Avoid Burnout Before It Catches up With You

Avoid Burnout Before It Catches up With You

I have been saying for a while that in 2022 I would be making more of an effort to make time for me, not my husband and me or the kids and me……just me!

This week alone, I have looked at my client list and it is steadily increasing with various requests. Some new and some challenging, bring it on!

This week I have booked a hotel stay for the weekend to just relax, regroup and rest. I can feel when my alarm goes off at 5am, it is getting increasingly more difficult to have that spring in my step and get to work. That alarm is being snoozed and once the cat starts scratching at my bedroom door, that’s my cue to get up.

We often only stop and take stock of how we are feeling when it is too late. So how can we avoid burnout within our business especially when a solopreneur.

Burnout can have a massive effect on both our body and our mind. The niggling aches and pains followed by fatigue, physical exhaustion and more. This can build up over a period of time and this is usually due to you working around the clock.

Let’s look at some of the symptoms:

  • Lack of focus
  • Writer’s block
  • Creative streak dwindles
  • Continuous exhaustion
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Emotional and feeling teary
  • Procrastination
  • Constantly worrying
  • Your sleep habits have changed (become poor)

This list is not exhaustive and varies for every individual. It is important to get a handle on burnout so that you can recover well, and to look at ways in which you can avoid this in the future.

The solution to overcome burnout is for you to feel good physically and mentally. It does not mean you should jump right back in the driving seat quickly. Take as much time as you need, it is extremely important for your well-being.

Tips on overcoming burnout are:

  • Prioritise your work/life balance
  • Reduce your workload, assess how much you can manage at any one time
  • Ask for help – outsource if you need to
  • Take on what brings you joy
  • Schedule in regular breaks
  • Be strict on your working day. If you finish at 5pm, finish at 5pm and leave your working space
  • Make time in your day to eat
  • Move your body – That can be doing a quick workout, going for a walk or grabbing your mat for some meditation
  • Netflix & chill
  • Remember that it is your business – You can take time off here and there. If you can give your clients some advance warning in regards to your holiday plans, there should be no issue with you having some downtime
  • Phone a friend/relative – have a chat with somebody to talk about anything else other than your looming deadlines.

I hope that this gives you some food for thought today. Your health is so important, and we often put it aside, as we want our business to thrive and grow, but how will it grow if you are unwell and exhausted. Exhaustion occurs when you experience long-term stress in your working day. Let’s get you back to feeling your best.

Keep Your Sanity During School Holidays

Keep Your Sanity During School Holidays

Some have already had their half-term break, how about you? My children were at home last week and as I work from home, it meant juggling it all between preparing meals, shouting to turn off the lights in empty rooms as well as handing out cash left, right and centre.

Working from home has its positives and negatives. How can you stay focused when you have endless questions, uninvited discussions and the likes? I survived, my sanity is intact and here are some tips of what I did.

Plan ahead

Before the half-term break, I updated my scheduler to reflect when I would be available for new client calls. I blocked out times where I knew my home would be booming with traffic and focused on early mornings or late in the day. This way I knew there would be less noise, and I can inform the kids to disturb me for an hour or so. For potential clients to book calls, I use Dubsado and I really like it, I also get to pre-qualify them to see if I can in fact assist. All my services are on the website so usually, I can.

Set your expectations

Are you a morning person, or an evening person? Whatever time you feel that you are at your most productive, do that. Busy does not always mean productive. When you worked in the office, how much of your 8-hour day was full-on working mode and you smashed every item on your list? You work for yourself now and although you can smash every item on your list, you are not required to do it all in one sitting.

Find that balance

If you have young children at home, they will want mummy/daddy time whether that be making/eating lunch together, watching Coco Melon or doing some Arts & Crafts. Carve out some time in your day to do that. You could finish your day a little earlier or start your day a little later, depending on client work. If you plan to put your OOO (out of office) on, give your clients a heads up with as much notice as possible. If they have important work or a pending project, request a quick meeting a day or so before you head off so everybody knows where they are at. You want to switch off and switch off completely, not worry about what you have outstanding.

Outsource during holidays

This is something new that I offer for those that want it, we can talk about it further if you wish here. One of my clients provides me with some dates that their own VA support is away throughout the year, and I will step in and cover so the support is never lost. I think it is a genius idea.

Stay in your zone of genius and do what you love. If you currently use a VA, ask if they have any recommendations on others within their community, that would be happy to step in should you need it. I have heard of clients having a couple of VA’s doing different things and it works very well.

Be kind to yourself (and your children)

Lastly and I guess the most important of them all, be kind to yourself. I know as parents, we wear that invisible cape because we are essentially heroes for our children and our clients but be kind to yourself. If you need to take numerous breaks to deliver high-quality work, then do that. You don’t want to burn out and then take even longer to recover or maybe you then need even longer to get back in the saddle. Remember you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Take regular breaks, eat well away from your desk and if you have time that you end your day, please do so. Our wellness is just as important as the work and please don’t lose that thought, you matter too!

How to Hack Mindfulness & Be Present at Work

How to Hack Mindfulness & Be Present at Work

Constantly on the go? Meeting after meeting can really be a struggle. Constantly putting on a brave face when all you want to do is take some time out for yourself. Monday 17th January was Blue Monday; it has been defined as:

A Monday that is depressing or trying especially because of the return to work, and routine after a weekend.

Every year the third Monday of January has been called ‘Blue Monday’. Word on the street is that this time of the year most of our new year’s resolutions have been forgotten, it’s super cold outdoors and we are all finding it hard to get back into good habits and/or work mode.

Do you practice mindfulness? I have had a think about it and I practice mindfulness very little. I find it so difficult to be present and focus on one item at a time. For example, I am currently typing this blog post and believe me I am thinking about so many other things like what to feed the children later, or what items I will collect on my next IKEA trip – random I know.

This just goes to show how fast-paced our lives are, I work with several entrepreneurs operating very different businesses, so my day is extremely varied, which I love by the way.

So, what are those mindfulness hacks you speak of Nadene? I believe these three will be great to try out.

Be present

While you’re working, be consciously present in what you are doing in that very moment, if you feel your mind wandering, pull it back and take a moment to refocus your energy to the task at hand. What you focus on, grows.

If you feel that your mind is constantly wandering, take a break. Return to your laptop/computer when you are refreshed, taken a toilet break and had a drink of your choice.

Celebrate ALL of your wins. No matter how big or small. Once we hit a milestone or goal, happiness is very short-lived because we are keen to move on to the next achievement. Sit in it and breathe. Think about the happiness your heart is feeling at that moment. All the feels, please!

Practice Gratitude

It is always easier for us to focus on negativity. Why do we do it to ourselves?

There is evidence out there that practising gratitude has that feel-good factor. Practising gratitude not only makes us feel better but can also enhance working relationships and the quality of work that we produce. As an entrepreneur, being a one-man band is stressful enough and trying harder to focus on the good, will make running the business a more enjoyable experience.

Meditation

Meditation does not have to last very long; it’s good practice to implement meditation into your daily routine (if you can). You can do this sitting at your desk if easier for you, some people meditate first thing in the morning.

Take just 5 minutes to follow your breath, this can help you to feel more connected for the day ahead.

Be kind to yourself

As Tony Robbins said ‘where focus goes, energy flows’. With that being said, we must be kinder to ourselves. Having good thoughts is good for the soul, it promotes confidence and more.

Talk to yourself kindly and say things that you would say to your best friend, a friend that you love. How you treat yourself will show others how to treat you.

I am going to make more of a conscious effort to practice mindfulness this year and beyond, what about you?