4 Ways to Avoid Burnout as a Creator

Jesse Clemmens
Jesse Clemmens
Co-Founder @ HiBeam
Cover Image for 4 Ways to Avoid Burnout as a Creator

Burnout is a general term that can include many different symptoms: heightened anxiety, neglecting your own needs, lack of enjoyment, and procrastination. 

As the creator job becomes more widely recognized and legitimized, recent attention has turned to the topic of social media and mental health among creators, including notable coverage of Creator Burnout from renowned sources like the New York Times

Why are you, as a creator, uniquely susceptible to burnout? Like most creators, you've probably built a brand around your unique personality and creativity. You know that consistent content output is one of the keys to success.

But consistency and creativity don't always go together; the demands of "the algorithm" can be taxing, and you've probably needed to work on something creative under a tight timeline.

Burnout deserves recognition as an essential category within mental health, and if you are facing severe symptoms, please consult a mental health professional. 

That said, almost any creator is likely to relate to some of the feelings connotated by the term "burnout." We've put together 4 tactics you can take to stay creative, reduce stress, and stave off burnout while growing as a creator. 

1: Plan Ahead

One well-known tactic for any high-performance job is introducing consistency, dependability, and organization into your schedule by planning. Consistency and organization rarely come naturally but can be learned with some practice. Below are a few ideas for how to build consistency into your routine as a growing creator.

  • Treat your audience to consistency; you can choose the frequency of when you post to help avoid feeling like you are under or over-producing.

  • Measure your time, especially in productive stretches. It's easy to lose track of how much time you're putting in, at times to the neglect of other interests and obligations.

  • Employ simple frameworks for task management to stay calm and collected, like the GTD method. (See our blog post on Top Tips for Planning Ahead: How A Consistent Schedule Can Ward Off Creator Stress and Burnout)

  • Take time off, and don't wait until you are burned out and depleted. Regularly recharging is key to long-term success. Remember that achieving your goals as a creator is a marathon and not a sprint.

  • Focusing on what's truly important; ruthlessly prioritize to make sure you're dealing with the most important stuff first; all the rest will fall into place or float by in the scheme of things. 

2: Employ Software Tools 

By picking the right software, you can double down on doing more of what you enjoy and less of what you don't.

For example, if you love finding inspirational quotes to share with your audience but you hate hand formatting before posting, you should use a tool like Canva to do the heavy lifting. 

If you enjoy answering your community's comments and DMs, try HiBeam which helps you quickly respond to the most important items.

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Be sure to avoid the "task treadmill"; when saving time by reducing repetitive tasks, don't simply compress more of the same tasks. Instead, look to see how you can re-purpose your time elsewhere, ideally on something that brings you energy.

Protect your creativity as the right tools do not strip you of creativity but help you maximize it.

3: Adopt A "Systems Mindset"

Adopting a "systems mindset" is a "macro skill" that you can apply to many aspects of your business as a creator. While it's a fancy name, the technique is simple, invest additional time upfront in automating a process and save yourself lots of time and/or mental energy in the future. 

The seemingly unlimited upside and opportunity of being a content creator do come with its burdens. By focusing on ways to reduce time spent on repetitive, draining tasks, you'll stay focused and energized as you grow on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or wherever your content lives.

4. Go "Marie Kondo" On Your Daily Tasks.

One method for reducing burnout is to spend more time on the things that bring you energy. Have you heard of Marie Kondo and her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing?" Kondo focuses on cleaning up your home or space by observing which items "bring you joy" and should be kept while reducing the rest. 

Try taking inventory of your daily tasks (see above on measuring your time) and score how much you enjoy or gain energy from each task. Then figure out how to spend less time on the low scores and more time on the higher ones. 

Summary

Growing as a creator should be fun. Remember that everyone feels more or less inspired each day, and you are certainly not alone in feeling the occasional burnout. For serious symptoms, please consult a professional; try some of the tips above for the occasional slump to set yourself up for success on your path to creator glory.

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