In a constantly-shifting online landscape, companies are expecting ever higher performance from their digital marketing teams. Meeting those demands can leave employees feeling pretty burnt out. Taking the necessary steps to prevent burnout will help preserve your mental and physical health, and ensure that you remain effective at what you do.
We all experience job-related stress. Mounting deadlines, demanding clients, and a pile-up of emails are enough to make anyone feel a bit frazzled. Unfortunately, the effects can sometimes go even further than that.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion, which is usually caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
Anything can contribute to this mounting pressure, although issues with work are often the most influential.
In fact, nearly 44% of Americans who work full-time report feeling burned out as a result of their careers. The Harvard Business Review also found that an estimated $190 billion is spent on care each year, to aid employees who have serious health conditions because of burnout.
The differences between varying industries means it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes burnout in the workplace. However, high workloads, a lack of proper work-life balance, and feelings of isolation are considered major contributing factors.
All of this helps to explain why burnout is so common among digital marketers. Industry demands continue to grow, new technology is released, and SEO tactics become increasingly complex. In short, it’s no wonder that digital marketers are feeling the pressure.
If the above description sounds familiar, you may be starting to experience burnout. Of course, if your symptoms are severe, you should seek out professional help. If you’re not yet at that point, however, the following tips may help to ease the pressure of your average work week.
Keep Your Work and Personal Life Separate
Perhaps the biggest contributor to burnout is blurring the lines between work and your personal life. That can include both doing overtime in the office, and bringing your work home with you. While these habits are easy to fall into, they can have a detrimental effect on your well-being.
To combat this, it’s important to create a clear schedule for your working day. Put together a list of everything you need to do, and the time it should (roughly) take to get each task done. Most importantly, make sure that everything you lay out can be completed within your contracted hours.
Once you get home, turn off notifications for the evening. Digital marketers spend all day being bombarded with emails and social media alerts. This means it’s vital to give yourself a break and switch off “work mode.” Anything sent after business hours can always be answered the next morning.
Practice Self-Care For Your Mental Health
Burnout has been directly linked to several serious medical conditions, including heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes. However, it’s just as important to consider the impact burnout can have on your mental health. Extended cases of burnout have been known to cause spells of depression or anxiety, and has even been attributed to excessive alcohol consumption.
An excellent way to try and avoid these issues is by practicing “self-care.” This refers to the actions a person takes in order to benefit themselves both mentally and physically. How you approach self-care will depend on your individual interests and needs, but healthy eating and mindful exercise (yoga or meditation, for example), are often recommended.
Factoring these activities into an already busy week may feel impossible, but try to remember that free time should always be free time. The hours after your working day ought to be reserved entirely for you, and are the perfect time for some mindfulness. Smartphone apps like Calm are another convenient way to take of yourself on the go.
Manage Your Workload by Learning to Say No
For any digital marketer, being asked to carry out additional work is likely a familiar experience. The pressure to take these tasks on can be intense, yet they can interfere with your ability to handle your existing work and maintain your wellbeing.
Therefore, it’s important to learn how to say no. Of course, helping out when you can is great, and sometimes even essential. However, don’t feel like adding more to your already-stacked plate is a requirement. Turning down further work is okay, just make sure you do so in a professional manner.
You can also look for effective ways to automate your day-to-day responsibilities. For example, social media management tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite are a useful way to schedule social content, while Moz can simplify any SEO tasks. The more basic tasks you can put on autopilot, the less you’ll need to handle personally.
Despite how commonplace it is, discussion of burnout is still rare in the workplace. Recognizing the signs (both in ourselves and others) can help to prevent some serious health complications. To avoid the symptoms of burnout before they arise, make sure to practice self-care, learn to say no to additional responsibilities when needed, and maintain a strong work/life balance.
Do you have any questions about how to stave off the symptoms of burnout? Let us know in the comments section below!