5 Ways To Avoid Burnout

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Let's Talk About Burnout . . .

It happens, whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom or a 9 to 5 mom (insert dad into any one of those please) or maybe you're a young adult still trying to figure out life and this whole creative business thing.  I've been there.  I've thrown my hands up after having a tough week, sometimes weeks, and wanted to quit.  The running joke around here is that when mom has one of "those" episodes is that we are moving to Montana to raise goats.  Don't be surprised if you see that post here one of these days folks!  Haha!  But inevitably once I stop running around complaining like a crazy woman, I realize that my meltdown could have easily been avoided.  

Let me explain.  Here are 5 ways that I've learned to help avoid burnout:

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1. Set Goals

If you don't know what your goals are for your business, your home, your family or personal life, then you are just running in circles.  Know what your goals are.  Write them down.  An awesome tool to do this in is PowerSheets by Lara Casey.  You HAVE to have a target to aim for.  By not having one, you are more apt to say yes to everything that comes your way & will overwhelm yourself real quick like!  In case you missed it I focused on setting 90 day goals here

2. Set Boundaries

I admit that I was terrible at this early in my career.  I would answer the phone late at night, answer emails and texts too.  I would take weekend sessions or evening ordering appointments.  You name it, I did it.  Yes, I was popular with my clients.  But this took a toll on our family.  I now have very strict boundaries.  Yes, I have to make exceptions from time to time, but these get run by the family first.  Work texts, phone calls & emails get handled the next business day during business hours.  I only take a certain number of clients on each month because I know what I can and can't handle.  This goes for our family life too.  We only allow a certain number of sleepovers and don't make it to every big family outing.  And we have to say no to cool activities for the kids sometimes because we just really need dinner around the table together.  Know what your priorities are and sit down to set some boundaries that will keep them on the top of your list.    

3.  Don't Blur Personal & Work Life

This is related to the boundaries issue too.  You have to be able to shut down.  This means your mind and your electronics.  Some examples: dinner out at a restaurant with your family but answering work emails on your phone (or lets maybe call it what it is . . . scrolling Facebook haha). Or at the park with your kids but taking a "quick" call.  We all know how those go!  Work time is work time.  Family time is family time.  By combining the two, neither get your full attention.  And they both deserve it, just at separate times :)

4. Schedule Time To Unplug

Do you remember the time before the iPhone or Blackberry?  The time when you had to physically be at your computer to deal with work.  It can still be that way!  I purposely don't have notifications on for my email (or social media) because I seriously don't want to be distracted by it all day long.  Ok, that was off topic, but still . . . We do not have to be connected to the outside world 24-7!  Schedule time to just walk away, put your phone on silent or do not disturb and just enjoy life around you.  Go for a walk.  Play in the yard with your kids.  Finish a project in the house you've been meaning to get around to.  We need that time.  It's still there, just like it used to be.  We just have to be willing to unplug. For real, schedule it!  Make yourself unavailable on your calendar & just do it. 

A fun activity that we are really enjoying lately is our Box of Challenge

 

It's a monthly subscription box full of challenges, brainteasers, puzzles, instructions and tons of inspiration. It is perfect for spending quality time with your family and for just hanging out with friends. Whether you’re 8 or 88, you’re gonna really love it!

5. Exercise & Eat Well  

I can tell when I haven't been eating right or when I've gone a few days without a good workout or run.  I feel sluggish & beat down.  And that's just about the time for another meltdown.  When I take care of myself, I get so much more accomplished, and I'm in such a better mood.  Take 30 minutes a day to do something for yourself!  It doesn't have to be all work or all raising the kiddos.  You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the rest of it :)

So, there you go.  Definitely some things that we can do to avoid feeling burnout.  I had to take a step back this week and reevaluate some things myself after having a little "moment".  Hope this helps you avoid one this week!  I'm not the only that has them, right??? :)

What are some ways you avoid burnout in your life?  I'd love to hear some of your tips too!

90 Day Goals. Why?

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Goals . . . We’ve all set them.  We’ve all failed miserably at achieving them too!  So, let’s get real about why they aren’t working and what we can do to fix that.

Here’s how it usually goes, on January 1st we sit down with a blank piece of paper and write down all of those big picture goals we want to accomplish in the coming year.  And by January 6th the list is nowhere to be found.  Right?

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So, first off, let’s don’t even worry about January, okay?  You can start making and crushing goals any day of the year!  I do like to break mine down into quarterly goals because of business, but we can ease into that later.  

I keep my goals list (and so many other things) in a Trello board so that I can easily reference back to them.  Have you tried Trello?  It’s a life-saver!

But for the hard work, what I do to actually get to my goals is use PowerSheets.  This is an amazing system by Lara Casey.  I have gotten so much accomplished by using her "Make It Happen" mentality. 

I love these action-inspiring worksheets!!!

 

You have to dig a little deeper to build that goals list.  They need to be well-defined and measurable.  They need to be achievable in a relatively short time frame too.  

Before you even consider your goals, let’s talk about a few other big picture items: values and priorities.

Values

Values will always* be the same.  These are our do or dies.  The things we stand beside, stand on, our back bone, nothing crosses this line kinda stuff.  When setting your goals be sure you aren’t misaligned with your value system.  

Priorities

You may not think these would change, but yes, over time priorities shift.  As we go through different seasons in life, areas of our lives will become more important than others.  

As an example, when our middle son was born he had some severe health issues.  We almost lost him.  He is as strong as can be today!  But guess what changed in that moment?  Our priorities!  In the blink of an eye work didn’t matter, salaries didn’t matter, the number on the scale didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered except taking care of this little boy.  

There will be times when the family life is a little crazier (hopefully not as dramatic as what we experienced), the kids are involved in several activities that take up alot of time, maybe a parent becomes sick . . . when we may not be able to thrive at our next big plan we had for our business.  And that’s okay. That’s life, and we adjust our priorities and do the best we can in that season.

Re-evaluate

Every few months I like to evaluate where I am with my priorities.  Sometimes life will just do this for me though!  How sweet?!  Haha!  But I sit down and think about how I am doing in the main areas of my life:  relationships, health, finances, personal growth, my business, etc.  If I find myself lacking in an area or two that truly is a priority to me, I know it’s time to refocus.  

I figure out what I’d like to “fix”, get back on track or really accomplish over the next 90 days.

Why 90 days?  

Because it’s doable.  Because it’s just enough time to really make a big push, to form a new habit and to crush a goal I’ve been wanting to hit for a long time.  

90 Day Goals

Once I know those areas I want to focus on, I brainstorm what I’d like to accomplish in the next 90 days.  I make a list of 4 - 6 goals I want to crush in the next 90 days.  Let’s say I wanted to work on my relationships and profitability in my business over the next 3 months.  

So those goals I jotted down might look something like this . . .

  1. Have one date night each month.  

  2. Turn off my phone at 9:00pm each night.

  3. Family dinner together 3 times a week.

  4. Bring on 6 new clients.

  5. Cut cost of goods sold by 2%.

  6. Team up with another like-minded business to cross market.  

You get the idea.  These goals will be the 6 things you really focus on over these next 90 days to keep moving forward.

Post these 6 goals somewhere you can see them every day.  And look at them each morning!  I'll plug my obsession with Trello again right here :)

Next steps

Schedule in your goals.  So, if my goal is to have one date night each month I am going to go ahead and mark that date in my calendar.  I also jot the dates down on my goals list beside that goal as a little reminder.  What are the very next steps I need to do to make that happen?  Hire a babysitter?  Make a reservation?  Brainstorm ideas?  These go to the top of my to do list!

You should always know what the next step is toward accomplishing a goal.  If not, it just kinda keeps floating out there with no action taken towards it.  Keep writing down your next steps towards each goal every day, every week.  And keep these next steps towards the top of your to-do list.  These should be ten minute little tasks to keep moving your closer to your goal.  If you know you need a big chunk of time a few days a month, schedule that into your calendar.  And don’t let anything get in the way of that time you’ve devoted to accomplishing your goal.  You will be amazed at how much you can get done in just a few months!

I’m so excited to hear about your next 90 day goals.  What’s on your list?