Content creation is a big part of building your brand whether it’s for your brand or your business. The constant need to be creating all the time can be exhausting and can lead to eventual creativity burnout. The feeling of running out of creative ideas can be really frustrating and draining and can start to affect other aspects of your business if you aren’t taking the proper care of refueling your mind and your ideas. If you’re ready to get out of your creative funk, keep reading.
What does it mean to be burned out?
Similar to entrepreneurial burnout, creative burnout comes in many forms and looks different to each individual. It can be summarized as a state of emotional exhaustion, overwhelm, and frustration. However, I would argue that creative burnout can be significantly worse.
Being an entrepreneur requires you to be so creative as you look to expand and grow your business and if you already dealing with creative burnout, it can definitely lead to burnout in other aspects of your business. If you’re wondering whether or not your burned out, ask yourself:
- On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you to create something new?
- Do you have any new content ideas that you’re excited to execute?
- Do you find yourself rushing to just get something out there?
- Are you dreading a new week because you don’t have content created?
If your motivation is low or you find yourself dragging through the process, that is a huge sign that you’re burned out.
What causes creative burnout?
It’s tough to say what causes burnout because it could really be anything. The times that I’ve found myself burnt out have always been because I’ve either:
- Been consistently creating content every week without a break
- I’m up really late trying to get stuff done with no time to sleep
- I’m juggling a lot of different things with no time for myself
- I’ve spent way too much time being creative for other people
As a content marketing strategist, a big part of my business is creating content for myself, but also creating content for other people. It becomes really hard to turn that off, especially when so many areas in my personal and professional life spark new ideas that can either be used by me or someone that I know/work with very closely. If you’re someone who also has to be creative within your business, I’m sure you’ve struggled with the same thing. But, if you can acknowledge what can trigger creative burnout, it makes it that much easier to find ways to deal with it and avoid it.
Signs of Creative Burnout
How do you know if you’re dealing with creativity burnout? Well, the first thing that you need to do is acknowledge some of the feelings and symptoms that you may be experiencing. Some of the signs of creative burnout are:
- Long-term procrastination
- Struggle with basic work
- Comparing yourself to other people
One of these on its own might not be a reason for you to think that you are dealing with creative burnout, however, if you’re dealing with two or more of these, then you are feeling burnout, and it’s time to take some action. Also, creativity burnout is different than having a creative block. If you’re finding yourself stuck on coming up with new ideas, that is a creative block. But, if you’re struggling to even get work done, that is a sign of creative burnout.
How to overcome creative burnout
Now that you know that you’ve recognized and accepted that you’re burnt out, the next thing you need to do is get through it. It can be tempting to just stay burnout and use it as a sign to give up, but it doesn’t have to be like that. My methods for overcoming burnout are:
Getting more support.
It might be scary to hire a team member, but outsourcing some of your creative processes can help you stay within your zone of genius and remove some of the tasks that can be done by someone else. Take a log of everything that you do. evaluate what things can be done by others, and find the best people to get things done.
Take a break.
The rest is just as important as the hustle. It’s important that you take the time to take a break and allow yourself the time to recharge instead of just chasing after the next thing. When you take the time to take a break, you’re allowing yourself to reflect on the work that you’ve done which will help you know what to improve on for next time. Block out time to just rest and allow yourself to do it guilt-free.
Start small and work your way up.
If you’re anything like me, before you were feeling burnt out creatively, you were probably planning content so far out in advance across different platforms! While it can be tempting to get back to creating and planning content at that same capacity, allow yourself to work in much smaller and more manageable chunks until you’re ready to get back into large batches of content. Let yourself ease back in.
How to avoid creative burnout
While you can overcome creative burnout, the best thing that you can do is to avoid it completely. Once you’ve learned how to spot the triggers that can cause creative burnout, the ways you can avoid it are:
Establish systems and routines.
Creating a routine and structure will help you work through all of your tasks and can help you move through things with ease. Routines don’t always have to be rigid. They should just flow into the next one in a way that allows you to take care of yourself while you work.
Ask for help before you need it.
Oftentimes we ask for help when we’re already drowning but we should have the support that can keep us afloat. When you’re aware of the projects that you’re working on and the things that you need to do in order to get them done, you can identify the areas in which you will need support and reach out to your team or a loved one to help you.
Consume less than you create.
We live in the age of social media. It’s great to be able to get inspiration from other people’s content to help you draw from different ideas. However, if you aren’t creating anything new, you can start to get overwhelmed and start procrastinating in your own creative process. Take a moment to filter out any people or things that spark negative feelings like jealousy, anger, or distrust. Set limits on how much you scroll. Your bubble should be filled with positivity and should spark new ideas but only at a limit that you can execute them.
Just because you’re feeling creative burnout doesn’t mean that you’re not passionate or motivated to build your brand or grow and scale your business. All that it means is that you need time to recharge and refuel your mind so that you can take things to the next level. What are your ways of feeling burnout creatively? Let me know in the comments.