until finally I had enough. My passion has always been in wellness: fitness and health which got lost in the shuffle whenever I was in pursuit of yet another startup. After I snapped out of the burnout cycle, I still felt like a fraud. How could I be into health, fitness and wellness when I never made myself a priority, didn’t love myself or liked the way I looked? It was a massive mindset shift for me, I wanted to align with my passion and actually walk the walk. I’m a huge proponent of making yourself a priority, you need to make time for it through taking a hard look at your schedule and optimizing it BEFORE you hit burn out.
Here’s what you can do to ease the pressure on yourself and let things flow a better:
- Document your week. What exactly are you doing with your time? Are you updating Facebook but get distracted by it? Do you find yourself stuck on content? Perhaps you’re doing a slew of manual tasks like updating lists or data entry. eek! BONUS: you might also include how you feel (happy, productive sleepy, annoyed, frustrated) and the time of day. Use the worksheet –> Document Weekly Schedule – Worksheet.
- Next, compare your daily to do list with your actual tasks. Do you see any disconnects? Did you get what you wanted to get done, done? Where are you actually spending your time? Are you getting a clear idea of what is eating up your time so much so that you feel like you have to multi-task, juggle or do it all? If you did the bonus exercise, you probably also realized what you actually find joy in doing and what time of the day you’re most productive. This is important because, you don’t need to do 9 to 5 hours, you can do whatever hours you want based on when you’re most productive! Then, spend those non-productive hours on self-care! Like maybe sleeping or going to the gym.
- Create a new schedule. For me, I’m NOT a morning person, but I do enjoy doing quick action items like send emails, check off social media tasks to get them out of the way etc. I then do my meditation so I don’t have little pesky to dos in my head. After that, I focus on larger tasks, I’m most productive between 11am and 3pm so that’s when I schedule client calls, work on strategy and tackle large projects. At 3pm or 4pm, I take a short 20 minute nap and then finish off any pressing items. Then, I head to the gym and am off for the rest of the evening. I sometimes have moments of inspiration around 9 or 10pm and hit my laptop again since I’m a natural night owl. My ultimate goal is to work only 5 hours a day so I can travel more and pursue my interests in health/fitness. Figure out what works for you, anything is possible!
- Hire someone. Now that you have a clear idea of where you’re spending your time, what you want to work on, and your most productive hours – eliminate all the rest of it. Hire a VA – there are a dime a dozen that are fantastic at what they do.
- Connect with yourself. Oftentimes, we may feel overwhelmed or confused over what exactly to do next, like when we want to do a new marketing promotion, there’s so much info out there – where the heck do you start!? First, before you decide to do “all the things” take a moment and step back. Here’s where your trusty intuition plays a huge role in providing the RIGHT inspired action. As I mentioned, I like to meditate in the morning and reach a space of stillness. At that point, I ask for guidance: a very specific question. Everyone’s different, but I find if I ask a specific question I tend to get answers but if I’m vague or just “ask for guidance” I don’t get anything or get broad answers like “follow your joy” and “frustration is holding you back!” But, I guess those are helpful too! Your intuition is a muscle that needs to be flexed so this connection takes time and gets stronger the more you use it.
- Master Mindset. What I find is, regardless of what you do, it all comes down to mindset and being relentlessly positive. I’m a naturally sarcastic and slightly negative person, so this whole positive outlook and optimism thing is challenging for me. What helps me is listening to music, getting active – swimming, running, weightlifting, yoga, and talking to loved ones who 100% support you in my dreams.
So, optimize your schedule, figure out the heart of what you do and align it with your natural productivity and your ultimate goals. You are meant to play big, and just adjust as you go! This guide will definitely help avoid burnout!
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