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Don’t Let Your Side Hustle Lead to Burnout

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Apr. 6 2021, Updated 3:59 p.m. ET

When you start a business or take on projects outside of your 9 to 5, burnout becomes a real risk. The phenomenon is the result of unmanaged stress and manifests in exhaustion, feeling distant from work and feeling negative about work. Far from the media stereotype of the lazy millennial, this generation seems obsessed with monetizing every hobby and always being on the grind. So since it seems unlikely folks are going to stop taking on side hustles any time soon, here are some ways to avoid burnout.

You need AT LEAST one day each week off.

When I say off I mean off. No emails, no calls, no planning, no nothing. You should aim not even to think about work or business for the entire day. Humans need rest, real rest not naps between meetings. This is a day to recharge. What recharges you best is up to you. If you need to get out and be social go for it. If you need to veg out and never get out of pj’s do it. As long as it’s not work.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

When you first start out your workload will probably be manageable. But that will change as you grow. It’s important not to get yourself in a situation where you are constantly behind and rushing. Be realistic about what you can get done in a certain timeframe. If you make a product and suddenly get a crazy rush of orders, stop taking more until you’rere in a good spot. If a customer asks you to do something in half the time it normally takes say no. Push yourself too many times and it will become the norm.

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Don’t compare yourself to others.

Sitting around thinking about how much further ahead someone else is will only make you diminish yourself. Everyone is different, and there is no need to move at the exact same pace as everyone around you.

Mark your milestones.

It’s easy to lose motivation if you don’t see progress. That’s why it’s so important to keep track of your achievements. Set out goals when you start and make a big deal of it anytime you meet them. Be kind to yourself with the goals. Set a fair amount of reasonably attainable goals to keep you motivated.

Talk to people

Like any other life problem, you shouldn’t have to deal with burnout alone. If you start to see the signs tell friends, family or loved ones how you’re feeling. It’s easy to get busy and neglect your personal relationships, but they are essential to your wellbeing. Let the people in your life help you.

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