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How to Deal with Burnout - Part 2

Posted by Valencia on March 16th, 2009

A few weeks ago I talked about my experience with burnout, and I posed a question to fellow telecommuters: How Do You Deal with Burnout? The response was amazing. I received a lot of great tips - and I even applied a few. However, the previous discussion barely scratched the surface, and I wasn’t able to include everyone’s comments. Since the tips were extremely practical and useful, I didn’t want to leave anyone out, and I decided to continue the discussion…..

When I have hit my wall, I turn to my support system of like-minded individuals (i.e. creative types) and start booking lunches!  An hour with a brilliant colleague can recharge my work tremendously.  I tell them what I am working on and ask for their input, then I do the same for them.  It’s a great because an outsider can see things you can’t - especially with clients I’ve worked with for years….2).  Give myself permission to play hookie - go on a long walk for lunch; go shopping; sit outside at a café or visit Barnes and Noble and drink coffee and read tons of magazines.  My mental health is important for my clients’ success! - Angela Moore, Starfish PR

I definitely run into this problem!  I cope by forcing myself to take at least a couple hours for myself and turning off my brain.  Watching my favorite comedy TV shows with a glass of wine works every time! - Barbara O’Connell, Where To Find Care

I don’t know that I’m the right person to help with this question, because I don’t get burnt out on work. I love my career–every aspect of it. I I don’t like it, I delegate it. I can work a 16-hour day, and often do, and at the end, I look back and feel like I’ve been playing the whole time. Work to me is manual labor. Life is a game……I would say, tho, that I do have good advice on what to do in burn out situations in general. Because other things do burn me out! I always stop what  I’m doing and take a walk. I check my troubles at the front door. I extrovert my attention, and if I find myself worrying over the problem, I quickly divert my thoughts back to my immediate surroundings. I look intently at the birds. The trees. The sidewalk. The grass. The car passing. The bike…. One thing at a time and notice it is there and acknowledge it is there. I walk until I feel better. It always works if done right. Fool proof! - Brooke Kelley, Magazine Editor/Published Author

I haven’t reached burnout point yet. On the other hand, I was an English teacher for thirty years in the public schools. My work weeks ran 80 to 100 hours a week.  So far starting a business from a home office is ‘easy’ in comparison. Working from home allows me to take a small break any time I want.  Just go out for a thirty minute break to recharge. That never happened during the thirty years I was in the classroom. It was like being glued to a treadmill. Working at home allowed me to get up at four this morning and take care of some business that needed to be done.  I like that.  Sorry. - Lloyd Lofthouse, author of My Splendid Concubine

Whenever I feel I am working too hard, I just get away from it all.  I either gather the kids and take them on an impromptu field trip or just go out to get some fresh air.  You would be amazed at how much a drive or simple walk in the park can help.  During particularly stressful times, (like working on an intense project, for example) my husband may send me away for the weekend.  Either way, I come back refreshed and ready to tackle things from a different perspective. - Khrys Vaughan, Her Startup

Entrepreneurship or work in general is not a sprint, but a marathon. Many entrepreneurs seem to hit a brick wall about seven years into their soloing endeavor. I’ve hit it several times. To overcome burnout or fatigue, I’ll do one of two things. Either I’ll launch a Big Target project (something Tom Peters called a Wow! Project). This is a long-term effort that will result in a significant finished product at the end (a book or ebook, a new seminar or series, a new website, etc.). This keeps the entrepreneur (or teleworker) focused and excited during the process, AND if done wisely, further positions the person as an expert in his or her field. - Jeff Zbar, Journalist/Corporate Copywriter

Anytime I feel burned out I take an hour break and go exercise. My favorite thing to do is put on my iPod and go out for a run (even in the NJ cold weather). It’s invigorating, and when I return I’m more focused. - Melissa Cassera, Public Specialist/Speaker/Author

Working at home can certainly lead to burnout. I try to have time as far away from your business as possible, ideally at least one day a week where I can come as close to forgetting about business as possible. If that’s not possible, I find that spending a full day focusing on some aspect of the business that that I’m still excited about works almost as well when it comes to recharging the batteries. When neither of those is possible I simply remind myself that this is a business, not a hobby, and I put my butt in the chair and do the job that has to be done. Burnout is a luxury, and to a certain extent a self-indulgent luxury, I simply can’t afford. .. I’ve got a dream job and I don’t ever want to forget that. - Barry Maher & Associates

I think for a home-based business to be successful, the owner needs to be very passionate about the business and have a great support group, on personal and professional levels. It’s important to set work time and non-work time, but also to be able to multitask. For example, on non-work time, if you’re doing laundry, that time can also be used to go through emails or organize things. Activities that need to be done, but don’t necessarily take a lot of effort. It’s also very important to be able to budget money and time, and know when it’s best to pay someone to do certain tasks. Trying to do it all yourself isn’t typically very efficient, and can lead to burnout quickly. - Ester Venouziou,


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