Tips For Running A Creative Business (pt.2) Recognising Burnout

For many of us running a creative business is way more than a 9-5, quite often its 6-9 and weekends... and for many whilst working part or full time at another job too because often its not an option.

I've been there, and sadly because the nature of working freelance or running your own creative biz one can often panic about unforeseen gaps in work or income and end up taking things on when they come instead of being realistic about our time.

Perhaps it's just your busy season which is naturally hectic! Or perhaps you are in the throws of changing your career path or planning for something big... either way recognising the signs early on, and knowing how to re balance, will lead to a healthier, stronger and saner you and improve the quality of your work and life.

For many burnout hits before you even have chance to see it coming! This is often the case for us over achieving self driven small business owners who do pretty much everything for ourselves. We are used to being a bit pooped on the regular, and want to be at the head of our game at all times... but ultimately our health, work and relationships suffer because we are in too deep!

What to look out for

Unusual sleep patterns or sleepless nights

Anxiety, feelings of panic and increased heart rate

Lack of concentration & irritation

Achy body, tired eyes and dull/dry skin


Burnout is total system breakdown, after prolonged, unmanageable stress, and emotional fatigue. People suffering from burnout often experience emotional, cognitive and physical exhaustion, and this can have serious physical and mental health related consequences
— The Guardian

Any of this sound familiar?

Here are a few very useful tactics you can use to try and regain balance - and also use regularly to keep burnout in check

Ask for help, at home or work - Maybe your partner, housemate or friend can take over the chores for the week or until your busy period has passed

Schedule your social media in one chunk and be ok with putting less content out there for a while

If you work in a team or have a VA, delegate jobs that perhaps you'd usually do... but really don't need to

Streamline your processes - Are there ways you can simplify your admin/to do list/schedule. If its not necessary cut it

Say NO! Taking on any extra work or obligation (family or friends too) when you feel run down is a bad idea. Perhaps your client is willing to schedule for next month? Perhaps your besty can pop over for a tea instead of that cocktail out in town you arranged?

Manage expectations & your diary - From the get go be realistic with how many hours you have in a week and what you can achieve... then when booking in work or appointments you will have a clear idea of what you can actually manage. 

Colour coding priority tasks works super well too

How about creating a no tech after 8pm rule? Or a tech detox area like the one pictured... staring at a bright screen right before bed keeps your brain buzzing when you should be Zzzzz-ing. Try an alarm clock instead!

Focus on one task at a time - Don't try and overstretch or confuse your tired mind unnecessarily by flitting between too many projects

Vitamin D or a light box may help to lift your mood and manage sleep patterns... Alternatively eat your lunch outside in the sunshine!

Notice patterns and triggers - Make a note and try to avoid demanding clients, stressful projects or angry people

Rest, stretch, walk, breath deeply, drink more water and make healthy food choices, move your body! If you are anticipating a busy period impliment some damage control by trying some of the above... and if in doubt play your favourite song loud and dance it out