Grow Your Biz – Week 6: Treat yourself right – Mind & Body
Last week we talked about 6 Dead Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout. This week I will be sharing the strategies I’m currently experimenting with to get these concepts to stick and make my life easier and more enjoyable. Why? Because I know how to recognize burnout before it takes over, since I, unfortunately, burned myself out a few times already. And sadly enough, I’m seeing symptoms of another burnout creeping up on me. If you are in the same boat, keep on reading!
Before we start…
What exactly is #GrowYourBiz?
Grow Your Biz is a new blog post series I created after running my online business for two years. Every week I will share my goals and learnings with you so that you can grow your business alongside me.
The internet is a wonderful place, which allows us to create and run a one-person-business from home. But it also can be very lonely and depending on where you live you could be cut off from fellow entrepreneurs. Not being able to chat about your business with someone who has similar goals, struggles and to-dos can be stressful. While family and friends love you and will always listen to you, there are just some things they can’t follow and fully understand – they try to believe me! – if they work a usual nine-to-five.
But you are not alone!
There are many of us even if we live all around the globe. So let’s use this wonderful place called ‘the internet’ once more to share our journey, learn from one another and grow our businesses together.
Review of last week’s goals
- Create long pins for all the blog posts you published the past couple weeks and share them on Pinterest
- [50%] Copy your Journaltastisch Planner guides into teachable – do as much as you can in the evenings
- Draw all the new Journaltastisch Planner printables planned for launch
- Write out 47 new quotes for your Journaltastisch Planner weekly layouts
- Create evergreen funnel for Bullettastisch Bundle
Ask for JT reviews of existing customers Publish 2 blog posts this week
- Write + publish this week’s Etsy Newsletter on Wednesday
- [28%] Daily Yoga Practice
Create and add A4 + US Letter size to Bullettastisch Printable Bundle
As you can see I managed 3.78 of 10 tasks this week, which is my worst performance yet. Yes, even worse than last week! >.< Looking back, I realized I should never have set these goals. But I thought since one part of the purpose of these blog posts is to hold myself accountable by sharing my goals publically I had too. Silly me!
There is no right or wrong way to create these blog posts. Especially since they are my own creation. So having said that, this week there won’t be the usual weekly goals. Because I now know, that I’m just a teeny tiny step away from a full-blown burnout. Which would result in me curling up in a ball for the next three weeks and staying away from the internet – and therefore my job – altogether.
How to recognize burnout before it takes over
Quick disclaimer, I’m not a doctor in any way or form. I’m just a girl who has worked as a freelancer for over five years now, half of it running my own product-based business. I started working insane hours back in university (ten years ago) and somehow got stuck in the trap of always needing to perform. Always needing to do something productive. And unlearning how to properly relax and recharge. When I worked till 9 am at night on New Year’s Eve last year, I realized I had to stop. I had to learn to take care of myself again. So for the past ten months, I have worked hard on getting rid of bad habits and I want to share my newfound knowledge with you.
While we talked in detail about how to avoid burnout, we never talked about how to recognize a burnout before it’s too late. Because chances are, you are in a similar situation like me right now, but you aren’t fully aware of it. Burnouts are sneaky little devils!
Running out of energy
I don’t know about you, but when I had a good nights sleep I can work for four hours straight without a break. I’m in the zone. I’m creating without a care in the world. So on these days I easily can work up to fourteen hours before I feel tired. Not saying this is healthy by the way. Just keep on reading.
When I’m about to burn myself out I cannot work four hours straight. I might not even be able to work twenty minutes straight without feeling total fatigue. It just feels like my brain has run out of power. I still have ideas, but when I try to turn them into reality I don’t have the stamina to do so.
You are the one that knows the best how much and well you work. So your standard may be 2 hours, 30-minute blocks, or even 6 hours of work before you need a break. The point is you have a baseline. And on really good days you can exceed it. And on bad days you fall below. But when a burnout is around the corner, you will be far below every single day.
And girl, I don’t care how close your next deadline is or what needs to happen.
When you feel fatigue to that degree you need to take a break.
A long one. A proper one.
Shifting from work tasks to household tasks is not a proper break.
It’s keeping busy and burning yourself out further.
You don’t wanna stand up in the morning
When you are about to burn yourself out completely, depression and anxiety show up. You can be the happiest little snowball, when you don’t take care of yourself your body will find a way to slow you down. Even if it’s not a nice way.
So when you don’t see any point of standing up in the morning for days at a time you probably are very close to burning out, if you haven’t already.
Same goes for anxiety. If you feel like you drank ten cups of coffee, your heart is racing, or you are close to a panic attack. You need to take a break because burnout is calling.
You will become a dragon lady
And I’m not talking Daenerys. I’m talking feeling annoyed very quickly. Feeling like nobody understands you. Like you have to do it all. Like there is no support. Just feeling totally overwhelmed and alone. This will result in being unfriendly and short-tempered. If you are usually a kind soul and suddenly start to rant and grumble, you might want to take a break.
If you ask more of your body than it can give, you will get sick. This can result in an awful migraine as it did for me the night from Sunday to Monday. Or you could get an evil cold. The point is if you work your body like this your immune system shuts down and you will get sick. Because then you have to take a break, which is what your body wants. And it always gets what it wants, believe me.You need to treat your body well if you want your body to treat you well. Click To Tweet
Getting rid of burnout before it takes over your life
If any or all of the above are happening more frequently and in shorter timeframes, you need to change something. You need to take care of yourself.
Since I’m struggling with an approaching burnout for two weeks now – it getting worse and worse – I need to change something too. So let’s talk strategies.
All the strategies below are based on the concepts I shared with you last week.
Stop with the excuses! My excuse being, that the Journaltastisch Planner 2019 needs to be done by next Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Since the launch is only a few days out, I stopped planning altogether.
Yes, you read correctly. I have no specific plan what needs to happen this week. Before you freak out since it contradicts the whole ‘plan smartly’ thing. Listen up.
I’m out of energy. I absolutely fulfill point one from above. And I’m not willing to lose my routine and everything I worked for, by burning myself out completely. So instead of stressing what needs to happen this week and making intricate plans, I can’t fulfill. I’m focusing on one thing only.Focus on getting the most important thing done and ignore the rest. Click To Tweet
Getting everything essential done and ready for the Journaltastisch Planner launch.
MIGRATE, DELEGATE AND DELETE
Every task or goal I had last week or which I generally planned for this month is gone. They are not as important as my launch next Tuesday. And since I don’t have many resources (=energy) I’m cutting them out.
I also went over all the things that need to happen for the launch and prioritized. It’s essentially a list of tasks which is numbered 1, 2, 3… and so on. 1 being, my absolute must-have task.
Before you next excuse comes around the corner, telling me that you can’t cut anything out. Read the above headline again.
Migrate, delegate and delete.
- If something doesn’t need to happen right now migrate it to a later date. For example, I called my tax consultant at the beginning of last week and asked for an extension. That way I don’t have to worry about this until my launch is over.
- If there is someone you can give the task to, who can do it instead, delegate.
- And if it is not important right now, delete.
Of course, all my tasks are important. But they don’t have the same amount of importance. So figure out what your must-have is and start there.
Also, go for done instead of perfect. You can always improve upon things later on. You don’t need 200% if 100% is just as fine.
Taking enough breaks
Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s tired and exhausted. So the only thing you need to do is to act on what it tells you. For me, this currently means I work for 1-2 hours and then take a break of an hour at least. Since my launch is important to me and I want my customers to be happy, my workday currently exceeds 6 pm. But that is fine. Since I have one hour breaks every 1-2 hours.
I’m not telling you to stop working completely if this is not possible right now. I’m just saying be smart about it.
- Do only what is necessary right now (real deadlines, not artificial ones),
- do only as much as is needed to complete your project well (100% instead of 200%),
- and do as your body tells you (take breaks, sleep enough).
so please listen carefully…
Everything I’m doing this week is to get my product launch ready without burning myself out any further. This won’t make me fully energized again. It’s a short-term solution. So as soon as I hit launch, I will take a step back. I will take a much-deserved break and relax fully.
If you have a one-week deadline like me you can’t get healthy in this short amount of time. So instead take care of yourself as best as you can. For me, that means either preparing meals together with my husband in the evening. Or going out for lunch to eat. Because it is super important to get the right nutrition and enough of it each day. In regard to exercise, I’m again listening to my body. Last week I did a bit of yoga. This week I’m going for long walks through beautiful parks whenever I need a long break. This means fresh air for my brain, movement for my body and reduces anxiety. Perfect!
Longterm I want to implement it into my daily routine. But for now, I’m just doing what my body tells me.
Freetime is as important as work
With the launch coming up and me working into the evening (due to my long breaks during the day), I don’t have that much time left. But I make sure to use it as best as possible. So when I go out for lunch I do so with a friend or family member. When I go for a long walk I do so too sometimes. One evening every week is reserved for Dungeons and Dragons with my girls and husband as dungeon master. And I will not miss it! Having this time together is so relaxing. Because you can’t talk about work or personal issues while playing. You are in another world, being someone else and are just enjoying this adventure with loved ones. So it is as relaxing as it is exciting. And I won’t miss it for anything!
Accept that you are human
This is the one I struggle with the most. I always ask a lot of myself. I’m a perfectionist through and through. So accepting my limits is no easy feat for me. But it is a really important one to do.
So this week I’m focusing on finishing the parts of the Journaltastisch Planner that add the most to the customer experience. I make sure the product is amazing! My marketing is the one that is getting put on the backburner. While this will result in fewer sales, it won’t result in unhappy customers. Which is what my business is all about. I want my customers to have a great experience. To grow as human beings. To learn. To become more productive. To live a fulfilled life. And if I can add to that by focusing on them first, I gladly do it. Every time!
GOALS UNTIL NOV, 6th 2018
My goals are not for one week this time. They are focused on my launch date, next Tuesday. So it’s nearly a week and a half. It just makes sense to handle it this way, since that is the main focus right now. But this won’t change anything on the #growyourbiz blog post format. Don’t you worry!
- Get the Journaltastisch Planner launch ready
- Take as many breaks as you need – Listen to what your body tells you!
- Make sure you drink enough water every day
- Eat the right kind of food and enough of it.
- Accept the situation you are in and make the best of it.
- Publish two blog posts – As I said above I don’t want to break my routine. But to make it easier on myself I will write about topics that affect me right now: Journaltastisch Planner & How to deal with Burnout