Everyone’s been there:
You have three clients’ deadlines to meet by the end of the week.
There are 16 emails waiting for a reply.
You keep hearing people telling you to push through but all you really want is to take a nap. *and then when you do try to nap, you can’t fall asleep*
Are you depressed? Is this not the right career for you? Do you need a change?
Nope, you simply may be burning out.
Trust me, a full-blown burnout is a real thing — Gallup estimates that 44% of all workers feel overwhelmed at times! And if it hits you strong, it has the power to make you hate your life.
Read on to learn how to avoid burnout when working from home and keep going in the online business — even at times you feel like giving up!
1. Work smart — not hard
If someone’s telling you that the road to success is pushing through 16-hours of work everyday… then they’re giving you the wrong advice.
There’s a difference between working hard — and working smart. Working hard often means killing yourself with work, which in return leads to a serious burnout.
*think of it as a hamster running in its wheel*
On the other side, working smart means that you’ve refined your work process to achieve more by doing less.
You can end up working for 16 hours per day and still not get anywhere with your career. You can also work 4 hours per day but advance tremendously. It’s your decision.
Pro tip: Set your freelance rates in a way that allows you to work smart, not hard.
2. Don’t fall into false productivity traps
False productivity is all the work that makes you feel like you’re doing something — when in reality you’re not doing much to move faster towards your final goal.
The false productivity isn’t the same as procrastination.
Here’s a false productivity example.
Let’s say — you might think that manually uploading every single post on Instagram helps you move towards your goals. Now, this is a false productivity trap!
While it’s true that you’re doing some work — there you are, working, right? — you’re wasting time on something that can be automated.
Detect all of your false productivity traps — and do whatever it takes to get out of them.
3. Learn how to actively rest
Do you know what it means to actively rest?
Actively resting doesn’t mean physical rest — it also means resting the mind.
Plan active rest in your schedule. When it comes the time to rest, do whatever you want to do but there’s one rule: you’re not allowed to think about work.
4. Go on vacations regularly
Let’s face it now — taking time off to rest is VITAL to making it past the three-year mark.
And drop that I-can-work-from-anywhere-including-my-vacation mindset. Working while you’re on a vacation gets a big fat no from me. *been there, done that*
You do real work — even if you work from home. So you deserve real rest!
5. Reevaluate your goals
Burnout often happens when you’re pushing towards something you can’t clearly see.
Is that your next goal? Is it your next milestone? Do you even know where you’re going now?
One of the major reasons why burnout happens is because people don’t get the emotional satisfaction from completing a goal. Sounds familiar?
Stop and reevaluate your current position. Remind yourself why you’re in this. What’s your final goal?
Pro tip: Feeling like you’ve lost all motivation? I’ve found coworking places to be an excellent way to boost your spirits!
6. Don’t be scared to say NO
I’ll be honest here. I don’t think you’ll absolutely love every project you work on.
And it’s okay to sometimes accept work you’re not exactly thrilled about.
But do this too often and — eeek! Burnout!
Working on something you don’t really vibe with is lethal both your motivation and your creativity.
Don’t be scared to say NO if something doesn’t sound appealing. Trust me, there’s always a better project waiting just around the corner!
7. Delegate tasks
If you work from home, you’re probably pretty self-reliant most of the time.
However, being a one-man show all the time doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself.
Don’t be scared to delegate the tasks you’re not an expert.
That also goes for tasks you simply don’t have the time to do. Everything really — doing your taxes, cleaning your house or coming up with a workout plan for the next month.
If you can afford to pay for something that will free up some time in your day — by all means, go for it!
8. Manage stress — or at least try to
Talking about stress… I cringe every single time someone tells me to manage stress — and then doesn’t really tell me how.
But it turns out that not everything works for everyone.
Some people love doing yoga. Others go for a night out with friends. Some stay in and read a book.
I deal with stress by reading fiction, journaling my frustrations and working out. *though it did take me a while to find out what worked the most*
9. Adopt digital minimalism
My very own burnout was the reason why I’ve started tapping into digital minimalism.
See, the thing is, if you work online — then most of the action happens on your screen. Computer screen, phone screen, tablet screen, you name it, there’s always something going on.
Being a digital minimalist doesn’t mean abandoning technology altogether. The goal is to make technology use intentional, not habitual. You gain more by using less.
Think of it as a conscious effort to unplug for a while every day and go back to basics.
10. Treat freelancing loneliness
There’s a certain toll that comes with having a remote job.
When I lived on my own, there would literally be days when I wouldn’t meet another human being unless I left the house.
Yeah — freelancing loneliness is a real thing. And you sometimes end up being so entwined in your own little online world that you let anxiety overwhelm you.
*burnout is a few steps away from anxiety anyway*
Try to spend more time surrounded by people. You know, real people — preferable adults. You don’t even have to hang out with them but just being around people is sometimes more than enough.
What do you do to make sure you’re not burning out? How do you handle rest time?
Originally published at theextrovertedfreelancer.com on December 1, 2018.