Today I was working from home, and usually these are days I find absolutely no problem with as I have the to work at my own pace, but today I felt different. When I woke up I felt extremely heavy, I found it difficult to walk to my kitchen and it hit me – I have over done it, I have that twenty-something problem much of our generation experiences time to time. I have Burnout.
I have felt weaker than usual recently anyway, and because of this I even dropped some clients, telling them I was at capacity, but when it’s people I like working with, and enjoy the work, I find it really hard to say no.
This week in particular I have work four 20 HOUR days working for six clients – filming, editing, consulting etc – on top of doing my own personal projects that are in the works to go live this month, but sadly my YouTube and blog fell by the way side the last two weeks because I just didn’t have the hours in the day.
That’s ridiculous. No-one can survive doing that.
What makes this worse is I feel VERY guilty even taking a few hours off. Part of it is I really don’t want feel like I am letting my clients down or I feel like I should be creating MY content, catching up on paperwork, or doing my meetings over the phone. This is from a habit I developed of always sourcing new work for what I call “the harsh workless weeks” nearer the summer, when freelance is a little harder to come by – but that isn’t as true any more. I have consistent clients, I have my own regular projects and the previous few years work has been paying off, and I am totally grateful. So why am I worried about taking time off?
I am only talking about this as I think there are a few people I know who feel this way, and as someone who has succumbed to this I want to lend advice on how to NOT to as it’s really not fun.
Take days off without punishing yourself.
THIS IS HARD FOR US WORKAHOLICS. I usually try and have every Sunday off, but it hasn’t been happening recently. Actually have two days off a week, go outside or have a spa day and socialise and/or just relax. You’re body will the thanking you the rest of the week.
Otherwise, prefer for your body to rebel against you by aching with exhaustion and bad posture.
Sleep at least 7-9 hours a night.
I used to be one of those people that said “SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK! I am building a career here!” Where in reality it’s for the successful. You can’t be sleepy and on your game. It doesn’t happen. You’re mind will be mush, you will forget things and you will make mistakes.
At minimum you won’t be able to process what’s happening around you for a long period of time. Rest, wake up early and finish your work. (I know I am writing this at 1am, but I napped today so I am SO ALERT RIGHT NOW.)
You don’t want be that person known for making mistakes.
This is something I have very, very, recently only started doing and I have found that on days where I eat and drink the right things – vegetables, fruit and water, I feel better. I don’t feel bloated and I am more focussed. This was probably my saving grace this week that actually made me appear together with clients – even if I looked stupid carrying around the green smoothies I made with my Nutribullet.
Very much recommend.
Say no more.
This is probably the most important point. I HATE letting people down, especially if they are my friends or people I like working with. I will say I can do something, and then do it by sacrificing my health (never their work!). I need to learn to say no to work, recommend others or…
My friend, Lily, has been telling me to do this for a while. I probably need to hire a person for 1 day a week or even two days a month to do everything that is time consuming for me, but also not essential to me – such as making rough edits or filing paperwork and contracts or emailing some people so that I have more time to do the impressive edits, write posts, film things etc.
This one is hard for me to acknowledge, but I am seriously considering it. I am going to wait till May to make a decision on this.
My plans now are to take April really easy – especially as I am having surgery so I can breath through my nose again – and take EVERY Sunday off. I am going to return next week with LOTS of blog content and some new videos – I actually have nearly 10 posts written – just no photos. Also something new is launching on the site April 12th 😉
Keep well x