As a mom, the term “burnout” has taken on a totally new meaning. Turns out I can go for months without a decent night sleep and still be totally (sort of) functional. Who knew?
Eventually, “totally” functional turns into “not so functional” and I need to change something up to recharge.
Every blogger, at one point or another, is going to hit a wall. The demands to be profound and creative consistently push your motivation to the limits. And that’s ok. It’s just part of the creative process.
The demands to be profound and creative consistently push your motivation to the limits. And that’s ok. It’s just part of the process.
— Olivia Derby (@OliviaRDerby) April 4, 2016
Rather than letting the creative block de-rail you or sabotage your hard work, use it as motivation to grow as an entrepreneur, learn how to overcome internal obstacles, and get back on track with a renewed sense of inspiration.
2 Sides To Every Story
There are essentially 2 steps for combatting burnout. Preventing it before it happens, and dealing with it when it shows up.
There are ways you can prepare ahead of time for burnout. It’s inevitable that someday you’re going to have trouble coming up with something write about. You might as well start planning for that day.
1. Keep A List Of Ideas
You should have a designated spot for collecting ideas for posts. I love Trello for this, but a simple word doc works just as well. Write an idea down whenever it occurs to you and use it as a repository of inspiration when you write.
2. Schedule Time To Brainstorm
On a regular basis, plan on setting aside an hour or so to simply brainstorm new ideas. Get the creative juices flowing on a regular basis and you will find inspiration coming more readily. Often, It’s easier to land on new ideas when you’re not inhibited by the actual execution. Take your brainstorming sessions to create headlines and titles, not the actual content. That comes later.
3. Write Something Every Day
Even if your content calendar says you should be pushing out 1 post per week, you need to be writing something every day. Writing is just like any other skill. The more you train it, the better and easier it becomes. Write something every day.
4. Keep Your Blog Focused
One of the most common struggles I hear of from Bloggers is that they have a ton of say, but aren’t sure which one land on for the next post. Keep your blog focused on the topic that you shine in. A narrow focus allows you to select more detailed and specific topics to write about.
For example, if you’re a photographer a blog about “photography” is a lot to cover. Thats a big subject with a lot to consider. It can be easy to get lost in all that information. However, a blog about “wedding photography” is a lot more specific. You could include articles on “Creating Soft and Romantic Lighting” as opposed to “Lighting”. You could publish a guide for “Styling Gowns for Timeless Photos” instead of “Styling Photos”.
5. Organize Your Categories
Help keep your blog focused by choosing categories that cover the topics you want to cover. Select 5-8 good categories that fit your main topic, and you will have a lot content to address.
6. Automate What You Can
Take time away from mundane tasks by automating simple repetitive obligations. The more free time you have, the more opportunities for inspiration you will have.
7. Take Time To Recharge
Everybody needs a day off. Sometimes burnout can be kicked by just giving up for a day and spending the time on yourself. Take a bath, watch some trash tv, go for a run, whatever it is that “de-stresses” you.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time to yourself. It’s all in the name of progress.
Use tools like Google Alerts, Feedly, Flipboard, and twitter trends to automatically deliver current and relevant updates on your industry to you.
The more you read, the better writer you will become. You know they say that you learn more by listening than talking? The same principles apply to writing. You will improve fastest by reading AND writing.
9. Master Your Process
If you treat your blog like a functioning part of your business, you will start to develop processes which can be improved and perfected over time.
For me, every post starts with an idea, then gets an outline, then a first draft followed by a few images, edit number one comes next, then formatting, then edit number two.
I have a process that works for me and I rely on it to kick start my creative process and mould rough ideas into valuable content.
Start refining your process to address your weak points and get your mind into a routine. Being creative on a schedule seems hard, but it’s easier to turn it on when your brain is expecting the routine.
Motivation is the foundation of overcoming burnout. You’ve got to have the resolve and awareness to know when to take a break and give yourself time to recharge, and then exercise the discipline to get right back to work.
How do you handle burn out? Tell me about your go to tricks for pushing through times of exhaustion?