You’re running a passion-led business, getting paid to do something you love. You’re the envy of friends and family – free from the shackles of the corporate machine. You get to choose what to do, and when to do it. No boss to answer to, no office politics to negotiate. No suits, heels or hellish commutes.
But the truth is you don’t feel lucky. And you haven’t done so for several weeks. You’re stressed out. Tired. Work feels like wading through treacle, instead of an effortless glide. You’re procrastinating, hesitating, putting things off – sometimes for days on end.
Projects linger, left un-touched. Anything seems more appealing than designing or making – the things you’re supposed to love. Emails just sit in your inbox. Blog posts remain un-written. Cleaning and housework becomes enthralling – anything but work.
If this sounds like you – don’t stress. Chances are you’ve got a serious case of burn-out, and you will fall back in love with your work! Here’s what I did to beat burn-out when I started my recent maternity leave, and some ideas to help you too.
Take a rest. A proper one.
Close your shop. Put up an announcement to let customers know you’re taking a break, and tell them when you’ll be back. (Because you will want to come back, promise). Cancel appointments, switch off your phone. Then – do nothing. Do whatever it takes and find ways to be kind to yourself. Get some early nights and late mornings. Watch trashy TV. Take long baths. Read celebrity magazines. Whatever it takes for you to seriously unwind, and forget about work for a while.
After a couple of days, you might find a few ideas popping into your head. A slight urge to do something, make something, get back in front of a computer screen. To pick up your phone and start Tweeting. Resist! You’re not done yet. Before you get back to business, you need to fill your well of creativity right back up to the top. Which brings us to….
I’m not suggesting you do all of these, merely that you treat this list as a smorgasbord of self-love. Give yourself time, listen to your heart, and you’ll know when it’s time to get back to work. If you’re anything like me, greater levels of creativity, energy and enthusiasm will be waiting for you on the other side – which is good news for all concerned!
If you’ve suffered from burn-out in the past, I’d love to know what you did to fall back in love with your work. Leave a comment and let us know!
Claire Hughes — Make, Do & Sell
Claire Hughes is an online marketing consultant with over ten year’s experience running campaigns for some of Europe’s biggest brands. Proud to call herself an internet geek and home-working mum, she now focuses exclusively on working with creative entrepreneurs. You’ll find Claire sharing free tips and advice on the Make, Do & Sell blog, as well as co-leading the Handmade Horizons marketing e-course. That’s when she’s not changing nappies or feeding her Pinterest addiction, of course…..
There’s nothing Claire loves more than helping talented ladies overcome their marketing challenges and achieve their wildest dreams. Why not connect with her on Twitter and tell her all about yours?
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