As tasks, projects and commitments pile up, so does burnout. Here are tips to beating burnout (because a vacation isn't the answer)
Is your first thought when your alarm goes off each morning — “Oh no, not again?”
When you finally roll out of bed, down a cup of coffee, and make it to your desk, even the simple task of opening your email inbox seems like a feat of superhuman strength. You struggle to focus, you’re increasingly irritable toward your team members, and you can’t muster up any enthusiasm about your daily work tasks.
If this sounds all too familiar, there’s a reason: you’re burnt out. But you? Burnt out? You keep writing these indicators off as normal work stress. After all, your job isn’t always a walk in the park—that’s why you take home a paycheck.
Unfortunately, you’re far from alone. In our hustle-obsessed culture, burnout has become a widespread epidemic.
A recent Deloitte survey found that 77% of respondents have experienced burnout in their current job, and in May of 2019, the World Health Organization included burnout as an occupational phenomenon in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
But, despite these alarming facts, this constant state of exhaustion and overwhelm is still somewhat normalized. You wear busy as a badge of honor, and often ignore the early indicators that you're careening straight toward burnout town.
So, how can you tell if you’re actually burnt out? And more importantly, what can you do about it? Let’s dig into what you need to know so that you can kick that feeling of dread to the curb and reignite some excitement about your work (and life).
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is way more than a bad day or a groan-worthy project. It’s a persistent feeling of disinterest, disdain, hopelessness, and fatigue in regards to your work life.
( Disclosure - Some links in this article are affiliate links which means that I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.)
Here are some tips to help avoid burnout, stop and be:
Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose. Figure out when you’re most productive and creative, then notice when your mind starts to shut off or you start performing tasks just for the sake of doing them, Mr. Bailey suggests. That’s when you should go for a walk or take a break. The intention behind the decision is what counts.
“I do nothing with purpose,” Mr. Kets de Vries said. “I know that without breaks I cannot be effective.”Prioritize the things that are important to you and the things that bring you pleasure, and outsource everything else when possible. Focusing on the truly relevant parts of life can help you build free time in your schedule. And take advantage of convenient opportunities to practice idleness, like when you’re standing in line or waiting for the children to come home from school.
Resist the culture of busyness.
If you’re doing nothing, own it. When someone asks you what you’re doing during a nothing break, simply respond, “Nothing.” Be unapologetic about taking breaks or holidays, and if you start to feel guilty about being seen as lazy, think of niksen not as a sign of laziness but as an important life skill. Choose the initial discomfort of niksen over the familiarity of busyness.
Manage your expectations.Learning takes time and effort so don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch on immediately to the benefits of idleness. Know that sitting still might actually be uncomfortable at first and might take practice — just like exercise.
Ms. Dodgen-Magee, author of Deviced - Balancing Life & Technology in a Digital World, likens it to beginning a new workout routine: At first, you might get sore, but “after a while, you’ll find yourself in this moment where you’re like, ‘Oh, this feels fantastic.’”
Reorganize your environment.
Your surroundings can have a major impact on how much nothingness you can embrace, so consider the physical space in your home and workplace. Keep your devices out of reach so that they’ll be more difficult to access, and turn your home into a niksen-friendly area. Add a soft couch, a comfy armchair, a few cushions or just a blanket. Orient furniture around a window or fireplace rather than a TV.
“If those spaces are present, people will use them,” Ms. Dodgen-Magee said.
Think outside of the box.If you can’t sit still in your home or workplace, go to the park or book a relaxing day at the spa. Ms. Dodgen-Magee encourages people to host boredom parties, during which a host invites over a few friends to … be bored together.
Mr. Bailey suggests experimenting with different lifestyles to find the right one for you.
For example, he lived like a slob for a week, and learned that it's important to 'let the air out'' of the tires once in a while.
If you're still uncomfortable with the idea of 'doing nothing' , try tricking your mind into thinking that you're busy by using toys and games such as Kinetic Sand, Marble Run or Baoling Balls and such.
Of course your classic on-page SEO tweaks still work. Even better than before actually. And I’m not the only one who says that. Take it from Google too.
Behind those fancy AI-based algorithm updates lie your usual keyword optimization hacks. With no keyword input and relevant related words, Google’s bots simply wouldn’t be able to understand your content and place it where relevant.
Other studies like this one from Backlinko also justify the use of on-page SEO methods. Just run any search for a competitive keyword and you’ll notice most websites try to keep their on-page factors clean and relevant.
When done the right way, optimizing your pages for optimal ranking can also:
1. SEO-friendly URL
Short URL that includes the keyword.
As an example:
is better than a default URL
or a long one
or the other likes.
Make sure you think this through before you publish the article. Changing the URL after will make you lose your links unless you add a redirect.
Another issue to pay attention to is to make sure you won’t be using the same keyword in another URL for a more profitable page.
For instance, if you’re an SEO agency you might want a page like:
But if you later decide to also put together a guide for the same keyword, you won’t be able to use the same URL so you’ll have to publish it on your blog as www.domain.com/blog/on-page-seo or change the URL.
2. Title Tag
Your main keyword should ideally be placed at the beginning of your title. Especially in the case of the SEO title. You can set this one separately from the Yoast WordPress plug-in.
3. Headings! Headings!
Nailing the keyword optimization of your headings is so important, yet so many writers seem to skip this part.
You’ve got multiple options here:
Take your main keyword and create natural headings around it. This means your keyword will appear in 2-3 headings. Place your main keyword in the 2-3 headings mentioned at point 1 and optimize the rest of your headings for secondary keywords. Above all, remember to include at least H2s and H3s in your text. [like this article, btw] Ideally, you’d have separate designs for these so they are easily distinguishable by readers.
4. The first 100 words
Another ignored on-page SEO factor is including your keyword in the first 100 words of your article. I don’t always do this because sometimes it doesn’t seem natural to shove a keyword in the first few words since you might want to set the scene first.
But if you can manage to add it in the first sentence, way to go! Google will automatically consider this topic is of top importance to the article and thus crawl it accordingly.
5. Frequent keywords, but no stuffing!
Stuffing is actually quite hard to do these days without readers reporting your content.
Keyword stuffing looks something like:
These are our blog blogging blogger tips for bloggers who blog on blogs for bloggers…
Not very cool. I know right?
Instead, natural keyword frequency looks more like:
We’ve put together this list of tips for first-time bloggers who are looking to improve the quality of their blog posts…
And then just use your keywords sparingly and in a natural way throughout the entire article.
The process is easy or quick. It can take months if you have a year’s worth of content or more.
But it’s worth it!
Every business needs a Facebook fan page; it's a great way to interact with both customers and potential customers in a place where many of us spend way too much of our time. The question is, how do you grow this page beyond the initial wave of likes you get from your friends and relatives? And how can you ensure the likes you do get match your audience so the exact right people see your posts, interact with your page and visit your site?
Unlike with TV or Newspaper or any other classic form of advertising, Facebook enables very specific targeting. If you want to just reach people between the ages of 25 and 60 in the three zip codes nearest you, you can do that. If you'd like to reach only people who like Die Hard or When Harry Met Sally, you can also do that.
Here are the basics
Facebook ads can be used for a variety of marketing goals: to get more visitors to your site, to drive sales, to get social posts in front of more people, to re-target people who've previously visited your website or to gain likes for your business page (among other options).
Each goal has a generally expected cost attached to it, based on how difficult is to for that goal to be achieved. An ad whose goal is to lead directly to a sale will be more expensive than an ad whose goal is just to get someone to see a post, since you'll make a direct profit from the first while the second provides an indirect value.
Generally costs come out to an average of around $0.20 per like (for a campaign to get more people to like your business page) or $0.28 per click (in a campaign to get more visitors to your site). Keep in mind that these average costs are brought down by large companies with efficient marketing departments; your own costs will vary depending on the quality and effectiveness of your advertising message.
A great thing about FB advertising is you can set a daily budget, whether it's $1.00 a day or $100 a day (or more) that ensures you never spend more than you can afford. And that ensures you can test your marketing out before you start pouring money into it.
Want to get started?
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With summer drawing to a close, now is the time to focus on growing your business. Fall is the perfect time to re-energize and recharge. One of the pitfalls I often see so many business executives fall into, is thinking too small, doing the same old things they have done for many years, directed at the same customer base. Now is the time to have a new brainstorming session with your staff and get some new ideas flowing... think big! Set your goals high, try a new approach and you may be surprised at the levels you can reach.
Why do I say think big? Let's face it-- it's as |simple to find a more profitable client as it is to find a low-paying one, so why not focus on going? The key is generally to know what you have to offer in terms of solutions, communicate that clearly to the right prospective client, and bingo- - you're on your way to up-levelling your client base. Ask for referrals, recommendations, testimonials and endorsements from formerly super satisfied clientele and your task of obtaining those high level clients will get easier and easier.
Here are 10 additional ways to be attract and retain high paying clients.
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MANY OLDER WORKERS ARE BEING FORCED OUT OF A JOB.
If you're a full time employee in your 50's or now entering the Golden Age, know that more than half of all workers age 50 and older lost their long-held jobs because they were laid off or otherwise forced to leave involuntarily, a new study says. The research suggests that many older workers will encounter unexpected financial setbacks during the period when saving and planning for retirement is most important.
“Unfortunately, age discrimination seems to be the one form of bias that is still acceptable,” says Susan Weinstock, vice president of Financial Resilience Programming for AARP. “But employers who push out their experienced workers do so to their detriment. Research shows that these employees are loyal, productive, motivated and possess the very ‘soft skills,’ like calm under pressure and ability to solve problems, that employers say they need.”
AARP is working to educate employers about the value of older workers through its Employer Pledge Program, Weinstock says.
Part 2 - In an earlier post, we talked about how Pinterest can leverage your business visibility and increase your sales and online presence. Here are some basic tips to get you started.
First off, choose an account name that promotes your business or brand. If you'd like help with branding, click here and complete this brief questionnaire. It's a good place to start.
A good relevant account name will help those who use Pinterest to have an idea who you are and what you're about. If you're good with photo editing or graphic design, you can start working on effective pictures/designs to best showcase your work and what you're selling/promoting, or hire a trained VA to do it for you. Create "boards" based on various topics of your choosing that relate to each other and are consistent with your brand and message. You can see what your pins are doing and how your profile/brand fits in with others by using the Analytics page. Pinterest Analytics allows you to gauge interest and see which pins are truly useful to your business. These tips will help you utilize Pinterest in a way that will help you build interest and possibilities in your brand or product.
In what way do you thing Pinterest can help your business thrive?
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Why is Twitter great for your business?
It's very simple! Twitter prides itself on being able to share bite sized chunks of content/valuable information, meaning that you don't lose customers/readers due to super long content. It works well with the lessening attention spans of many people. You are able to interact with others in the business world to learn from them and follow other businesses that are in your industry and gain connections that may push your business to more profit. Another benefit is the ability to show your worth to those who would be interested in hiring you.
For example, potential clients will be able to see what you're capable of and will know what to expect from your skill set. This positions you as a source of knowledge and allows clients more in depth examples of your ability to benefit them as a person and as a business. You can establish yourself as an industry leader and since the lifetime of tweets are almost indefinite, you can be found by using relevant hashtags and through the search feature.
Using hashtags is a very useful ability Twitter has made and can make your business just that much more relatable to others searching for what you provide. Yes, Twitter is worth it and you can and will create a name for yourself by learning strategies for your business that will position it to become more well known and popular.
When you first begin, it's easy to get by with "that's good enough for now" gear: an old PC or scratch pad, a corner of the dining room table. Try not to do that! These tools don't enable you to be dynamic and to expand. As you get busier with an ever increasing number of customers, your string and bubblegum set up will crumble like the walls of Jericho.
Having the correct tools will make you increasingly more proficient, more productive and, believe it or not, happier. Hardware and software are not very expensive nowadays – so get everything you need set up right from the start. Among the tools you'll need are a good reliable PC, time tracking software, a project management system, a printer, scanner, email, calendar, anti-virus software, a password manager, video conferencing software, and a tool for screen sharing.
Furthermore, those are just a few tools needed to maintain your own business. To assist your customers with running theirs, you'll also need a PDF editor, MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), and a graphics editor, along with the occasional custom tool for regular and important customers.
(Guru tip: Keep close track of any tools that have month to month membership fees. It's easy to stop utilizing these when a project ends and unknowingly continue paying for several additional months!)
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Pinterest has been popular for quite some time and you may be wondering how you can use it to scale your own business and create income by using a source you already use on a daily if not weekly basis. Fear not, because this is definitely something you can (and should) do! Pinterest allows you to share photos or graphics that are attached to a website or business that allows you to at times buy items, learn how to make things, or learn more about a topic that interests you. Why not utilize these aspects in your own business?
For example, you can attach a photo of your latest soaps or candles, create a link to your business or store, and then customers who see the photo and want your products, will buy them straight through the link and bingo! You get visits and even purchases without a lot of extra work on your part. Better yet, these pins stay around forever, so you could end up seeing the benefits for longer than you'd expect. Even established bloggers use pins to bring traffic to their blog or to create referral revenue from affiliate marketing. Having a VA help you with your Pinterest reach could be a huge benefit to your business as well. Check back soon for tips on how to leverage Pinterest to build your business!
What do you think?
In what way do you think Pinterest can help your business thrive?
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