HomeburnoutFour Tips For Avoiding Burnout
One of my huge problems is that I tend to push myself ridiculously hard to get everything done as quickly as possible. I know I’m not alone in that, but the self inflicted stress tends to exacerbate my dyslexia to the point of giving up.
However, I’ve figured out a few things to help avoid that terrible burnout, and I thought I’d list them for you folks. Hopefully, it’ll help someone else out, whether they have LD or not.
1. Shut Down the Inner Critic
When you do anything creative, the biggest block that gets in the way is that little voice criticizing every little thing you do. That little sucker stops you before you even really get started, so it does a lot of harm.
There are many techniques out there, but I’ve found that cranking some music up and just typing gets me past that. Sometimes, I end up deleting about half of what I write, but there are almost always lengthy parts that are usable. I’ve also turned off that auto-spell/grammar check feature on my word program. The squiggly red and green lines under my errors do little more than distract me and give the inner critic more material to work with.
With writing, at least, there’s always the opportunity to proof read later. Few things are perfect right away, but almost all creative pursuits have potential to be great in their own ways.
2. Break Down the Steps
I’ve found that tackling any project in a series of steps helps it get done more quickly and with fewer errors. So long as I’m not staring at the impending doom of a quickly approaching deadline, I end up letting research or a first draft sit for a little while so my brain can reset sufficiently.
3. Hit the Pause Button
As mentioned in #2, taking a break between steps helps. In fact, if your frustration levels are getting too high, taking a break in the middle of a step can help you get perspective, remember why you’re doing what you are and work more efficiently, once you’re refreshed.
I’ve found that after doing hours of writing or research, it’s best to do something physical. Doing some chores, going for a walk/run or exercising in some other way does a few things:
  • Release sorely needed endorphins to eradicate fatigue
  • Gives the language based and/or analytical parts of your brain a chance to rest
  • If you’re taking care of chores, you’re probably ticking off more tasks on your to-do list, which takes away some of the stress.
  • Improves circulation, which helps with your concentration
4. Be Kind to Yourself
This is related to my first point. The more you beat yourself up about mistakes or quality of work, the worse you’ll feel and the less likely you’ll want to continue the project. We all know that when we don’t want to do something, the harder it is to do, right?
There are certainly other tips people use on a regular basis to get through rough patches, but I’ve found these four have helped me the most through the years.

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