When you are pursuing a career that you absolutely love and living your creative dreams, the last thing you might expect to worry about is burning out,right? It is said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” But here is the truth. Business, whether you love it or hate it, is business. And your work/home life balance is generally teetering on the work side this time of year.
Ahhh Fall, sweaters, oranges leaves, pumpkin spice and overwhelming anxiety and creative meltdowns. Burn Out. The b word. What no photographers wants to feel. But let’s face it head on, and get a jump start on getting through it this season.
Here are the 5 best tips that I have for getting through fall burnout.
5. Have a Road Map
How do you know where you are going, without a road map? We don’t intentionally mean to overextend ourselves or to be all over the place, and yet, it still happens. Why? Because we don’t plan for it not to. In order to keep yourself from burning out must have a clear path on getting through the season. How many shoots are you booking? What dates are you shooting? What are you charging? When are you shooting your promos? What and when are you marketing. Get a FALL CALENDAR going! August through November should be very clearly planned out ahead of time. This will help calm stress. It is essentially the google maps of your holiday season. And don’t we all feel better when we know where we are going?
4. Schedule a Break or You Will Not Take One
Having a road map is great, but you need to know that it is going to be essential for you to make some pit stops. You will have to stop and rest.
At least one day a week needs to be a day off. This takes so much personal will power it’s not even funny. I know, just as we all do, how hard it is to turn down business. They can only shoot on Sunday but that is your day off. Ahhh, you go ahead and take it But, how much work can you handle while still remaining a civil, functioning human being? If you are crying on a daily basis or telling your partner that all of your work looks terrible, you need a break. One day. Promise yourself. And as an added bonus, clients respect it also. Ever read, “he’s just not that into you?” Don’t always be so available. People love the chase and love a little take away. If they can book you 24/7 7 days a week, you have the ability to lose a little glimmer. You are worth it. Keep on glimmer-ing. Okay, I made that word up. But you get the point.
3. Get Organized
If your office or editing space looks like a third world country, your brain is not going to be very nirvana-ish. Get it together. The night of your day off clean your work space. Get your calendar set and get ready to work. Nothing feels better than an organized you.
Also, for shooting organization get a shot list.
It is one of the most helpful things I did this year.
It makes my sessions run so smoothly and I have had nothing but good results from it.
I feel less stressed and it seems that my client is also.
It gives me more time in between to make a good client connection as well, which only benefits me and them in the long run.
2. Expect the Unexpected and be OKAY with less than Perfect
It is going to rain. Babies are going to cry. People will be sick. None of that you can control. But what you can control is your reaction to them. Roll with the punches! Make the best of the situation.
I like to use this mantra when I meditate on Sunday Nights
“ you were born to be real, not to be perfect..”
I find that laughing through most of it, diffuses the situation and my feelings about it.
Did I do a bad job? No. Did my clients do a bad job? No. Is life weird and does the universe have a twisted sense of humor? For sure.
1. Find Time for Art that has Nothing to do with Money
This is my biggest number 1 for avoiding burnout in any season, not just fall. Plan a trip to the museum and do a great documentary session with your babies there. Take your little ones to the park and let them laugh the day away while you snap. Pumpkin Patches in rain boots and a nightgown? Abso-friggin-lutely.
Because, guys we are artists. All artists at some point feel this way. I know when it’s coming. I start struggling to edit. Then I shut down. You must find time to make art that is not connected to money. Just make you art. That is where your soul can feel content and when you do head to your sessions, you have a little brighter smile.