HOW TO AVOID BURNING OUT: TIPS FROM A WORKAHOLIC

Friday, September 27, 2019



*This blog post is sponsored by the innovative, must-try wine brand Tea & Wine. Combining two of the world's favourite beverages, they have curated the ultimate 'me time' companion. 


Burnt out. That was me around 12 months ago. 

I was attempting to prove myself in a demanding marketing management role, thrive in my side hustle, renovate a house, nourish my 7 year relationship, get at least 6 hours of sleep, see my friends enough to even call them that and occasionally, do something active. 

In my attempt to do it all, I excelled at none. I became unmotivated, constantly complained and lost my passion for all of it.

I knew something had to change, and so somewhat drastically, I quit my full-time job.

While it was an extreme solution, it was a temporary one at that. As a workaholic, being self-employed is basically a one way ticket to never taking a day off, saying yes to everything and landing right back in Burn Out-ville.

But from the moment I quit my job, I had committed myself to a slower lifestyle. With a few strict rules, a shift in attitude and a whollleeee lot of discipline, I've finally found my work-life mecca.

So, as a self-professed workaholic, here's my top 5 tips to avoid burn out and get you doing the same!

1. DITCH THE DEVICES



Don't worry, I'm not going to confiscate your phone. Just put down the damn emails! Cutting that constant connection to my work was a shift that made a big difference to my mindset.

When I first quit my job I set strict hours for 'work time'. As in, hours I was allowed to reply to clients, be attached to my laptop and answer calls.

If this seems like a big step at first, start by cutting your 'work time' hours back bit by bit. 'Clock-off' at 9pm, then gradually bring it back an hour at a time until you're at a place that feels comfortable.

If the temptation to answer what comes through during your 'off hours' is all too much, take steps to limit it. I disabled almost all my email and Instagram notifications on my phone to give me that out of sight, out of mind mentality when I'm not at my desk. 


If something really is urgent, your clients, or your boss, will find a way to get in touch. Oh and the less you reply to them during your 'off hours', the less they'll expect you to.

2. SCHEDULE 'ME TIME'



If you're a workaholic like me, you've probably got a big list of 'to-dos' that you just love ticking off. So if you're struggling to find spare time just for you, put it in your calendar and you'll find yourself being more accountable. 

I include even the smallest things in my schedule, like time I set aside for being active, date nights, and even 'nothing time'.

One way I love to reward myself at the end of a big week is with 'wine time'. I'll pop it in my diary as motivation to complete everything on my list and once I'm finished, I'll pour a glass, close the laptop and let myself indulge guilt-free. 

Tea & Wine is one of my favourites for these moments! The whole philosophy of the brand is to set dates with yourself and enrich your life with 'me time'. Since their wines have been carefully infused with the delicate flavours of tea, you get the best of both drinks and the results taste like a hug in a cup!
They have two varieties, the first being and unoaked chardonnay infused with organic Egyptian camomile, and yes, it is as good as it sounds. The second is a cabernet sauvignon which has been blended with organic Sri-Laken chai! Yep, it's a tea lovers dream!




3. PRACTISE SAYING 'NO'



Time to 'Marie Kondo' your workload! If a project lands on your desk and it doesn't spark joy, don't be so quick to jump at it.

Obviously every job has tasks that aren't great, but for the most part your projects should be something you get excited about and are keen to tick off! If you continually find yourself with a workload that makes you more anxious than excited, it might be time to talk to your boss about your role, or consider changing jobs.

The solution might be as simple as delegating the parts of your job that don't inspire you, to give you more time to excel at the parts that do. But if you keep being a 'yes' woman instead of speaking up, you could easily find yourself burnt out in a role you never wanted a few months down the track.


If you're a freelancer like me, it's really tempting to say 'yes' to every offer that comes your way. Especially when the jobs sound exciting and you truly love your work. When things get really busy, I filter the jobs I accept by asking myself if I’d be willing to give up quality time with my friends or family to get it done. The answer is usually ‘no’ and so that’s what I tell my clients.


4. KEEP IT REAL



I’m a planner. Like, a crazy spreadsheet to the minute planner. It makes me real good at knowing my limits, how much work I can take on and when I need to stop.

But creating a plan (especially to my scale) only works if you’re realistic. Technically, I could shoot content all 8 hours of my work day, but I know that just ain’t how I operate. So when I create a plan, I allow for things like creative fatigue, variable weather, productivity spikes, emails, lunch breaks and unexpected tasks that always seem to pop up.

If I start my day with unrealistic expectations, there’s no way I’ll end it feeling motivated and accomplished. Instead, I’ll start feeling burdened by the long list of to-dos and might give up on completing them all together. 

Setting up a realistic to-do list each day, week or month, keeps me in a positive mindset to GET IT DONE, and it’s amazing what you can achieve when you’ve got that motivation!

5. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK


I used to think that if I wasn’t working, I wasn’t being productive. I considered things like taking time to exercise, sleeping past 6am or going out with my friends to be selfish, and in no way constructive for kicking those career goals. 

But as the Tea & Wine team say, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ and not allowing myself time to re-charge was actually setting me back. It’s coming to terms with this mantra that has allowed me to finally enjoy my down-time. I’ve even realised that having things in life that fill me up with joy will eventually overflow into my work life too! 

So next time you think going for that walk or having a good date-night isn’t going to be as productive as finishing a few things on that to-do list, think again.

You can’t be the best version of yourself at work if you’re not being the best version of yourself at all.


If you know someone who deserves a break (yes, including you!), I highly recommend gifting them a bottle of Tea & Wine. As a brand that was born out of the idea of encouraging more ‘me time’, you’ll not only be giving them a delicious wine, but also an excuse to reap the benefits of a good re-charge!

Now wipe that drool off your face and head to one of the selected Dan Murphy's stores where Tea & Wine is available for RRP $22.00.

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