One of my favorite gurus Keith Baxter just posted about how he as a uberjillionaire deals with burnout. If you have some issues dealing with burnout you should check it out. It’s got some good tips.
I wanted to add my own so I did
But first, one of the things I enjoyed about Keith’s post is you’d think that gurus have vastly more money, experience, teams and tools would somehow find themselves on easy street. So far in my meeting and hanging out I’ve discovered that everybody has burnout, they are human too. For good or bad, as income scales, the rewards and problems scale too!
Coping with burnout, and when possible kicking it out the door, IMHO far more important than age, ability, raw resources, raw talent to success. Especially if you have teams, or families, it’s not just you who your actions affect, and getting your dreams can be a royal pain in the butt at times. It pays to know how to relight that pilot light.
Here are 7 ways in no particular order that I use.
1) Stay Clear
Spend as long as you need in the morning getting stuff out of your head and onto paper and or voice recorder. Go no holds barred, In LA at least if on a walk people assume you are talking to your talent agent. Seriously most mornings I can fill about 2 pages in near microscopic print, interconnected as to all the dependencies, boxes for tasks. After everything is out I start numbering priorities, start with your top 3 and ignore the rest on your list until you get those done.
A clean mind is a canvas for productivity, and you can’t see your task list, let alone accomplish them if you can’t see past the army of bees and objections to doing them buzzing around you head, eating your brain. Strangely once you clear out the junk, motivation and a plan of action is MUCH easier to find.
There are some variations on diagramming kinda like mindmapping I’ll share in future posts.
2) Play Hooky
Practice Dropping out, even Give up. You find counter intuitively the world hasn’t ended, you really haven’t lost that much, if you blow off an afternoon for personal sanity by going to a matinee, your favorite restaurant (solo even) and a nazi zombie killing spree with beer and a pal. It actually doesn’t take more than a couple dollars and an couple hours to often get some perspective on a vexing problem.
Walks and naps are also good shorter hooky methods.
3) Become your Favorite Rockstar
Lipsynch Youtube. This is not something you want when you have kids with videocameras, but find one of your favorite artists/singers on youtube with a song you absolutely gets you going, and then improvise if you were them. Some ideas: Pick a favorite air guitar solo, dance James Brown boogie, some rock star belting out their lungs. You don’t actually have to have any of the real abilities, but the key is you have to feel like you are the one actually performing. Headphones and locked doors help here. Stand up out of your chair and get yourself some room, after all you are a rockstar right?
The rules are simple:
- You have to pick ONE energizing song that you love
- You cannot stop listening to one or more of these songs until you gets you going
- like aspirin you have to take it however often as needed.
Here’s one of the songs I use that’s great and perfect themed too.
4) Cut out the Crap
This is hard because you are probably addicted to it, and the more crap you have the less you get done, the more you burnout. E.g. you are checking your email every 30 seconds, might need to start unplugging literally, nothing is really that much of a priority.
e.g. I have a spare laptop with almost nothing on it,even better if the internet is disabled, I put only the files I need and 2 music albums, and head out to a cafe with paid wireless (as I can’t justify buying it) or preferrably no wireless and don’t leave until I get what I need done. I leave the cell phone at home too as I don’t trust myself. If you are competitive, you want to make it even more exciting, leave the charger at home or in the car, and make it a race to see if you can get it done before the battery charge wears out (of course save often). The act of having a unmoveable deadline like the battery wearing at least helps give me focus on the important.
5) Quarantine your list related email into one box and check *weekly*
This is a biggie, social media is just as addictive as crack.
In Internet Marketing It’s way easy to get into the perpetual cycle where one launch excitement covers up the fact you haven’t finished the last course you bought, and if you do it often enough all the courses you bought last year are probably out of date and being relaunched again. Get off the treadmill. With Yahoo Mail this is easy, just setup disposable addresses and then route them to a folder named whatever you want. Only check it once a week. That way you rid yourself of the internet launch addicition. You’ll find that anything worth buying is still around, and more honestly you probably didn’t miss if you missed it.
If your are serious about success, write down all the discussion lists you belong to. Unsubscribe from them for a month, knowing that you can always get back on them due to that list. Odds are you won’t miss them. In Discussion lists if you REALLY have to, route it to a box and check it weekly. You’ll find you skim more and better prioritize what you truly need to respond.
Same goes for Facebook time. Fun as it is, Facebook will never send you a paycheck unless you are advertising on it. Spend your time wisely then you could potentially spend the rest of playing on it, but hopefully you will have other more fun things to do.
6) Gain Consciousness
Gaining consciousness of unconsciousness activities, helps you manage what limited time you have before burnout better. Most people find that they really only have about 2-4 hours of really productive time so it’s important to make the best use of it, and generally try to get it done before noon and lunch comas hit.
At the start of the day when first waking up (like before you brush your teeth) list the if the day were ideal the 5 things you would accomplish by the end of the day to make it a “perfect day”, imagine for a second how pleased you might be.
Carry around an egg timer, or if you have a smart phone get an alarm app. Write down the goal of what you want to achieve in that 3 minutes, and then set the timer. Once done, review what you did, take another off your list, then start another cycle. After 4 of these cycles take a break. 3 minutes seems short but for me I find that if I’m not clear on what I can achieve by then I’m usually vague on what I’m generally trying to achieve and wasting time chasing too many rabbits down to many rabbit holes at once.
7) Delegate!, Delegate! Delegate!
Cause there is nothing more fun that getting someone or something else to do your work 🙂
It can take any form, automation, outsourcing, insourcing, crowdsourcing, etc. Just as it’s not you.
Seriously, in the day where hiring a new contractor can sometimes take minutes, it pays to be proactive on getting rid of tasks, even if you enjoy doing them. I like to think of it as the hot potato game, if every task that hits me is a searing hot potato, how quickly can I get it to someone else qualified to do the work. I do this with even tasks I enjoy, as the goal is often to get more done in the end and leave time for things you really truly enjoy.
Tasks are deceptive, in that what seems like a small task often grows. For each task ask yourself, if you do that task , is it possible it will need to be done again? when and how often?. If it were done what else would need to be done past that, perhaps testing it? At that point are you working ON growing your business or working IN your business? By adding that task to your list are you adding to the stress in your life or removing it.
Remember good tools and contractors make your life easier!
I’ll have some more tips on outsourcing and automation soon.