The 6 Causes of Burnout to Watch Out For

As someone who has been building an online business for almost a decade now, I’ve become quite familiar with burnout.

At times I’ve dedicated all of my waking hours to the creative project at hand, neglecting sleep and everything else that leads to a balanced, sustainable life.

Through trial and error I’ve figured out the routines that help me avoid burnout, and my hope is that it’s mostly in my past, but burnout is one of those things that can easily creep up without you noticing it.

It’s my desire to keep burnout in my past that lead me to read an article in The Atlantic titled Only Your Boss Can Cure Your Burnout.

Here are a few of the ideas that stood out to me:

A visual summary of of the March 2021 Atlantic article about burnout, its causes, and how to prevent it.

I appreciate how the author, Olga Khazan, highlighted that one aspect of burnout is the conflict that can arise around your various roles – your roles within an organization and outside of it.

My roles have long been son, brother, friend, and teacher. Over the past few years I added a few more: husband and father. Those two in particular have raised the stakes because if I burn out, that will have a significant impact on my wife and children.

In looking at the causes of burnout, it’s workload that’s most likely to become an issue for me as a solopreneur. I’ve got a good amount of freedom around how I structure my work and my days, but sometimes I get excited about a new project and commit future resources to it (time), without thinking about whats happens when the excitement around the new project fades.

For that reason, I try to set up daily and weekly workflows (and workloads) that keep me moving at a sustainable pace – enough going on to keep me moving, but not so much that I start stressing about my time and energy.

One video a week for the YouTube channel, one workshop a week inside of Verbal to Visual, one coaching call a week with a current member, and a little bit of progress each day on the current sketchnoting resource I’m building (right now it’s Digital Sketchnoting).

Those elements seem to have the right blend of meaning, reward, and community for me to feel good about my role of teacher, while leaving plenty of time and energy for my roles of husband and father.

Have you noticed any conflicts among your various roles?

Can you identify any of those causes of burnout in your life right now?

Perhaps sketching out your work commitments and processes can point you in the direction of a more sustainable pace.

Start Sketchnoting Today

If you’d like to learn how to take visual notes like those I shared above, then come join us inside of Verbal to Visual:

There you’ll find complete-at-your-own-pace online courses, weekly live workshops, and a global community of visual thinkers working to master the skill of sketchnoting.

You can learn more here.