For the last few weeks I’ve been having trouble getting motivated. Not a good thing as I move into one of the busiest and most important times in my career as a writer and author. My book will be released next month, and I have a ton of work to do accomplish to promote it. My business is picking up, and I need it to continue doing so. I have a variety of goals for myself as a writer, author, blogger, and businessperson, and I want to meet them.
I know that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning and start all over again…especially when I only went to bed a few hours before and worked the whole day. It’s burn out. Pure and simple.
I know all the normal advice people give to cure burn out, like take a break, go on vacation, meditate, exercise, do something fun–generally get away from your work. But when doing those things sends you into overwhelm even more so than before, they simply don’t feel like great options–at least not to me. I’m not saying don’t meditate for 20 minute or don’t take a break for a walk or a run. (Okay…I need to take that advice, especially when I sit in front of the computer clicking from one email in box to an0ther and from Twitter to Facebook endlessly because I’m too overwhelmed and burned out to focus.) Those are necessary to help you focus. However, there is another strategy that can help when you simply can’t stop working.
When burnout hits and you can’t stop working, turn to a project that lights your fire. That’s right. Reignite your your fire with a job or task that you feel passionate about or that makes you feel on purpose. When you do this, you’ll feel inspired. That will take away the feeling of burn out.
For instance, yesterday I spent time researching an essay I’m writing for someone else’s book. It’s on a spiritual topic. This takes me away from the side of my business related totally to writing and publishing and lets me “play” on my the other side, which relates to human potential, personal growth and practical spirituality. This opened me up to some new ideas, got my energy going again and made me feel jazzed.
Today, I’m turning my attention to a full-length article and getting away from the little jobs I’ve been doing that have to do with promotion and making money. This allow me to do what I set out to do right out of college: work as a magazine journalists. That reignites my love of writing and reminds me of why I do what I do–because I love writing and teaching people via the written word. With that in mind, tomorrow I can turn back to how to keep myself earning a paycheck and selling books.
Sometimes we don’t have time to take a break from our work, but we can at least devote more time to those things that allow us to combine our passion and purpose and inspire us to keep moving forward. If you have similar stories, share them in a comment.