Back in February, I was massively burnt-out.
I had worked myself to breaking point. Frequent tears at 11pm at night, chronic sinus attacks and let’s just say that I was surviving on a diet of BBQ chicken sandwiches and cookies, so my waistline was feeling it too….
But my health wasn’t the only thing suffering from the intense work schedule I was putting myself under. I wasn’t allowing myself time to do fun things with my family or friends. I was stressed all the time, no fun to live with and consumed with the deadlines I had given myself to achieve.
And do you know the worst bit? I wasn’t LOVING what I was doing. I wasn’t even happy. The joy had all seeped away, under the tension, overwhelm and to-do list. I’d lost track of why I started doing this in the first place…
One of the biggest factors essential to beating burnout is having the strength to say no. Sometimes we need to know when to say no to others, but it’s also about saying no to yourself. This for me is the big one….
Knowing that it’s ok to stop working and go to bed when you’re sitting in front of the screen blinking, trying to focus yet so exhausted that you can barely hold your head up.
Knowing that going to the supermarket to buy healthy food is worth the hour round trip it might take you. (Besides, having a fridge full of healthy, yummy food is always a good thing).
Knowing that if you work yourself to exhaustion, you’re actually not going to do be as productive as you think you will…
Knowing that when you’re sick, you’re no good to anyone.
But that’s just it. Type A Over-Achievers like us KNOW all this, yet still think we’re invincible. Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from so many studio directors who are suffering from serious illness or injury, have experienced relationship breakdowns or are just too exhausted to want to continue running their studios.
There has to be a more sustainable way to running a studio.
After my big burnout, I decided that I would instigate a NO BURN OUT policy. Everything would get done, but I was no longer going to push myself to breaking point to achieve it. If it took a week longer – would that be the end of the world?
Instead of my ‘burning the candle at both ends’ lifestyle (or as one studio director put it the other day – “I just threw the whole candle in the fire!”) I CHOSE not to do it to myself. After all, no one was making me stay up until 2am doing marketing.
In this video, I share the two ways that I beat burnout. I still really focus on these each day and even though I’m certainly not perfect, I’m happier, healthier and enjoy my work much more.
How have you overcome burnout in the past? What tips do you have for managing your workload?