This has been a weird year. How’s that for an understatement?
A lot of writers I know are busier than ever. And many are also new to working at home, and all the distractions that come with it. (I firmly believe one of the reasons offices were invented in the first place is so we wouldn’t be tempted to do chores while at work.)
If you’re newly busy and still getting the hang of working at home, it’s easy to let the boundaries between work and free time become blurry.
If you’ve been finding yourself working late a lot recently, or feeling like you’ve taken on too much, or stressing about work during your off hours, that’s the first sign you could be headed toward burnout.
And if you’re tired all the time or more easily distracted than usual, that’s another early sign that you may be starting to burn out.
Another red flag to watch for is difficulty caring about meeting deadlines or finishing projects.
Burnout can be a big setback, one best avoided.
Knowing the early signs — stress, distraction, and not feeling in control of your schedule — means you can head it off before you hit the “not caring” stage.
The first step is to evaluate your workload.
Figure out how much time you’ll need to complete the projects you’re working on. And then come up with a plan to get in front of things, so you can return to working the number of hours a day that is best for you. Talk to your clients about shifting timelines if you need to.
The second step is to really take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Take regular breaks during the day. Get some exercise and drink plenty of water.
And the third step is to consider how you ended up feeling stressed in the first place, so you can keep it from happening again.
Some things to consider:
- Are projects taking more of your time than expected?
- Have you overloaded your schedule because you have a hard time saying no?
- Are you charging enough?
- Are you working on projects you normally enjoy, or do you wish you had different kinds of things to work on?
Think through these questions and make some changes if you need to.
By being aware of burnout and its warning signs, you can take action early and avoid it altogether.
New on the Site
Have you ever sold a car? It can be a real pain in the neck. Taking out ads. Fielding calls. Negotiating the price. But there’s one thing you can do that will make the whole process easier and more enjoyable, while generating more interest in what you have on offer. Andrew Murray shares what that is in his own car sales story.
An e-newsletter helps position a person or business as an expert in a particular industry or profession by sharing valuable insights and information. It’s an effective marketing tool for freelancers and a fun project to take on for clients. John Torre shares how to keep the ideas flowing for any email newsletter you’re charged with writing.
Looking for a little extra motivation on your personal business projects? See how you can use monthly themes to add some fun to getting more done. I walk you through the process right here.
Around the Web
If you’re just getting started with a content marketing strategy, these four things will make the biggest difference in how fast you get traffic.
Content marketing is more powerful when it’s strategy driven. Here are seven steps to help you formulate your own strategy.
If you’re wondering how to plan for anything when everything is so uncertain, this piece over on Content Marketing Institute gets where you’re coming from and has some helpful advice… at least for planning your content.
And also from Content Marketing Institute, sometimes to move forward, it helps to reflect on recent successes, failures, and trends. Here’s how the 2020 pandemic shifted content marketing strategies.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!