Burnout is natural. It happens to almost all of us. But what matters most is our zeal to fight against it. You manage your time, workload, and relationships with clients—and sometimes even coworkers—with no clear-cut boundaries or structure.
Sometimes we let it slide into our personal life, and the relationships we have carved for years start shattering. But there are ways you can manage this without losing your mind:
Be self-aware and non-dismissive of the signs
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Feeling like you're not doing enough or accomplishing enough at work
- Dealing with a lot of conflict with your coworkers, family members, or friends
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- If any of these things sound familiar, take a step back and ask yourself if something is wrong.
If they don't sound familiar, but you still feel like something isn't right—maybe there's not enough energy in your life right now—then it's time to start paying attention to what's going on with your work environment.
Take advantage of automation tools.
Automation tools can help you reduce your time and energy on repetitive tasks. If you're unfamiliar with automation tools, they're software enabling you to perform certain actions automatically by linking two or more applications.
You don't need technical know-how to use these tools either; most have user-friendly interfaces anyone can navigate without training. Take advantage of what's available today; it'll save time later on down the road (which means less burnout).
Plan long-term rewards for major milestones.
When you start working on a project, whether it's an article or a client presentation, plan rewards for yourself when you reach milestones in that project. For example:
When I finish writing this piece and submit it for publication or When my client is happy with my work, I’ll give myself a chocolate box.
Use your strengths to help you overcome your weaknesses
When it comes to overcoming your weaknesses, there are two ways using your strengths can help:
- You can use them as an antidote to your weaknesses; for example, if you're prone to procrastination and lack of discipline (a common issue among creatives), setting up accountability systems will help keep you on track
- You can use them to complement other areas where improvement is needed; for example, if particular skill sets or knowledge bases are missing from your toolkit, learning how these work could make all the difference in getting things done.
Focus on your physical health and sleep cycle
We've put together some tips on how to stay healthy and energised as a freelancer:
Burnout doesn't have to be permanent—it just needs attention!