Avoiding burnout is typically one of the hardest things to do when you’re in business. Especially if you’re the only person running the business. We wear many hats: bookkeeper, marketer, strategist, planner, etc. While burnout can technically be a good thing (your business is booming) it most likely is a negative reaction for most people.
I know when 2020 hit and turned everything upside down, it made everyone hustle and scramble even harder in 2021 to make up for the loss. I saw a lot of photography peers hit burnout and hit it hard and it truly broke my heart!
Since the beginning of my business, avoiding burnout was one of my biggest priorities. I didn’t want to start a business just to be burned out, frustrated and not enjoying the job I was pursuing. That didn’t make sense. I wanted to build a business that I could balance with my life and didn’t have to choose one or the other.
Now that it’s winter time, if you’re a photographer, it’s the golden time of the year: off-season! This is always a much needed time to work on back end business work and get that well-deserved break. As we are already almost a quarter of the way through the year, I wanted to share the steps I take for avoiding burnout so that you can run your business this year in a proactive way instead of reactive!
But first, how do you know you’re even burnout? You may be in a phase of burnout if you: can’t catch your breath on your to-do list, feel overwhelmed 24/7, or you’re starting to dread the next event on your calendar. If you’re feeling this way or have felt this way, I want to remind you of a few things. You’re not alone, you’re not a failure, and it won’t (or shouldn’t) last forever.
Lets dive into 5 simple ways that you can avoid burn out in 2022! Are you ready?
No, really. You need to stop saying yes to everything that comes your way. Create a NEW habit of saying NO or maybe even taking one full day to process what is being asked of you to commit to. Pay attention to your triggers: When you do you find yourself starting to feel burnout? By creating awareness of how your feeling will help you avoid burnout in the future. For me personally, I know my limit is no more than 2 sessions a week. With everyday life, being a homeowner, wife and business owner wearing many hats… it can get to be a lot! Reminder: Busy isn’t a badge of honor.
The easiest task that gets over looked every single time. “You cannot pour from an empty cup” is one of the most cliche but truest phrases that can be repeated. Why do we roll our eyes when we hear it? Because we know it’s true and most likely..we’re too stubborn to change our ways. How does it feel to tell yourself, “My mental health isn’t a priority”. Ouch. If you had a negative reaction, then maybe it’s time to do something different.
This goes for morning routines, evening routines and even systems for your work day! One of the best ways that I’ve learned to manage my burnout with weddings is to create systems within my business. That looks like – only taking sessions on Tuesday-Thursdays so that I can enjoy my weekends if I don’t have a wedding and Mondays are for prepping for a new week ahead. This includes having workflows (this is the one I use!) in place so that I can ease the stress of worrying about what I need to do next. Creating systems and routines not only helps our days/weeks to run smoother, but adding in boundaries (and sticking to them!) are the best ways to avoid burnout.
This is one of the biggest things that most people avoid – and instead of asking for help, they run themselves into burnout or worse. It doesn’t make any sense, truthfully. Asking for help doesn’t mean your weak and that you can’t handle what’s going on in life. Instead of looking at it in a negative way, what if your perspective was, “My business is so in demand that I need help keeping up with all of my work!” or “My time and attention for my family is my first priority in life and so I will take the necessary steps to value and protect that.” Once you get a taste of what is blessing it is to ask or have help, you’ll understand why it’s so important!
Maybe it’s grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend or taking a day off to do self care – whatever it is, put it in your calendar. Otherwise, it will never happen. Taking a break isn’t just for fun – it’s crucial to feeling your best and doing your best work!
There you have it! Are you ready to start avoiding burnout in your business? I sure hope so and hope that you really take the time to implement these steps!
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