Facing Burnout: A Designer's Nightmare
At the moment of writing this article, I’m completely burnt out. I’m having dreams of quitting designing and working on a farm somewhere, tending to sheep or cows or chickens or something I don’t actually have any real skills doing.
Being a creative is mentally exhausting - ideas and creativity have to come from somewhere within me, powering through my mental energy. I think of my brain like a battery. Fridays, I’m almost completely drained and have to use the weekend to completely recharge again. That’s why my most creative days are Monday and Tuesday.
But how do I battle complete burnout?
Understand burnout is temporary. Don’t worry - you’re not broken! Burnout happens to everyone, and is a completely temporary state. I shouldn’t quit to become a farmer. The first step is to take a deep breath and understand that this is a phase you’ll workthrough.
Do something else for a bit. Yes, I know you have deadlines and projects and that logo you have to finish. But you’re spending more time delaying by procrastinating, aren’t you? You’re avoiding work so you’re reading this article or finding other ways to occupy your time. Well, I’m officially giving you permission to do anything else. Read an article, work on your bookkeeping, schedule a few meetings.
Hyper-focus on one project at a time. Oftentimes, burnout can feel a bit aimless - as if you’re floating from project to project, trying to settle on something. Pick a project (preferably one with the closest deadline!) and set a timer. Close down any chat apps, internet, or anything otherwise distracting you. Accomplish one thing on that project. Boom!
Take a day off. If you can afford it, take a day, or an afternoon! Grab a good book, make plans with your friends, or do something to completely take your mind off of the task at hand, only for a little while.