I don’t know about you but I LOVE back to school season! There’s something about the change in the weather, the change in routine, and the start of new beginnings that feels magical. I don’t know what specifically it is (maybe it’s the cozy sweaters and PUMPKIN everything) but I feel it. And maybe you do too?
But with the new change also comes realizations and sometimes feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm.
You may have been HUSTLING 24/7, in the middle of grind season the last 8 months and now you’ve finally hit your breaking point. You’ve fallen off the hamster wheel and now you’re struggling to get back up. You’re TIRED AF!
If this sounds like you, I’ve got a diagnosis for you sis, and you may not like what you’re gonna hear…
You’re BURNT OUT.
Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged and overwhelming stress. It can make you feel drained, unmotivated, and unable to cope with the demands of work or other responsibilities. (YIKES!)
So HOW the hell do you prevent burn out and if you’re in the thick of it, HOW do you get out?
Keep reading to learn 6 TIPS to avoid burnout and overcome exhaustion and overwhelm in your baking business! (These 6 tips can apply to anyone and any business so please share with a friend to help them too!)
1) STOP saying YES to every damn thing (aka set boundaries!)
PSA! There is no award for overworked female of the year. “How you do one thing, is how you do everything!” Read that again.
It’s true. THIS is why you feel overwhelmed and stressed every day like you’re making no progress. You’re saying YES to a bunch of shit and BUSY WORK, that does not help you get closer to your goals!
If that burns, sorry but you need to hear it. I promise you, Kate from the PTA does NOT need you to make 2 dozen cupcakes for the meeting on Wednesday. You have to set personal and professional boundaries.
2) Recognize the signs
Your body knows you better than you do! And often, your body will tell you physically that you’re burnt out before your brain can even recognize that that’s what's happening. Some signs to look out for could be nausea, stomach aches, headaches, changes in your appetite, and lack of sleep. But if you aren’t in tune with your body and prioritizing your self-care and movement, you’re gonna see these signs too late.
3) ASK FOR HELP!
There is NO SHAME in asking for help and support. If you’re a home baker who is a one-woman show you have to find ways to lean on others and leverage your immediate network of people to support you. Because the longer you stay on this hamster wheel, the more resentful, overwhelmed, and exhausted you’ll become. Business isn’t meant to be a one-person gig. Successful businesses require HELP of some sort. Whether that's answering emails, posting on social media, taking photos of products, gathering inventory, delivering products, or dropping off orders; even having someone tackle the smallest of tasks will help you SO MUCH in the long run.
4) Create Processes and systems that SERVE you!
Processes and Systems are my FAVORITE part of running a business. They keep you accountable, focused, and give you clarity around your daily tasks and priorities. When you know what you have to do on a day-to-day basis and your EMPLOYEES and HELP know what to do that makes your life so much easier. No more stopping what you’re doing and explaining something for the 10th time. No more getting sidetracked and pulled in different directions. By having processes, organization, and systems in place for your business you allow your time to work for YOU. Your time is spent doing meaningful tasks that WILL get you closer to your goals and spend less time on the things that don’t really serve you.
5) Figure out HOW MUCH time you actually have (if you struggle with Time Management this one is for YOU!)
First thing you need to figure out is HOW MUCH time you actually have in a day. If you're more of a visual person like me, you can watch my explanation by clicking here! If not, here’s how you’re gonna figure this out:
You need to figure out your container. In time management, we all have different-sized containers. For example: As a mother of 3 who is running a household and also running around with her kids is gonna have a smaller container than someone who is single, working a part-time job, and focused on growing their business. Everyone’s containers are different because we all have different priorities, commitments, and capacities.
Next, think about time in three different ways. We have our BIG ROCKS (these are non-negotiable), pebbles (which are still important but not as MANDATORY as big rocks), and sand (these are activities that aren’t super important but still need to get done). Sometimes we’re so preoccupied with the sand and pebbles that we forget about the BIG ROCKS and we simply stretch ourselves too thin to the point that we crumble.
When thinking about TIME and how much of it you have, you need to first prioritize your big rocks. These are the things that require most of your focus and simply need to be taken care of every day. After you figure out how much time that leaves you, then you can start adding in your pebbles and so on.
The issue is, we tend to overfill our containers with pebbles and sand first without taking into account our big rocks, and by the end of it we have NO TIME left for our big priorities (which are the things that are gonna propel you in life.)
Your container is going to look different in different seasons. Some seasons you may be required to spend ALL of your time focusing on your kids. While others, your kids may be older, and more independent so now you have more time to focus on other things. And that’s OKAY!
6) Schedule in breaks
Even though you may be your own boss you still need to take breaks! Schedule them in advance, put them on your calendar, and make it non-negotiable. Resetting and reflecting are necessary. It’s how we reignite our creative juices, our passions, and energy. But it’s also how we recognize how far we’ve come, where we may have missed the mark, and what we can do differently to help us grow and achieve our goals. Stop saying you don’t have time to take breaks because you do! You are the owner of YOUR TIME. And you get to dictate how you spend it.
Remember, your to-do list will be there when you get back. So, take a damn break!
Burnout is EXHAUSTING and I don’t want it to happen to you! But the reality is, burnout is REAL and it comes for us all at one point or another. However, after reading this, hopefully, you feel equipped to acknowledge the signs and when to get off the hamster wheel and take the break.
I hope this serves you friend and let me know what you do when you start to feel burnt out and overwhelmed. And let me know which one you’ll be working on!
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