How do you prevent burnout while following your dreams?
When I first came to London, I juggled a full-time job as a personal assistant with a side hustle as a freelance writer, all the while trying to grow my beauty blog.
Within a year, I had burned the candle at both ends. I was burned out. Exhausted. Overwhelmed.
Anyone who tells you that making your dreams come true is easy is a liar. The hustle is real. You need to give it your all, do everything it takes to achieve your goal.
That means taking time out for self-care, too. I know, it was a complete revelation for me, too. I believed Gary Vee when he said I had to hustle harder than everyone else. I could rest only once I had achieved my goal.
My body had other ideas. When I didn’t listen to the warning signs and refused to slow down the pace, it broke down and forced me to lie in bed until I got better.
Self-care isn’t a selfish luxury that stands in the way between you and your dreams. It’s the fuel that keeps you going and helps you achieve them.
How do you balance hustle with self-care? Here’s everything I learnt on how to prevent burnout while following your dreams:
How To Prevent Burnout While Chasing Your Goals
1. Set Your Priorities
You can do anything you want to do, but you can’t do everything at the same time.
As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I always try to juggle too many projects at any one time – and then complain I get nothing done!
Truth bomb: multi-tasking doesn’t work. If you want to reach your goal, you need to focus all your energies on it.
But how do you know which goal to choose? Ask yourself these two questions:
- What’s your main goal right now, the thing you’re most called to do? (Hint: it’s usually the thing that scares you the most).
- Why do you want to achieve this dream?
I had two dreams when I moved to London: become a freelance writer and growing my beauty blog.
I thought freelance writing was my calling, but when I questioned my why, I realised I just wanted to write for a living. All the other aspects of the job – coming up with pitch ideas, dealing with editors, doing the admin tasks – were a chore I would gladly do without.
Could I reach my goal of writing for a living in another way? Yes, through beauty blogging. Plus, this path would open up more opportunities for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but it lead to me starting The Treasures Within.
Once I quit freelance writing, I had more time to focus on my beauty blog – and get some much needed rest!
If you don’t know which dream to chase, find the why behind it. When its purpose strongly resonates with you, make it your priority.
2. Break Your Dream Down Into Small Steps
Once you are clear on what goal you want to achieve, it’s time to create a roadmap on how to get there.
Again, trying to do it all at once is a recipe for burnout. Instead, ask yourself, what’s the first step you need to take to get there, the thing that would move the needle forward?
I have big plans for The Treasures Within. I want to create online courses that empower women to find their life purpose and make more money doing what they love, write books on the topic, have my own podcast, and even create a range of planners and other self-help tools.
I could try to do everything at the same time, but I know I’d burn out within 3 months. So I focused on one thing: creating a coaching programme to help ambitious and spiritual women find their calling.
Next, I’m spending my time promoting it through blog posts, networking events, and reaching out to influencers.
I put every task in my calendar, so I know exactly how much time I have each day to get it done – and spend the rest of my time relaxing or hanging out with my loved ones.
To prevent burnout, break down your goal into the smallest task possible. Focus on that one thing, not your destination. You’ll get there, one step at a time.
Don’t like using a physical calendar? Click on the image below to download the Weekly Planner. It features a digital calendar + productivity tips to help you make the most of your time:
3. Make Time For Self-Care
I had it all backwards.
I used to think self-care is a luxury you get around to when you’ve achieved your goals. Until then, it’s all about the hustle baby!
I’d eat frozen meals while working at an article, go to sleep at 2:00 am so I could finish replying to all my emails, and told myself I’d go to the gym once I had crossed every item off my to-do list (that never happened, by the way).
No wonder I burned out within a year! Self-care isn’t just about running yourself a bubble bath or going on a spa weekend with your girlfriends (although, you can absolutely do that).
Self-care is about taking care of yourself and adopting healthy habits. Like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Go to bed early so you can get your 8 hours of sleep. Work out every week so you can recharge your batteries.
These are the pillars of good health. Neglecting them impacts not just your physical and mental well-being. It impacts your productivity, too.
When you feel tired, your energy levels go down. A task that’d take you 20 minutes now require 40. Is it really worth it?
Take the time off. You’ll avoid burnout and get more done at the same time. Win win.
4. Plan For Downtime
Hands up if your rest time is more stressful than your work time. As soon as you have some time off, you must fill it with errands, social events, and who knows what else.
I made this mistake recently. I’ve automated part of my skincare business, so I could have more time to hang out with the people I love.
And then promptly proceeded to sign up for every event and class that caught my eye. Going out every day sounds fun, but all those late nights can take their toll on you if you don’t plan for some proper rest time.
And what about all the little errands your partner asks you to run now that you have a free afternoon? Or the time you spend on trying to fix other people’s crisis? If you have some free time, shouldn’t you help out whenever you can?
I’m all for helping out, as long as it doesn’t lead to burnout. You need “me time” just to rest or pretty soon, you’ll be the friend in a crisis.
Set time in your calendar for “me time”. If anyone asks you to do anything during this time, simply reply you’re busy. They don’t have to know what you’re doing.
You need to fill your cup first. You can’t help anyone if you don’t have anything to give.
Over to you, now. How do you prevent burnout? Share your experience in the comments below.