221 Blogger Burnout: Prevention, Cure, and the Results of Stepping Back

By Leslie Samuel | Blogging

Jun 24

Have you ever been burnt out when it comes to your blogging business?

Do you ever just feel like stopping?

In this episode, I talk about blogging burnout. I dive into how to prevent it, cure it, and what happens when you take the right steps.

Listen to This Episode

Inside This Episode

On Thursday of last week, I found myself in a very interesting situation – I was burnt out.

221_Blogger-Burnout_Pinterest

Blogger Burnout: Prevention, Cure, and the Results of Stepping Back

I could almost sense it happening. I had been working consistently for the previous few days but hadn’t been getting much done.

It seems as if I was in a constant state of distraction until Thursday came. On that day, I didn’t get anything done.

I just couldn’t convince myself to continue. It was at that point I realized that I needed a break.

Since starting my online business on January 18, 2008, I had hardly taken any breaks.

Even when my wife and I spent over a month in the Caribbean, I found myself working almost every day.

I wanted to talk through the ramification of this “always working” mentality as well as share some tips we all can use to help us to be more balanced.

Preventing Burnout

Burnout is a pretty simple concept. It’s kind of like going bankrupt. If you are constantly spending more than you are putting in, you will eventually go bankrupt.

Blogger_Sleepy

Sleepy Blogger

It’s the same as with burnout. If you are constantly spending energy but not recharging enough, you will eventually burn out.

I had to take a step back and ask myself what I’m doing to recharge. This led to the realization that I was hardly doing anything.

I wasn’t working out to keep myself healthy and in shape. I wasn’t spending time with friends or doing anything else that I used to enjoy doing. In fact, I was pretty much all about business – one-dimensional.

When I think about this, I was going against the grain of who I am, and I realized that if I continued in this direction, the results wouldn’t be good.

Curing Burnout

family-dinner

Curing Burnout

When I came to this realization, I decided that it was time for me to take a break. So that’s what I did. I didn’t touch my computer from Friday evening until Tuesday morning.

Instead, I used that time to reflect on where I want to go in my life and in my business. I spent more time with my family, watched a lot more TV and enjoyed my time off.

By Monday afternoon, I was ready to go back to work, but decided to keep going until Tuesday morning.

This break was essential for me and led to me making some decisions with where I want to go – and how I would be “curing” my burnout.

I realized that I need to revisit my priorities and make sure that my actions were reflecting my priorities. Here’s what I came up with.

My priorities in my life are as follows (in the following order of importance): My relationship with God, my family, my health and fitness, my business, friends, everything else. With that in mind, here’s how my actions are going to follow:

My relationship with God

The reality is that this means more to me than everything. I want God first in my life. So, when I wake up in the morning, I spend time with Him before anything else.

My family

Leslie Family

My family, My priority

These are the most important people in my life. As a result, I need to make sure to have time to spend with them every day. That time shouldn’t be as negotiable as it has been in the past. And when I’m with them, I should be fully present.

My health and fitness

I need to exercise. Since leaving my job, I’ve gained 10 pounds and feel a bit sluggish because I spend each day sitting at my desk. A friend and I have committed to working out at the gym five days a week. We started on Monday and plan on continuing indefinitely.

My business

Because of the previous things being higher on my list of priorities, this naturally means that my time for business will be somewhat reduced. However, this time will be much more focused. I will eliminate the things that distract me regularly and focus more on productivity than ever before.

Friends

Relationships are VERY important to me. However, I’ve found that I’ve neglected my important friendships more than ever before. I will take time to connect with friends on a weekly basis, usually just via a phone call. It’s important for me to have that regular connection with people I care about.

Changes in my business

teacher

Teacher

There’s another significant realization that I’ve come to in regards to my blogging business. Many of you know that I’m a teacher.

As a teacher, I thrive by helping others succeed and seeing them succeed. It’s not about how much I’ve been able to personally accomplish great things, but more about how many people I’ve been able to help accomplish great things.

In other words, I don’t like focusing on myself.

This is something I’ve been struggling with over the last few years as time goes on. I stopped doing interviews a while back. I told people that it’s because of how busy I am, and while that is 100% true, there’s another underlying reason.

I was tired about talking about myself. I started getting annoyed by interviews because I kept having to share my story.

I’ve decided to go in a slightly different direction, because I’m starting to see that my personality needs this.

I want to focus more on you and your stories. There’s wisdom in learning from other people’s experiences, and whenever I do interviews, I get a great response from them.

So in the future, I will be finding more ways to work with you and share your stories. This idea is something that’s still brewing around in my mind and I’ll share more with you as time goes on and the idea becomes better developed.

Your Turn

Have you ever dealt with blogger burnout? If so, what did you do to bring yourself back to sanity? Is it something you’re still dealing with? Let me know in the comments.

Resources Mentioned

  • Self Control App – an app that blocks sites that are causes for distraction when you work on your computer.
  • Rescue Time App –  a time management software that helps you focus on the right things in your work.

Infographic

Blogger Burnout: Prevention, Cure, and the Results of Stepping Back

Transcript

Some people just love being able to read along with interviews, or they might just prefer to skip the audio completely and just read through the transcript. Hey, if that’s what floats your boat, it is all good. Here’s the transcript just for you :)

Click here to download transcript.

 

  • Kate says:

    This TED talk was awesome and further emphasizes the power of sabbaticals. I watched this a few years ago and I have since then created one day per week where I completely shut down.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_sagmeister_the_power_of_time_off?language=en

    Thanks for taking time out for my coaching call. 🙂

  • Nate says:

    Leslie, I always take time to read, comprehend and act on most items in your sharings. Today’s entry HIT HOME. I have spent the past 30 days getting excited about our 2.5 months vacation in Greece and the past two weeks uploading videos on a laptop to take with us for me to prepare to succeed upon return to my business in mid-Sep. Well, this episode has changed that. The laptop will stay home since this is my first real vacation in 38 years. What I can’t accomplish on my wife’s iPad, my Note 3 or the iphone — it will not get done until I get back Thanks again for your brutal honesty.

  • Joyce says:

    Leslie. I loved this episode.
    Yes. I totally agree with you. Blogging is a blessing because you can do it from anywhere at anytime. In that same breath, it is a curse because of the exact same reason. It is easy to go on without a break. I went on vacation to Kenya. (Masai Mara) -and instead of enjoying the beauty & animals in the park, I was busy blogging. Thank God the electricity was rationed during the day. Otherwise, I would not have enjoyed the vacation.
    I have experienced burnout myself. I decided to change how I blog. I am still not where I want to be with my blog. Please tell me more about the mastermind classes. I love that you like to focus on other people. Strangely, -that is true leadership. The me, myself & I culture -is not true leadership.
    “Give & you shall receive. ~ Bible”
    Great episode!

  • shari lynne says:

    Yep that’s me right here right now! This is exactly where I’m at Leslie! And I’m tiiiired. LOL Planning on taking a break as soon as I’m done working..oh wait, I’m never done working! Which means I have to have self control and stay away from the screen.

    Thank you for your heart!

    • Haha – I hear you Shari. That “never done working” thing is serious and it’s what I’ve been dealing with. That’s why we gotta have that self control that you mentioned. I’m still working on that 😉

  • Mary Lahti says:

    Yes! So glad you took time to revisit your priorities. I need to do that more often. It’s great you are so active and giving to the community but it’s funny how quickly it starts to suck up the time and end up with little time for the most important things in your life including general maintenance like exercise. I think I will write my priorities on a sticky note and post it at the end of my calendar month (yes, my paper calendar) to remind me to re-evaluate so I don’t slip back into a bad habit. Maybe I better do it weekly. AND hey, if it’s time for you to mostly focus on other people’s stories, then that still allows you the opportunity to teach or help focus on the learning factor from the stories. Go for it!

  • Mary Lahti says:

    You bet, Leslie! Let’s “STICKy” together (ha).

  • I am all to familiar with blogger burnout! For the past six months, I’ve been working a full-time job, training for a marathon, and maintaining a solid schedule of publishing one informative blog post per week. On top of that, my husband and I recently moved into our new house, so there’s been plenty of moving-related stress. And yes, there are fresh homemade dinners every night! Thankfully, the marathon is now completed, so after publishing a recap, I decided to ‘treat myself’ to a week without publishing a new blog post 🙂 Interestingly, I’ve found that the free time in the evenings without blogging isn’t much fun! I guess I just can’t relax properly.

    My point is, working all the time may bring us more than just getting the work done. Of course, it’s important to relax every now and then, but it’s only through challenging ourselves that we can make the difference. Whenever I think of cutting myself some slack or just giving up, I try to remember my blog followers who may drive their inspiration to become better from reading my blog. In a way, when we know that what we do isn’t just about us, it helps us keep going.

    • Wow, that’s a whole lot of stuff and I can imagine that would bring some burnout. And yes – I agree that by challenging ourselves we are able to do big things. I still push myself and will continue doing so, but I also strive to make sure that I’m doing them according to the priorities I’ve set.

      And yes – changing the world is never easy 🙂

  • Jhon Wood says:

    totally agree with you, rest is very necessary for any work, and when using the Internet with a blog especially, too much information causes the brain to boil, thank you for the excellent article

  • Thalia says:

    hahaha and here I thought one or two hours of blogging is enough! I like balance too, not overdoing it in anything. Will keep in mind to nottake things not so seriously and not burn out. Thanks for sharing hugs Thalia xoxo

    • There’s actually a whole lot that you can do in two hours. It all comes down to eliminating all the fluff and focusing on what really matters. It’s definitely possible and you can do it.

  • Leslie, your podcast episode came at the right time for me as well. I’d just finished producing a podcast episode after a jam-packed weekend of work (yes, I do work on Saturdays), and a 13 mile run on Sunday! At the end of the day, I was like, “Man, this is so much work!” But even stepping back just a week rejuvenated you so much, and reflecting on your values. After listening to your episode, I felt refreshed! I, too, am a Jesus follower, and I love your emphasis on that relationship.

    • Steve, yep – that happens. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many things coming at us and so much to do. It’s all about finding a way to get things done without overdoing the balance in the wrong direction. Glad you were encouraged. And yes – that relationship is ESSENTIAL for me 🙂

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