Some Changes for the Better

Last weekend’s conference couldn’t have come at a better time.

I had been feeling overworked, unbalanced, and even wrote a post about it before I left for Utah. I’m pretty attuned to the symptoms of burnout and felt them creeping up on me as I pushed myself to make more and be more in my career.

I have this instant gratification and impatience problem. 🙂

Last weekend’s conference left me feeling inspired and invigorated — exactly the opposite of how I had expected to feel after three consecutive weekends of travel. I felt like I did when I hit publish on my first blog post and immediately started another one because the ideas and creativity poured out of me. It’s like I had found a tiny trickle of water and then used a stick to widen it’s borders until soon a gushing stream began to take control of the borders around it instead of the other way around. Did anyone else do this as a kid? No? Ok, moving on.

Here’s what the weekend taught me.

I love everything about this crazy writing blogging social media thing. I feel most alive when I’m doing it, thinking about it, and talking about it. While sharing a room with my friends at the conference, we all commented more than once that we could just work forever as the minutes ticked by into the night. When you find something you could literally do forever and you don’t want to stop, I think that’s something that needs to be nurtured.

Training is still important to me because I can actually SEE the difference I am making in people’s lives, but there’s nothing quite like the pull to the keyboard and the feeling when I know I’ve gotten something out that needed to be said.

I’ve felt like my posts lately are more reactionary. The ones where I actually talk about important things are because I see something or hear something online that rubs me the wrong way and I feel compelled to write about it. That doesn’t mean those posts aren’t good, but they’re externally motivated. I’ve lost the time that I need to internally listen and come up with posts that I feel will help others.

The weekend was a good wake up call. It helped reinforce that this is my life and my journey and I can make it whatever I want. Why that needs to come from someone else to make me actually hear it I have no idea, but I thought about it and decided to make a few changes going forward.

Stop my weekend recap posts

Within the last month or so I’ve only been posting three times a week instead of four. With a week that’s opened with a weekend recap and concluded with Five Things Friday, that only leaves one other day to talk about fitness, mental health, self-care, wellness, food, etc. I think we need more of those days, especially when I’ve had a weekend where all I’ve done is watch movies and nap. There’s more valuable content than that.

So I know many of you have said that you still enjoy those posts, so I plan to do a monthly “Life Lately”-type recap, but it won’t be every Monday anymore.

Take another day off

Currently, the only time I have dedicated to blogging and freelance work is Tuesday from about 11 am – 530 pm. Any other similar work I try to shove into random chunks of time I may have throughout the week. It leaves me feeling rushed and certainly not inspired.

I’m going to take a second day off. Neil and I went through my finances like I discussed in this post because I am horrible with understanding money and he loves to do anything related to business. We found out it was more than fine for me to stop taking new training clients and also migrate their schedules to a M-W-F arrangement, leaving me with more time to grow what I REALLY love to do.

I hesitated to set aside more time, but I realize that I need it. In order for me to write and really CREATE, my brain needs to slow down. That’s when the thoughts come. That’s when I’m actually able to OBSERVE around me and find inspiration. Oh, and answer emails. 🙂

Finish my book

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I started a book over a year ago. I got about halfway through and lost it, “it” being the creativity and inspiration that drives us to create. If you’ve read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, do.

I feel that I’m meant to be a writer in some sense of the word. It’s something I’ve felt since I was young and I’ve lucked into this magical world of blogging where I can fully control the words I choose to use and practice them every day.

About a month or two ago I was feeling so overwhelmed that I shouted to Neil that I wanted “to escape to a cabin in the woods where everyone would leave me alone, I could drink tea, and just WRITE.” I thought it was just an exasperated cry on my part, but the urge came up again for me over the weekend. I can’t describe how I know these decisions are what’s right for me, they just are. And so I am researching cabins to take a week off from everything and just write. Finish (more likely, start again) this book that I know I need to get out.

 

So this is my new plan. I’m grateful to everyone that I talked and listened to over the weekend who helped me — albeit unknowingly. My hope is that making these small changes will help me continue to put out good content for all of you and also help slow me down a bit.

Have you ever felt close to burnout? I’d love to hear some of the ways you got through it in the comments! I’m also going to shamelessly mention that if you ever read any posts on here that resonate with you, please share them to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. You guys are the best. 🙂

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.

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18 Comments

  1. May 10, 2017 / 5:34 am

    Usually a change of scenery will help me when I’m feeling burnt out. Just a weekend to the coast usually hopes get me out of a funk and refreshed my motivation. I’m excited to see where these changes take you! You’re in control of all you do <3

  2. May 10, 2017 / 6:11 am

    LOVE all of this! I think it is so important to take 1-2 days off, because burn out can creep up and then BAM it hits you in the face like a ton of bricks. This past weekend I didn’t do work for almost 2 days over the weekend and it felt amazing. My brain rested. I wasn’t near any devices. And in the end I felt better and all my work was fine with me not working away. We all need a break. We all need to SLOW DOWN.
    acktive life recently posted…5 Ways to Build Your Instagram PresenceMy Profile

  3. May 10, 2017 / 6:37 am

    Great post! I totally relate. You and your blog inspire me. As a recovering woman I feel I have a lot to share with other women who are suffering. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • erinsinsidejob
      May 10, 2017 / 7:10 am

      Thanks Shannon! I’m sure you do. Congrats on your recovery!!

  4. May 10, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Looking forward to your new blogging ideas. I definitely have been struggling a bit with burn out feelings as I’m extra exhausted from being pregnant and working. It’s hard to find the time to do everything even when I love what I’m doing!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Breathe In Breathe OutMy Profile

  5. May 10, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I love that you’ve been thinking through this and that you have a game plan; I can definitely tell that you are ready to make this leap into more blogging and less training. You are a super hard worker Erin, and it shows. I’m excited for you that you get to step back and blog more and even possibly go and have a writing retreat. That sounds absolutely dreamy! 🙂 <3
    Emily recently posted…Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish (You Need it To Fill Your Cup)My Profile

  6. May 10, 2017 / 10:15 am

    The thing is, burnout is common in every field, depending on how much a person gives. Like in anything else, when a person exerts more energy than the energy that fuels him, he will burnout. Aikido, the guitar, and poetry fuel me and allow me to pick up my sword, every day…..your point about finding time for self is well made….

  7. May 10, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Good for you, Erin!
    I love reading your weekend posts, but honestly it’s for the food pictures – which we already see on Instagram anyway 😉
    Time is a valuable thing, and you’re at your best when you have enough of it to fit in what truly brings you joy.
    P.S. I’m looking forward to your book!
    Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine recently posted…Currently // May 2017My Profile

  8. May 10, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    I was feeling overwhelmed lately and had to take a step back and reassess how I’m spending my time. It’s good to regularly check-in with yourself and see what changes you need to make to feel the happiest and most fulfilled. Good luck!
    Maggie (Mag Mile Runner) recently posted…Training, May 1-7My Profile

  9. May 10, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    I totally get it! It’s why I sort of disappeared from blogging threads and link ups, and only post when I feel like it. And you know what? I didn’t lose traffic, and actually started getting more, which is weird. I also felt the stress lift and have been more engaged in other outside activities, which I needed to do for me and my levels of stress. We put so much pressure on ourselves!
    Bri recently posted…Race review: Vancouver Island Trail Running Series race #2: Mt. TzouhalemMy Profile

  10. Nicci
    May 11, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Slowing down sounds like the right choice, though I’m sure slowing down on one end of your working spectrum will speed you up (in a good way) on the writing end, if that makes any sense. #jetlagbrain. Anyways, I’m super excited for your book and everything that’s to come including all the great content – I love reading all of your posts!

  11. May 12, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    Our lives are never meant to stay in one season and when changes come, it is usually because something inside of us is yearning for that. Just with reading your words, I can see this is the start of a new season for you – and one that is more than needed. Excited to see what starts coming from you and can’t want to read more. I am hopeful I’ll be back into blogging soon; my sister moving in with us two months ago completely threw me off and I am just starting to feel more grounded <3

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