“Oh Meilani,” you say, “I’m feeling burnt out, I just can’t think of anything to blog about.”
Well let me tell you, you are not alone. Burnout is a common challenge among small business owners and solopreneurs who are often doing it all themselves. It can take a few years for a business to get off the ground, and a lot of hard work. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of putting off taking time for themselves and always being “on” for their business. In this post you’ll find three great tips for battling burnout, and three useful resources for fighting writer’s block when you do feel burnt out on blogging.
Three Tips for Battling Burnout
1. Find a creative outlet you enjoy
This comes from my own experience. I found myself dealing with business blogging burnout this year. I just couldn’t get enthused about writing posts for my business web site, and worse, I was beating myself up over it. I have no problem writing for others, but for my own site, I had writers block. I finally decided to stop spending so much time feeling guilty and spend a little more time doing something I enjoyed to take my mind off it. I took up Second Life photography – that is, taking awesome photos in Second Life, a virtual world I like to play in.
One thing led to another…as I began to take more photos in my virtual world, I started wanting to write little story captions to go with them, for fun but practical practice in creative writing and storytelling. That turned into a blog, one that didn’t come with any responsibilities to promote it, get the view count up, get followers, or any of those marketing things that we want for our business blogs. It was purely a fun and creative outlet for me. And guess what happened!? I started blogging again. Once I had rediscovered the fun of blogging, I was refreshed and rejuvenated enough to start writing for my own business blog again. Woot!
2. Set Regular Business Hours and Enjoy Your Time Off
So many business owners and solopreneurs fall into a trap of always being “on” for business, especially in the beginning. It is easy to lose your own identity and become your business 24/7. So set your business hours and make sure that you give yourself some time off to enjoy life. You don’t always have to do the standard 9 to 5 either, depending on your business. Especially if you are a work from home solopreneur, you can take your own natural body rhythms and the needs of your clients into account.
For example, I live in a desert region, and it gets hot… I mean, really, really HOT… in the summer afternoons. I’m also not an early morning person. I often find my most productive hours are between 10am and 2pm, then from 3pm to 5pm it is siesta time. Even with air conditioning on, it gets hot when the temps outside are in the hundreds and hundred-teens. If I don’t give myself a break at this time, I just end up literally dozing at my keyboard, which can be a dangerous thing when working on a project, lol. I’ve woken up to find some silly things typed in as I started falling asleep and dreaming. After dinner though, I often get a second wind and can devote a few more hours to work in the evening. I get my time off during the day when I need it, take care of my body, and feel refreshed instead of denied.
I generally schedule client appointments during the morning hours and in the evening do work that is better uninterrupted by regular business hours phone calls, such as graphic design jobs and writing blogs. I even set up my iPad next to my computer and have a favorite tv show or music playlist playing in the background while I do this work, which makes the time more enjoyable. This is not a standard 9 to 5 schedule, but it works great for me.
3. Turn It Off and Get Disconnected!
Today’s technology has been great for business. We can get the info we need, at our fingertips, when we need it. We are always reachable. Always…and that makes it harder to make and take that all important time for ourselves. But guess what? The same technology that makes us always reachable ALSO will take messages for you while you are away! So set times in your business calendar for answering emails and instant messages and chats. And when lunchtime comes around, do yourself a favor and turn on the autoresponder, turn off the alerts, and actually enjoy your lunch again.
Eat something healthy and yummy, and marvel at how good that food tastes and how satisfying that meal is! Those emails will still be there in 40 minutes or so when you are done eating. Unless it’s a true emergency, the world won’t end if you give yourself a break at lunchtime and stop working at the end of your work day. Taking in a good meal, and really appreciating it, is a ritual that is easy to incorporate into your schedule and will provide you with satisfaction and enjoyment – two uplifting emotions that will help fight burnout and make the rest of your workday smoother.
Three Useful Resources for Burnt Out Bloggers
One of my BFFs recently started a new blog, called RockSandy. She is totally new to blogging, and doesn’t even really go online that much, so she went and took a free Blogging 101 course from Blogging University. As part of that course, daily blogging prompts are provided to the students.
What? Blogging Prompts!?! Well I’ll be darned, that opened my eyes to some great new resources! I never heard or thought of these things called blogging prompts, but now that I have, and since I was feeling some writer’s block, I did a search and found some great resources to help you (and me!) get back on the blogging track…woot!
1. For those of you who love Pinterest like I do, there is this Blog Posts Prompts and Ideas board.
2. This MassiveSway post provides a year’s worth of prompts. Many are not business oriented topics, but consider it a challenge to find a way to relate the prompt to your business.
3. This article on Entrepreneur.com gives you 50 ideas for your business blog. That’s a lot of ideas in one post! But they are good ones.
Another Useful Resource for Battling Burnout
This is a given…it’s me!
If you are finding yourself burnt out from doing it all yourself, and those blog prompts just are not doing the trick for you, then call me. Blogging and social media posting tasks are among the services I provide to small business owners and solopreneurs.
Hit up my Contact Form to set an appointment to chat about what your needs are and what I can do to help keep you from getting burnt out! We’ll create a custom monthly contract that works for you and your budget, and best of all, takes away some of that stress that causes business burnout and lets you love your business again.