- October 9, 2023
Have you ever felt unmotivated to make content, lacking in inspiration, bored, or just completely turned off by the idea of creating content?
Yeah me too. It’s called creator burnout and it’s a real thing.
Here’s the thing about creating content: you can never make enough. The platforms we publish our content to do not turn off, there is no limit, and they are specifically designed to keep us scrolling and posting for as many hours as possible.
When you simply consume content, this is difficult to manage. But when you also make a living out of creating content, this can feel impossible at times!
Your work requires engagement on addictive apps and platforms. Additionally, your audience never sleeps. The comments and DMs can come in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and so on. Sounds exhausting, right? So, what do we do about it?
First, I want you to take note of your personal warning signals that you’re burning out. For me, this means that I can get lost on apps and mindlessly scroll during working hours rather than intentionally using my time on the apps for work.
We all know the difference between scrolling for inspiration and research and scrolling “for research” but getting lost in the spiral of continuous content.
And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, pay close attention to your mindset the next time you’re scrolling through social media and ask yourself, “Am I scrolling for pleasure or productivity?”
Another sign I’m burning out is that I am constantly, and negatively, comparing myself to other creators. Rather than feeling inspired by their work, I am getting down on myself for not thinking of enough ideas, for not posting as often, or being as funny or clever.
Comparison creeps in pretty frequently, but I notice it rears its ugly head more often (and more aggressively) when I’m feeling burnout.
I will also find myself completely uninterested in creating and posting content when I’m burning or already burnt out. What is typically a fun, creative, and rewarding experience becomes dreadful and something I want to avoid at all costs.
So start noticing when your content production takes a dip, when you aren’t motivated to create, and have an overall lackluster mood towards your content. And once you start to recognize your personal triggers, then we can work to reset.
Dealing with Burnout
Now that we’ve discussed recognizing burnout, let’s explore strategies to deal with it. When I’m feeling burnt out, I take intentional breaks from social media, even if it’s just for a day.. This is helpful in clearing my mind, getting me out of the comparison game, and allows me time to do other things.
I know you’ve noticed your screen time reports and I know you’ve had feelings about them so imagine, if even for a day, what else you could do besides scroll on your phone. Go for a walk, run some errands, meet up with a friend or colleague, or read. Do something that gets you off your phone.
The next thing I do is reconnect to my ‘why’:
- Why am I on social media?
- Why do I have this platform?
- What do I get out of it?
- Who am I helping?
Realign yourself with why you do what you do and create the content you create before diving back in. This definitely helps me reset and reconnect to the bigger picture of my platform and content as opposed to the daily grind of pushing out content.
The Importance of Self-Care
And lastly, give yourself permission to feel how you’re feeling. Please do not underestimate the beautiful machine that is social media and the digital world. It is not human, it is a machine, and therefore we have to monitor ourselves.
Remember your humanness and know that it is ok to take breaks, have an “off” day, week, or month, and that you are not meant to continuously go at the pace that the machine does.
The struggle is real. I know it’s cliche, but it is. We are responsible to our communities and platforms but have to be responsible to ourselves first. We can’t show up for our people if we don’t show up for ourselves.
So join The Inner Edit movement by subscribing to the show wherever you listen to podcasts, sign up for my email list, and get the 10 Weekly Self-Care Practices for Digital Content Creators freebie!