How do you deal with burnout?
I’m dealing with burnout right now. It’s Tuesday. I’m still finishing Monday’s work. I didn’t rest this weekend. I don’t know if I’m a day behind or a week ahead. It feels like both.
Par for the course. You’re going to experience burnout when you run your own business. It happens. You get behind. You do too much and end up putting yourself in energy debt. Being a hero for a couple of weeks catches up with you. There’s a cost to too much “doing.”
So what next? Rest. It’s time to be patient and allow some recovery time.
Patience is intricate. There’s a lot to it. When you’re being patient with yourself, you give yourself time to recover. Patience also gives you space and room to grow. Funny how growth comes with growing pains.
“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” — Helen Keller
A patient brand identity update
Speaking of patience, I updated my logo for the first time in four or five years. It was a happy accident. I didn’t intend to redesign the logo. In a way, it kind of emerged on its own.
My only intention was to update my site’s favicon (the little icon next to the URL and page title in your browser). So that’s what I did. I created a new, colorful favicon for the site.
Over the course of a few days, I got used to it. I liked seeing the favicon near the logo at the top of the browser window. I liked it a lot. The combo made me curious. What would happen if I added the favicon to the existing logo? I tried it out in Photoshop and it worked. I didn’t need to resize the favicon or the logo. Serendipity. It was a natural fit, like they always belonged together.
Keep in mind, I’m a professional designer with years of branding experience. My logo story is rather unsophisticated. There’s little to it outside of chance. So I took the next logical step. I made up a story to justify the simplicity of the icon and logotype combo. The story goes like this: the four icon colors represent “cornerstone” brand qualities. That sounds like something an overpaid brand identity designer might say.
- Morning Glory: Patience
- Selective Yellow: Originality
- Deep Cerulean: Smarts
- Midnight Blue: Effort
Yes, those are real color names. And yes, I took some time to develop the brand qualities. It’s not all revisionist story-telling.
Why patience comes first
First of all, POSE is a sweet acronym for patience, originality, smarts and effort. And it’s a topic for another day. Putting mnemonic devices aside, there’s a real reason patience comes first. It impacts the long-term more than the other qualities. Patience has the biggest impact on growing pains. It gives you room to grow.
When you’re trying to be a hero, pause. Give yourself some space. Be patient. You might not be able to take a vacation when you’re burned out, but you can slow down. You can wind down. Being patient and allowing recovery time might feel like a short-term cop-out. But as they say, patience is a virtue. And it’s a long-term winning strategy. Now for that rest I was mentioning.