5 Survival Tips for Freelancers Who Fear Burnout

overworkedWhether you’re a graphic artist, web designer, content writer,  or do any type of creative freelance work, it’s common to experience a feeling of burnout occasionally.  There are times when maybe you’re running a bit behind, or you get out of bed in the morning and think you can’t handle one more project from a client.  When your work loses its appeal, you may find you’re making excuses to put it off.  “I have plenty of time, I’ll work on it tonight,” or, “the client won’t care if it’s a couple of days late.”

Hopefully the feeling of burnout is only temporary – and usually it is.  How can you get through this phase and get back to that feeling of how lucky you are to have your career, and how blessed that your work is something you actually enjoy doing, unlike most people with jobs they deplore?

Here are five survival tips that will help you through this period.

1. Do you feel overwhelmed, perhaps even have more projects than you can handle?  It’s easy to feel burned out when you can’t see daylight at the end of the tunnel.  Consider outsourcing some of your work to someone you trust who will do a good job.  Catching up and meeting deadlines will give you a sense of accomplishment, and relief.

2. Make time to enjoy life.  Schedule your days so that you have some breathing room, time to enjoy with your family.  Set work hours or a “work schedule,” just as you would if you worked for an employer – and stick to them.  Take a ten minute break two or three times a day.  Try to take a weekend off occasionally, and always take off on holidays.  You deserve it!

3. Could you really be in the wrong career?  Sometimes burnout really IS burnout, and you may not be pursuing your real passion.  Consider if there may be another niche that’s really appealing to you, and that you feel would make you happier.

4. Scrutinize what you’re currently doing.  Are you where you want to be in your freelancing career?  Are there aspects of your work you love, and those you hate?  For instance, you may be a web designer who hates writing content for web pages.  Consider working on the design/graphics yourself, and outsourcing the writing.

5. Step “outside the box” every once in a while.  Maybe you’re really bored instead of suffering from burnout – the two are very easy to confuse.  When you do the same things repetitively day in and day out, it’s natural to get bored.  Get creative and do something different that will still help your business, such as making a new video for your website or learning a new software program.

When it comes to burnout, it’s important not to ignore it, and to try to determine why you’re feeling this way.  Do something about it whether it’s taking a well-deserved vacation or letting your creative juices flow in another direction every now and then.  You’ll feel refreshed, and ready to tackle any new project that comes your way!