Lighting your Boss Fire when you're Burnt TF Out.
If you're an entrepreneur, there's a good chance you know that feeling. That exhausted, dead-inside, I-no-longer-have-the-will-to-leave-my-bed feeling. Burnt-Outville, Population: You.
When you work for yourself, you're in a unique position of having to essentially be in direct control of your own income/success. Every. Single Day. There's no slacking off or coasting by. It's all on you, baby.
..... Um, just a little bit of pressure. NBD.
To put it simply, you've gotta work your ass off. Whether you're wearing too many hats, you're feeling uninspired with repetitive projects, you're overworking yourself, or maybe you're taking on stressful/not-so-exciting projects to make ends meet -- you can bet that it's only a matter of time before you start to feel that frazzled feeeeelin'.
From my experience, I think it's safe to say there's no foolproof prevention/cure for the dreaded burn out (insert gentle sobbing) -- BUT, there are some things you can do to combat those feelings, and relight your fire!
1. Self Care. Let's just get the most cliche (but arguably most important!) solution out of the way, shall we? I know it sounds so obvious, and the idea of "self care" is so over-used right now in the world, but, hear me out. I know the first thought that comes with self care is bath bombs and face masks and eating an entire pizza by yourself -- and don't get me wrong, I'm 200% down with all of that -- I think you should DEFINITELY do that if your soul needs it (especially the pizza). But, the kind of self care I'm talking about, is the kind that acknowledges that you haven't cleaned your bathroom in 8 weeks and it's time to address the hair in your shower drain that makes you gag a little every time you get in. And the self care that recognizes you haven't had your semi-annual dental cleaning in about 2 years, and you're spending your days clenching your jaw so hard that your teeth are bound to crumble into chalk dust any minute now. And the self care that knows that if you just went to bed an hour earlier, you'd wake up like a little less of a salty swamp troll and probably get twice as much done in the morning. The less glamorous self care, but the freakin' NECESSARY self care to make you a better functioning, more magical human. It's amazing how burn out manifests itself in all aspects of our life, and if you take the time to recognize those things you've been neglecting, and actually take care of yourself (whaaaaaat?!), it can make such a difference in your mental state!
2. Spend time with other Bosses. This is quite possibly the quickest, easiest solution. Nothing can inspire/invigorate/kick your booty in the most beautiful way, quite like being around a group of like-minded folks who UNDERSTAND what you're going through, and are experiencing it themselves. I can't tell you how many times I rolled into a group setting with some of my fave girl bosses, feeling like a soggy potato, and left at the end of the day like HELLLLL YEAH, I AM A SPICY DELICIOUS FRENCH FRY. This could mean going to a networking event, attending a workshop, or even just spending a day co-working with your fellow entrepreneur pals. Whatever your socialization-of-choice is, DO IT. Find your tribe. Share ideas with them -- commiserate with them -- grow with them. They'll snap you out of that funk in no time!
3. Make Time for Passion Projects. Give yourself the space and time to do something (that isn't work!!!) to light your fire! Take a ceramics class (that's what I did this year!!), plant a vegetable garden, knit a blanket, build yourself a boss AF tree house.... whatever it is, make it have NOTHING to do with work. Having to use your physical and/or mental energy to complete a non-work, passion project, can often be that little mental reboot that you need to get your spark back!
4. Reflect on your Purpose. When you're burnt out, it's really easy to lose sight of your reason why you do what you do. What is that thing? Remind yourself of it! Set some dedicated time aside to reflect on that. Maybe do a little research or some journaling during that time to get re-aligned with that purpose, and remind yourself that what you're doing is really freaking important. Revisit your goals, acknowledge how far you've come, and do a little check-in to make sure you're still heading in the direction of your dreams. You wouldn't just be working this hard for nothing, right?! Give yourself an hour or two to get in tune with that driving force!!
5. Cut Yourself some Slack, Dude. It is really easy to get wrapped up in your own brain when you're running a business -- like we said earlier, you're directly in charge of your own success, right? That is daunting, to say the least, and makes it pretty simple to beat yourself up for any number of reasons. The next time you feel yourself tensing up and getting frustrated -- step away. Get a snack. Go outside and feel the sunshine. Pour a margarita (this is the real solution). Give yourself some god damn grace. Remind yourself that you're doing the best you freaking can, and you may not be perfect, but you are ENOUGH.
Burning Out is inevitable in most cases, but with a combination of the 5 solutions above, you'll be lit back up before you know it. So, the next time you're wrapping up your workday and you feel like a melting sack of noodles..... give yourself a break, schedule that dental cleaning, do some journaling, build a tree house, phone a friend and get them to join you in said treehouse..... then return to your regular, Beyonce-like state of mind. Margarita in hand.