Sometimes it hits you out of nowhere. You’re grinding away and really feel that you’re crushing it! And honestly, you probably are. However, you start to notice that you’re slowly becoming irritable. Your sleeping schedule is starting to become thrown off. You have little to no time for others or the activities that you once enjoyed doing so much.
Honey, you’re on the verge of burnout.
I’ve been there - twice to be exact! And honestly, I felt it creeping it up lately. I’ve been non-stop since February. And it hasn’t been because I wanted to take on more than I could handle. Sometimes life places us in situations where we have to deal with whatever is being thrown our way because it impacts other people’s lives.
However, be sure to take care of yourself before being of service to others. You’re going to be no good if you can’t function at your best.
Now, we all know what burnout looks like. But how can we avoid even coming face to face with it?
Take a Break
If you find yourself working on something consistently non-stop for hours at a time, schedule some time to stop and just chill out. And I get it - it’s great to get things done when we’ve found our groove. However, we’re humans. We need food. We need sun. We need to get up and move around!
There’s nothing saying that you need to take a 3 hour break. However, try to at least pull yourself away for a minimum of 20 minutes. Literally stop whatever it is that you’re doing and go chill out. Do something unrelated to the task at hand. Go clear your mind.
Think of your body like a car. A car will function for as long as there’s gas or charge. But as soon as the gas or charge runs out, the car comes to a slow and steady halt. And guess what - it doesn’t function. Your body literally goes through a similar process when you work non-stop with no breaks. You’re unable to think straight and your body starts to fatigue.
Solicit Help From Others
Unless it’s a requirement for the task at hand, there’s always room to get help from others. Delegating can be tough and sometimes your pride can stop you from asking for assistance. However, people are often enough willing to lend a helping hand. Free up your workload by passing along tasks to someone else.
And sometimes, it’s not even a matter of passing a task along to someone else. Sometimes it’s a matter of reaching out for help from someone who may have the resources you need in order to speed up (or make easier) the task at hand.
Just the other night, I spent hours trying to debug something that went wrong with a project. Three hours into debugging, I had finally gave up. I reached out to a friend and within seconds (literally seconds), he was able to figure out what was wrong.
All. That. Time. Wasted. I couldn’t believe it. Had I just opened my mouth and asked for help sooner, I could’ve avoided all the time that I had wasted.
Moral of the story, know your limit and ask for help when needed.
‘No’ has become my favorite word as of late. When you start out on a journey to make a mark in an industry, we can become hungry to take on every opportunity which comes our way. The way we see it, the more opportunities we take, the sooner we can reach our self-given definition of ‘success'.
Ya’ll, I’m over that. I’ve been saying ‘No’ to A LOT lately. And yes, some of these opportunities are great. Some that I may never see again. But you know what, that’s OK. I’m a firm believer in timing and feel that if something is meant to be, it will be.
And if you’re the type who feels bad for saying no, then let me know so that I can personally hand deliver you a one-way ticket to burnout. Emotions suck, I know. However, again, you need to take care of yourself before you can be of service to anyone else. Stop thinking that people won’t like you if you say no. If someone decides to dislike you or bad-mouth you all because you turned-down their request - so be it. That person has shown their true colors and honestly didn’t really value who you are as a person to begin with.
Burnout can be a pain and it’s nothing that I would ever wish on my worst enemy. I beg you to do your best to avoid reaching burnout and take care of yourself.
As for me, I rented an AirBnB in Joshua Tree and will be away in the desert for a couple of days away from civilization :)