“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
You’ve heard this one before. Lots of people swear by it. But those whose whole identity is wrapped up in their work are probably the biggest spreaders of this falsehood, namely creatives. Now, don’t get me wrong—loving what you do for a living is good but not many people will admit that if you end up doing what you love for work there will come a day when it just becomes work. Our industry is full of creatives that wrap their whole identity around their work, so it’s no surprise that our industry is also full of people that get burnt out easily. Love is good but sometimes love is not enough. Yes, work does matter, but if you don’t take the time to love yourself, you won’t last very long only creating the type of work that you can stay in love with.
It’s Valentine’s week, so take some time to love yourself. And with that, here are a few tips to avoid burnout and to embrace yourself.
Keep steady work hours
Leave your work at work and save your home time for other hobbies, interests, and activities. I work remotely and I initially found it very difficult to separate work and home. I still struggle with this, but I have found that creating better barriers, both physical and mental, between work and home have helped keep me sane. It’s all about work/life balance.
Busy season and downtime
Workload ebbs and flows. We have months where work and production is steady and we get into a good rhythm. But then there are other times when everything seems to be due at the same time. We’ve found that being prepared for those tempo changes helps us to keep calm and efficient, knowing that we will get a break at some point.
Take a real break
Long weekends, quiet afternoons, vacations, these are all necessary elements to keep balance in your life. You are not a machine and it’s okay to take time away so you can recharge.
Learn to say no
This can be especially difficult for small agencies and freelancers, but it’s also very necessary. The challenging part is learning when to say no. This takes practice. You might be missing out on something, but that’s okay, there will always be other opportunities.
Do more of what you love
I know I said that work is not all about love, but now I’m going to contradict myself. We do all love what we do and we love it, even more, when we are working on projects we care about. Try to be honest about what you love and chase down those projects. This will help spark joy. If you’re lucky, these are paid projects but even spending time on pro-bono or side projects can be enough to keep you going.
Do you have any other tips to avoid burnout? We would love to hear about them, so reach out! Don’t forget to love yourself and value those around you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love, Workhorse ❤️