Come Autumn, there’s nothing better than a good ‘ol campfire. It’s the season for crackly leaves, chilly Fall air, and marshmallows on a stick.
A hot, well-tended fire during the chill is a joy indeed – and if you’ve ever sat around a bonfire, you probably know that it takes some skill to keep a good fire going. Fires don’t tend themselves. They need oxygen and fuel to survive. Someone has to actively feed the flames with new wood and stoke the embers when the flames start to die out.
In other words, fire isn’t self-sustaining.
As digital marketers, our “fire” is the passion and energy that keeps us going. Just like physical fires, our inner flame takes some tending to keep it bright and strong.
But what about fires that stop burning so brightly? There are a thousand factors contributing to a subdued digital marketing flame, from a packed schedule, to unexpected challenges to our physical health. Just like in any industry, without intentional action, these challenges can smother our marketing fire until we fizzle out.
How can you prevent turning into a pile of cold logs? Whether you’re on the brink of burnout or staying toasty warm, you can avoid future digital marketing burnout by improving your personal health, professional habits, and creative pursuits. With these 3 tips you can throw a log on that marketing fire of yours and watch it sizzle!
Spark Your Personal Life
Maintain Healthy Habits. Nail the basics – a good diet, sleep, and exercise. You know the food groups, but are you working fresh fruits and veggies into your day while avoiding processed foods and watching your portion size? On the “zzz” side, health experts typically recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night – don’t cut corners here if you can help it. And find the type of sweat that you can stand – whether it means swimming laps at the community center or just hopping on the elliptical machine.
Socialize. If you’re consistently cancelling dinner commitments with friends to get more work done, it may be a red flag you shouldn’t ignore. Time with our friends and family is crucial to our health and happiness. In times of stress, it’s especially helpful to spend time with people who can help us view challenges in a positive light.
“Me Time.” Some of my girlfriends look forward to a regular massage or manicure for some much-needed personal time. Others have weekly hobbies – yoga, cycling, art – that they regularly enjoy. “Me time” can be as simple as a tromp through the fall leaves, a quiet afternoon fishing on the dock, or time to sit on the couch in peace. Whatever “me” time means to you, make sure you work some into your schedule so you stay recharged and relaxed.
Spark Your Work Life
Work Your Network. Stay inspired by continuing to talk about what you do with other digital marketers. Grab coffee with someone who can teach you a thing or two about an area you want to learn more about – for example, PPC, email automation, or social advertising. For daily networking, join an online community – like a LinkedIn group – or follow a blog where like-minded professionals gather.
Don’t Stop Learning. Conferences are excellent opportunities to rev up your marketing know-how. Continual education fans the flames by opening our eyes to new strategies and tools, and giving us potential ways to improve our marketing efforts. If you can’t sign up for a conference, podcasts are an easy way to learn while we’re commuting or at the gym.
Make Your Routine Enjoyable. The start to your day often determines the whole course of your day – do you have a positive wake-up? As the day commences, take breaks. Try a new online tool or productivity app. Allow yourself to check Twitter and Instagram. Make a new playlist – while listening to the same song on repeat may help with productivity, it could add a fresh aspect to your day to change the soundtrack.
Spark Your Creative Life
Experience Art. Remember back in college when you attended orchestra concerts because student tickets were cheap and the experience made you feel cultural? You may not get a student discount anymore, but what’s stopping you from hitting up the local theater, art museum, or concert hall? Art may not be the cure for burnout, but experiencing (and appreciating) the result of another person’s hard work can supply us with the inspiration or motivation to keep creating.
Read a Book. Stories give us new perspectives by which we can understand our lives. If you’re feeling like burnout could soon overtake you, maybe some literary respite is just the thing you need. If you feel like sitting down with a novel is far too recreational a concept for you, try the latest marketing read or business how-to guide to combine down-time with gleaning what may be valuable information you can leverage at work.
Explore. Of course, we often advise the near-burned-out to take a vacation. If you can travel, do it. If you can’t, seek out new scenes in your neighborhood. Is there a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? A bike trail you’ve wanted to hike? Even if it’s just running errands in a different part of town, go someplace new to see something new and get a fresh perspective on the old.
At this time of year, we’re all busy trying to do our jobs well and keep everything balanced as the holidays arrive. Don’t let your passion dwindle. Before the fire dies, practice good fire tending so you can keep your flames burning hot and bright.