How to Beat Creative Burnout

I have listened to several podcasts recently on this subject and they all had the same message. Basically – ‘Suck it up’ because this is your bread and butter. They all said it in different ways, but they all said the same thing. They all said that I was not allowed to get burnt out in my creative business

Easy ways to re-charge your creativity and boost your productivity. Simple tasks to avoid creative burnout in your handmade business.

But, here is the thing – I disagree with the idea that creative business owners are not allowed to feel creative burnout or get tired of their business. I do not subscribe to the idea that you have to keep doing something just because it is a successful business. I do believe that you need to take care of yourself first and sometimes that means taking a break and other times that means taking a new direction.

Shake Up Your Routine to Prevent Creative Burnout

My first line of defense to combating creative burnout is to change up my daily routine. For the most part, I am the most productive when I stick to a structured routine. Eventually, all of that structure catches up with me and I start to feel the cloud of burnout smothering my productivity.

Work from a new location. If you spend your days working from your home office, try getting out and working at a coffee shop, business center or local community college campus for a bit of something different.

Take a Mental Health day. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take time out of your schedule regularly to take care of your mental health. Book a massage on one Friday a month or meet your friends for a social lunch every other Tuesday. The bottom line is that you need to make your mental health a priority in order to stay motivated and productive.L

Delegate some of your work. Sometimes burnout is caused by being overloaded with too much work. Anyone can handle a high volume workload temporarily, but for most, it is not sustainable without feeling the creative burnout. Every business looks different, if you are a solo-preneur doing it all by yourself, consider a hiring a virtual assistant or outsourcing to freelancers on Fiverr.

Re-work your schedule. If you are currently spending each morning on business and each afternoon on creating, then change it up. Try spending a whole day Tuesday and Thursday on creating and a whole day Monday and Wednesday on business administration. Leave Fridays as a catch all or mental health day. If you don’t currently use a schedule, try one to improve the balance of your workload and increase productivity.

Take a Sabbatical to Heal Creative Burnout and Recharge your Inspiration

Sometimes the creative burnout is more severe and cannot be cured with a quick fix. Sometimes you truly need a break and that is okay as long as you plan for how to handle your absence. A lot of creative entrepreneurs do not feel like they are able to take a break from their business because it is all on their shoulders to keep it going.

Give Yourself Permission to Walk Away

Sometimes a little time away provides clarity. Sometimes that clarity manifests in a new direction for your business and sometimes it manifests in the realization that this business no longer makes you happy.

Give yourself permission to walk away when your business no longer makes you happy. Walking away can look like different things depending on how well your business is doing at the time you decide to call it quits. A profitable business or website can be sold. A struggling business may not generate enough interest from buyers, but it could just be closed.

Tips for Beating Creative Burnout

Creative burnout is inevitable whenever the demands of life and business are placed on a creative source. Recognizing the sources of creative burnout and solutions are your best way to overcome this hurdle. Here are some simple and effective things that you can do right now to overcome creative burnout.

No. 1 – Set and enforce boundaries. Treat your creative business like a 9 to 5 job so that you have specific time that is for work and time that is for leisure and socialization.

No. 2 – Take 20 minutes to be creative just for fun. Find something unrelated to your business to channel your creativity into. If your business is photography, pick up a side hobby painting or making greeting cards. Spend 20 minutes a day or a few days a week re-charging your creativity with your side hobby.

No. 3 – Clear the Clutter. Creative minds tend to be messy. Even if your workspace is not a chaotic mess, your mental health will benefit from taking time to intentionally clear the clutter and re-organize.

No. 4 – Find something new outside of your business. Your lack-luster feelings may not even be related to your creative business. It is easy to assume they are when that is where you spend most of your time and that is where you most noticeably see the decline. Try out a new exercise program or take a cooking class to breathe a little fresh air into your life.

No. 5 – Don’t force it. If you feel stuck on a project or task, don’t force it. Pause that project and move on to something else. Come back to it later and finish it when you are in less of a rut.

No. 6 – Celebrate your successes. Sometimes creativity gets drained by the pressure to make money and be successful in your creative endeavor. After a lull in business or a bad project outcome, the burnout sets in. Boost your ego by remembering your successes. Keep a journal and mark the pages where you journal about your high and then go back and re-live those moments to re-charge your creativity.

No 7 – Don’t be afraid to say NO. You cannot be everything to everyone and there is no reason that you should feel the pressure to spread yourself so thin. Recognize what types of customers are draining you and learn to say no.

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