One of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurship (and more specifically online businesses like mine) is that you can work whenever you want and take unlimited vacations.
It's the “perfect” lifestyle, right?
Plenty of M$M readers have started blogs or other really cool side-hustles over the past couple of years, which is truly awesome. Creating extra income streams is such an important part of building wealth, and ultimately creating a life you really love.
But, I'm always a little afraid that people see my site and think that it's easy to make money the way I do. The truth is that a business like mine takes a ton of work…and it's just really really hard.
I had a personal roadblock recently that made me realize that I had to completely change what I was doing with my business.
I actually got temporarily burnt out on blogging (just…hear me out)
If I had read the above sentence a few years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and closed the browser.
When I was working as a band director, I was easily clocking 60-80 hours a week. It's a weird profession in that you have to put in tons of extra time after school hours, and it was exhausting.
Seeing some random blogger talk about how they got tired of their awesome job would have driven me nuts back then haha.
But, it can actually happen if you aren't careful with the way that you are working.
I got to the point where I had writer's block constantly, and really just found myself in a weird fog/bad mood all the time.
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As awesome as my business is, I felt like I was actually getting tired of it. I know a lot of you are probably feeling the same way with your day jobs or businesses/side hustles. Along the way, I've learned some things that I think can help you out if you're going through the same thing.
Here are three things I've learned to avoid getting burned out with my work:
1. You have to set boundaries
This was easily what I have been the worst about. Even though I didn't have to, I was constantly working and never taking time away from my computer. I woke up and sat in bed working from my computer, constantly had the phone out, etc. until 11:00 pm at night.
Never turning your mind away from your work has a weird way of sneaking up on you, but it's so slow that you don't notice until you don't like what you're doing anymore.
Now, I'm much better about putting the computer down or waiting until the next day to answer emails that rolled in at 8:00 pm.
I know that sometimes it's unavoidable, but the more often that you can say no to work after work should be over – the better.
2. Find out what makes you more productive and do it as often as possible
For me, it's turned into listening to the right music while I'm writing and taking little breaks every thirty minutes or so.
It's also really helpful when I switch up my working location and try to find somewhere that I can see some sunlight.
Whatever you find that it is for you, try to create a process and replicate it. Figuring out what that process is has made me much more effective and has brought more revenue in for my business.
3. Use your vacation days (if you have them)
I don't have vacation days anymore, but when I was a band director it was super common for teachers to hold on to their days and never take them. You almost felt guilty, as if you were letting people down by taking your vacation days.
Ultimately, people in that profession end up retiring with 50-100 vacation days that they never took. Crazy.
That's so unhealthy from a mental standpoint, and I have a feeling it's much more widespread than just the teaching profession.
Try really hard not to fall into that trap. If you have vacation days, take them! That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go on an expensive trip or anything, but taking any time off from work that you've earned is a must.
After I took a couple days away from the site about a month ago and had someone else “blog sit” for me (yes, that's a real thing), I came back more refreshed and creative than I had felt since I started the site.