How To Avoid Burnout As A Freelancer (Or In General)

If you’re like me, your mind never stops working.

My brain bounces from thought to thought like a game of pinball. First it’s about work, then it’s about my dire hunger, then it’s about that time I messed up a handshake with that one guy.

Couple my scattered mind with the fact that I spend copious hours staring at a computer screen all day, and you have a pretty severe case of burnout-opia just waiting to pounce.

There’s just always something waiting in the queue of my mind for my subconscious to mull over next. It’s like a conveyor belt for thoughts.

Luckily I’ve learned a few tricks for stopping burnout in its tracks, and trust me–they’re revo-freaking-lutionary.

Step 1 – Excercise, darn it

Yeah, this is a simple one, but oh boy can it change a bad day to a good one quick. Imagine fifteen minutes of your day where you aren’t staring at a screen. Imagine giving your eyes a break to gaze at trees, nice houses, and smiling neighbors on a quick run? You don’t even need to kill yourself on the run either, just make it enjoyable.

Step 2 – Leave work at work

As a freelancer it’s tough to not check my emails 24/7. This is my biggest flaw, and it’s also the biggest culprit of burnout. Stick to a schedule, and don’t worry about work–even if you feel like the world is going to burn down while you’re off.

Step 3 – Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Taking on too much work will stress you out. You don’t need to be working 12 hour days. You don’t need to take on so many things. If you need to, just tell a few of your clients that you can’t work with them anymore. They’ll understand, and they’ll appreciate the transparency.

Step 4 – Get around people

Hanging out with friends–even for 30 minutes–is like hitting the reset button on your thoughts. The goal is to get your brain to forget about work, and being around people will accomplish this easily.

Step 5 – Don’t feel guilty for relaxing

I feel guilty when I watch movies sometimes. I feel I could be doing so many other, more productive things. Get in the habit of saying “screw it” when these thoughts come up. Not everyone might have a problem with this, but for those that do, keep this in mind.

I hope these tips can help you whether you’re a freelancer or just someone who feels a little stressed. Thanks for reading guys! If you liked the post, comment below so I can meet you!

 

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Why Rediscovering Old Friends Is The Greatest Feeling In The World

 

In the past few months I’ve made a conscious decision to reconnect with many friends from high school. And it’s been worth it.

After living outside my home state for two years now, I guess it gave me new perspective on the whole thing. Recently I’ve reconnected with past girlfriends, past teammates, and past best friends who all got swept away from me because of my decisions.

Many of these people are ones I didn’t exactly end on a solid note with. There’s a lot of good and bad thrown into the melting pot that was our relationship for sure. There were fights, but there were also great times that can’t seem to get out of my head. It’s funny how we only remember the good times.

But let’s get to the heart of the issue here. Why should you reconnect? Why reach out again? I can tell you that doing this has been so rewarding for me in so so many ways.

For one, you’ll see just how easy it is to pick back up where you left off. The same jokes still hit, and the same topics come back up in conversation. It’s almost like you went back in a time machine. It feels like a dream.

Second, you get to see how you both have changed–and you did change. You get to take your new eyes and look at your old friends with wonder. There’s something different about them, yet something still the same.

Third, you get to come full-circle. You get to arrive back where you started in a few ways. But it’s also like re-learning a language you haven’t practiced for a few years. It’s familiar, but it’s been so long that you have to go back to the beginning.

Fourth, you get to be a positive person in their life again. This is probably my favorite aspect of it all. It’s easy for me to look back and think about how much of an idiot I was to some people. It’s definitely a pain point for me. There’s some things I wish I could re-do, but after reconnecting it’s almost like you get a chance to re-do it. You get a chance to say sorry, act how you wish you would’ve acted, and almost re-live moments in time. It’s been really fun for me to be able to do that.

And I know it might be fun for some other people as well. Last year I mentioned to a friend of mine that I wanted to see somebody I used to be very close with. I also mentioned that I never thought they’d want to see me, though. A few days later I got a text from them saying they would like to see me, and I almost fell over in my chair. Which brings me to my next point:

Fifth, and lastly, it’s amazing how forgiving people can be. It’s remarkable how much people can believe in the goodness in you instead of the bad–despite us showing a lot of bad to them in the past.

If you have a desire to see anybody again, tell them. You’ll be surprised at how forgiving they can be, how surreal it will feel, and how you’ll both be able to move on and make new memories together.

 

 

Wake Up And Follow Your Dreams

Listen. And I don’t mean listen to me, I mean listen to yourself–your thoughts. Where do they wander off to while you’re zoning out with your friends? Where do you see yourself in the future?

What are your wildest dreams?

I’m channeling my inner Shia here so bear with me.

I ask because you need to listen to these thoughts. You need to stop shoving them away in the name of logic and really start thinking that they’re attainable. If you could work anywhere, where would that be?

Would you want to work at Google? I know I would definitely consider it! Would you want to work at NASA? At Apple? Would you want to start your own business?

It gets us excited to think about the possibilities. For once we feel like we can break down the barriers separating us from our deepest desires, that is until our boss dumps a stack of papers on our desk to sift through.

But think about this for a second: What do all the innovators have in common? What did they do differently?

They challenged the status quo. They were themselves.

I’m not writing this for people who are happy. I’m writing this for people who are upset, tired, and unhappy. Can’t life be more than just a damn desk job? Can’t life be more than just making thousands of dollars a year to buy a house and a car?

Can’t life be about doing whatever we want?

Yes. It can.

In a world consumed by the unemployment rate, wouldn’t it be nice to rise above it and not only get employed, but do something that’s going to make you high jump out of bed in the morning?

How the hell can we do this?

By getting creative!

Who do you have to meet to make shit happen for yourself?

Sell yourself. Write that letter of introduction. Cold call and ask for the damn owner. Flaunt your opinions. Fail.

Just get on with it already. There’s a sea of people believing everything they hear without challenging it. Don’t just apply for that job. Walk into the damn building yourself and ask to hand your resume to the hiring manager in person.

Strike up a conversation with ANYONE. You never know who they are or what they know. Get creative.

Do this and watch the world change around you.