Talk It Out Tuesday: Coffee Chat
Remaining Productive While on the Verge of Burning Out
Grab your dark roast + join us as we break down the illusion that we are always supposed to be chugging full steam ahead like the Little Engine That Could. Learn the tips and tricks I use in my OWN business to stay productive even when it feels like I've got a permanent assigned seat on the Burnout Bus.
EPISODE 32 COFFEE CHAT REPLAY
Episode 32 Podcast
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Lauren Dragon-Cook: I’m so excited to be back! Yay yay yay! Happy Tuesday! Let’s get this show started. How are you all doing? How have we been doing since the retrograde? For those of you who don’t know right now is a shadow period. Right now things are a bit crazy still. Things are sort of leveling out here.
*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK* Housekeeping!
Few housekeeping things first and foremost. I sent out an email to everybody yesterday and for those of you who haven’t’ seen or paid attention… guess what!?
1. We are now officially Creative Boss Life. YAY! A little bit behind that, I recently realized a couple months ago that what I do and what I teach and preach and what I want you to learn is applicable to people across all spectrums. All industry’s! We are no longer just Wedding Boss Life, we are now Creative Boss Life. So if you have friends maybe they are bloggers or content writers or video producers… then bring them on in! Now our community is expanding very rapidly. I saw a huge growth after making that change. So very excited about that.
2. We are going to be doing our Facebook Lives every other Tuesday. Back in action, I am back and it feels good to be back. I feel energized and excited to be here again. It will be every other Tuesday. We won’t have one next Tuesday. I will post a calendar though so you can have the dates and write them in your own books. All that fun stuff.
3. The winner of the giveaway! The winner of the contest is the other thing I want to share, but I will wait til the end on that. Last week I wanted you guys to have a chance to have a one on one coffee and clarity chat with me and get a full spread for your business so in order to do that you just needed to invite your friends and biz-besties in the group. It has been my goal to get 1,000 group members by the end of August and we are pretty close. So there is that.
The Burnout Bus
We are going to be tuning in and chatting today about riding on the Burnout Buss. You and I and everybody that has been in business for a little bit, we all know that burnout is real. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your business, burnout is inevitable. Burnout for everyone looks very different across the board. For some people that could mean needing to literally crawl into bed, pull over the covers and not come out for a week. For other people it means you are lacking your creative juices. It manifests itself in all kinds of different ways.
Today I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that have helped me ride the wave and sometimes I feel like I have a freakin’ assigned seat on the burnout bus and I’m not allowed to move, but I will share with you what helps to get me through until I’m energized and back at it.
First and foremost, I really want to drive this notion and idea home for you guys. We are not powered by solar energy. We are not energizer bunnies, we are not programed to always be on. We are not programmed to always be going 100%. We need to recharge. We have to! You have to! If you don’t, what happens? You die. Well figuratively.
That is the biggest premise of what I am talking about today. You are not programmed to always be on at 1,000 miles an hour. Its not how we were born to be. It is not how our brains are wired. If you want me to dive into the psychology of it all, I can. Do you know that? That’s what my background is in. I kind of combine psychology in ways in which you don’t necessarily notice it.
Before We Dive In
A couple of things that you really need to understand before I give you the tips and tricks. Picture ourselves as seasonal. You have periods of growth, you have periods of rest, you have periods of dormancy. Like winter, fall, spring summer. We have talked about that in a previous episode, embracing the cycles of your business. It applies to everything. Stress plus rest equals growth. Write that down.
STRESS + REST = GROWTH
If you are finding that you aren’t getting enough rest in general, if you aren’t sleeping well at night, if you are burning the candle at both ends… that isn’t helping you. As business owners I feel we have gotten into this myth that if you work really hard that is what is going to take you to the top. I have to pop your bubble. That is not what is going to bring your business o the top. I immediately felt like some of you went to think that rest is just sleep or being lazy. That isn’t further form the truth. Rest isn’t just sleep, its not just sitting around, and its not just being lazy. The reality of things is that stepping away form whatever it is you’re working on and being able to shift your focus… whether that is physically getting up and going for a walk or getting up and doing a chore you need to or going and picking up a book you are enjoying. Those are things that are going to help you shift your focus. It allows your brain and your body to take a little step back and to get away from always working so freakin’ har and always pushing yourself forward. Sometimes, maybe I’m alone on this, sometimes my biggest ah-ha moments and moments of clarity are when I’ve just stopped. I’ve just taken the time to listen and maybe I’m meditating or simply being present. Or maybe I’m just sitting outside, it doesn’t matter. But those are the moments where you are going to get your clarity. If you can take a step back and give yourself some time every couple of hours… take a vacation on a bigger level! Step away on the weekends. You shouldn’t be working 7 days a week.
How many people are excited about Mondays? Please tell me. If you view Monday’s as a curse… tell me.
What it does by taking a break, stepping away… it allows our really difficult stressful burnt out periods to be more productive. Let me repeat that. When you take a break, when you take a vacation, when you are bale to shift your focus, when you are able to getaway on the weekends and put work aside and you aren’t always pushing forward… you are allowing those stressful periods to be more productive.
For all of the people that are really excited about Mondays, that means you are doing a really good job of balancing the rest and the stress. Whenever or not your hate Mondays, that shows you if you are growing. If you are despising Mondays… that means you are probably just working yourself to the bone and you are not able to really accomplish those goals you’ve set for yourself. You are probably burning the candle at both ends. If you’re in the middle… that means you are trying to figure out a balance for yourself at this point. You would have to like Mondays 50% of the time and be excited about it, but are you excited about it when you aren’t burnt out? When does that excitement come up? Look at that for yourself. I can tell you when I am tired and exhausted that is when I do not want a Monday to come. That is a red flag for you to take an inventory and look within. If you are feeling pissed off that Monday is coming… that means you are probably burnt out in some area. Maybe you like your job but sometimes the weekend is your busies time. Well did you just have a super busy weekend? What does that look like for you?
Evidence suggests that burning the midnight oil too often leads to less productivity. Not more. If you do it once in a while, what I am talking about here… if you pull an all nighter, you have this huge project you need to get done and it is 2am and you are still going at it. If you begin to do that once a week or a couple times a week or three to four times a week, you are going to burn yourself out even more and you are not going to be more productive. What I am trying to say here… when you give yourself rest and when you give yourself grace and when you are just giving yourself permission to not be on 24/7, your productivity and growth is going to shoot through the roof. You are going to feel refreshed and feel like you just had a day at the spa. You will feel so much better about your work and life.
What happens when you are just going at it? If you are incapable of performing executive functions, meaning unable to use your reasoning skills or problem solving skills… if you are unable to use those skills your working memory doesn’t function as well. Your ability to manage tasks goes way down. This is the psychology behind this. I was look at articles and studies. There is evidence and facts that backs this up.
Recovering from Burn Out
How many people are burnt out? How many people are just waking up and are not grateful? How many people?
What happens, when you start to get that is it will continue to spiral until you put a wedge in that and recognize it. Don’t be afraid to say no. That is one thing I want you to write down. I am giving you permission. Do not be afraid to say no. What happens when you are burnt out… your ability to filter what you should be working on versus what needs to get done versus what is not a priority, you are in a tunnel vision on having to get it all done. Your ability to reason and say no to things also declines. Don’t be afraid to say no especially when you know you are on the verge of or in the present moment of being burnt out.
Something else to help you recover from being burnt out and feeling like this is providing yourself with a way to decompress. I was talking with a client last week, and they were like “I don’t have any hobbies, I don’t really know what I enjoy doing anymore”. How many people feel that way? How many people don’t know what your hobbies are anymore because you are so consumed with growing your business? And that is not a bad thing. That just means you are really friggin passionate about doing what you are doing. But often times you get so engrossed in growth and making it work that you lose sight of what really also makes you happy for having a way to decompress.
Whether that means going outside… get a hammock! I am not even kidding you… when I got my hammock last year I was like ehh… may not use this. I got it as a deal, end of the season. I use that thing so much I kind of am even impressed with myself. If I know I am about to explode on my children or husband or both… often times I know when I am at my breaking point. I will say “okay mommy is going in her hammock”. They know… don’t mess with her. Don’t talk to her. She will supervise as long as you guys are away. She will make sure you aren’t breaking anything but leave her alone. She needs time to read, to just sit, to be present and recharge. For me it sounds so silly, but my hammock is such a beautiful way for myself to decompress.
My work used to be my hobby too for the longest time. When I failed to realize that I didn’t have any hobbies that made me happy anymore, guess what? My business was just kind of coasting. It wasn’t growing. I don’t know if there is any correlation there, this was a few years ago. But when I really started to get hobbies and do things for me instead of feeling selfish about this, then that is when I also was able to start resting. Not being lazy, but resting. And that is when I started to see my business grow again. Take it for what it is.
A few other things I want to point out. Some major tips to help you recover.
- Recommit to relaxing. I am giving you permission. So many of us need to hear that because we feel, we live in a very egocentric society and it is very go go go me me me. Sometimes when you are flipping the switch you almost need to say “is this okay I am doing this?”. Recommit to relaxing. Every single person needs to step away from work every now and then. Even if you are a creative entrepreneur and you love your job. Make time in your schedule to relax. I’ll tell you. I know often times when I wake up, I know what my level of productivity is going to be. I can feel it. If I am burnt out I might as well not even bother, if I do try to accomplish big things, its not going to happen and I just wasted an entire day. So if you are waking up and feeling burnt out, why not take the time to relax. Do something for you.
- Make non-flexible monthly and quarterly goals. When you have goals written out for yourself, it doesn’t matter what date you get it done, as long as you get it done by the end of the month… that gives you a much wider range of time to get it done. You don’t feel you have to be at it every second. If you wake up and feel today is not the day, then give yourself that grace and try again tomorrow.
- Don’t get distracted. How many of us immediately upon waking up check social media? My hand is up for a reason. I am working on this myself. Just because I am giving these tips to you doesn’t mean I am immune to them. I have just taken stock and inventory of what helps and what doesn’t help. Try to do that. I have also noticed if I wake up in the morning and I’m in a fabulous mood and then I look at Facebook or Instagram and somebody is talking about the tragic murder that happened in Colorado recently… I actually was having a fabulous day, I was on it. I felt like I wasn’t burnt out, I read that and complete game changer. I remember I didn’t get anything else accomplished for that day just because I was so consumed. It was so overwhelming. If you are able to maybe hold off until lunch time, until you have your big tasks done for the day. Just putting down the technology down for the day. As a society, especially as creative entrepreneurs we are more plugged in now than we ever have been. It makes it really difficult to leave work at the office and actually unwind when we have the chance to do it. Turn off your phone or computer and enjoy the moment. If you have set office hours for yourself, you shouldn’t be working outside of those. Don’t try to add one more thing to your list. You are not following your own boundaries. If you aren’t following them, how can you expect a client to follow them? Be present.
- Burn out can also really affect us physically. When I am burnt out I am exhausted. I get more migraines than normal and I don’t want to be around people. I can be really negative. With all of that, notice those signs. They are coming up for a reason. Give yourself plenty of rest. Get sleep. Make sure you are drinking a lot of water. I feel like absolute garbage if I don’t drink enough water in the day.
- Ask for help if you need it. I used to be the biggest nay sayer of this. No. I notice that when I actually ask for help, I feel so much more relieved immediately. The problem with that is you have to ask the right people. If you are asking a friend to help you with a project for your business and maybe they have never spent a day of their life working for themselves, they work for a corporation or something, they may not be the best fit for the project. You have to ask someone as dedicated as you are to help with the task. What does that look like? I needed help last night in trying to figure out how to speed up my website. My website all of the sudden is lagging super bad. I can’t figure out why, so I need help. What do I do? I am going to ask someone who knows what they are doing and in exchange pay them! Do I have the money to be spending on speeding up my website? It depends on how you want to answer that. Do I have the money? Yes. Do I want to be spending it on that? No! But do I think it is going to help my business? Yes. For me I would much rather give someone that money and have the stress be gone, than just continue to be stressed and have it permeate and trickle into every area of my life.
Just remember, please, to take a step back and give yourself some space and grace to evaluate the current situation. Be honest with yourself! Can you identify the sources of your stress? Internal or external? How can you reduce the anxiety it is causing you? How can you prevent feeling burnt out in the future? Taking steps to recover from burnt out and recognizing the signs and the symptoms can help you recover quicker in the future.
That is my biggest takeaway from all of this. I so easily overcommit to stuff. I know that. I give give give, because that is just who I am. But it is when I start giving too much of myself that I really become burnt out. That is why I had to take a couple weeks off from doing these. But now, here I am, I took a couple week hiatus and I feel awesome, I am stoked to be here. I think by doing it every other week it will help maintain that level of balance. I love doing them! I love doing these LIVES because it brings me so much joy, but when you start to feel it is more of an inconvenience or a must do versus something you love doing, that is when it is burn out.
STRESS + REST = GROWTH
It is a balancing game. That is it!
If you guys have any ideas for coffee chats and themes, tell me! Our next Facebook Live is going to be September 4th. Please put it in your calendar because they aren’t going to be every week.
And now the winner of the contest… drumroll… Lindsay Tuller! Yay! She has 7 or 8 people that joined. A few of you had one here and a couple, but she had quite a few. Yay! Get in touch with me! We will schedule that out. I have all kinds of fun stuff in the works. I hope you are finding this group and community is still helpful and bringing joy to you instead of having it be another thing you have to be a part of.
So much love to you all! I hope you have a fabulous rest of the week and I will be chatting with you soon!
I’m Lauren, your wedding business visionary! I educate wedding pros on the behind the scenes of their businesses through practical knowledge and intuitive strategy. I incorporate my intuitive gifts with solid business strategy to maximize my clients' progress and success.