How do you prevent burn out? | Fun Questions

November 9, 2013 Fun Questions 23

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

How do you prevent burn out?

I ask this question, not because I feel burnt out, but seriously overwhelmed. It scares me that burn out may be around the corner, and I do not want that to happen. I love blogging and everything that has come with it. I love writing every single post, I love reading and responding to every single comment, I love talking to authors, reading books I never would have heard of otherwise, reading blog posts, and so on and so on.

Problem is  – lately I’m always behind. I blame things that are technically more important – like grad school, eating, sleeping, and bathing. If I could I would stop doing all those things and just blog. Well, actually I love food and sleep too much to give them up completely, but I can read/blog while eating. And I can function on 4 hours of sleep – that’s all I typically get anyway. But you get my point. I wish I could do this blog thing non-stop, but I can’t. So the question remains, how do I balance all these things and not get burnt out?

I tried getting posts written and scheduled a week in advance, but lately I’m writing them just hours before they need to go up – or like this post, hours AFTER I wanted them up. Part of the problem was that I’ve given myself a few hours every day that are pure uninterrupted blog time. And slowly that time got so that it wasn’t enough. At the moment I’m a full week behind on comments, which I hate, since answering comments is really important to me. I love every comment I get and don’t want people to think I’m not paying attention and to stop leaving comments. And I’m finishing books a mere day (sometimes hours) before the book reviews are due. I can’t continue this way, or burnout is definitely coming.

So in an attempt to get things to a manageable point and stave off burn out, here’s what I’m going to try:

  • I’m not signing up for any more tours unless I just HAVE to read the book. I’ve signed up for several in the past few months for books I’m interested in, but it adds pressure I just don’t need right now.
  • I’ve also stopped taking book review requests for the time being. Whenever I accept a review request I also put a deadline on myself as to when I’ll get the book read. Well life happens and suddenly that date becomes a pressure. So until I get to place where I’ve read all the books I’ve accepted for review – I’m not taking any more requests.
  • I’m going to try and spend 10 minutes responding to comments every couple of hours. I think if I work in short bursts I’ll feel less overwhelmed and hopefully get more done.
  • I’m going to continue have a post a day if I can. But I’m also going to try and stop getting those days where I have multiple posts. Even the cover reveals and blitzes – which I enjoy doing – take up time to put together. So if I have other content scheduled when I see a blitz/cover reveal that I’d like to support come around, I’ll just have to pass.

I hope this plan of action works. But I’d love to hear how y’all manage all the things involved with blogging. It’s a lot of work, but I love it and want to keep loving it!

So – how do you prevent burn out?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

23 Responses to “How do you prevent burn out? | Fun Questions”

  1. Anya

    I started doing multiple posts a day a while back because I had so much content that I wanted to post, but then I wasn’t able to get posts scheduled out far in advance, so I’ve forced myself to reign back and schedule one post a day. If I come up with another post I want to do that day that is time sensitive, I move around the non-time sensitive content to stick to one post a day. This has let me get a couple weeks scheduled out when I’m excited and producing content! Which then makes it easier when life stomps on me for a week, since everything is already prepped.
    Anya recently posted…Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could RedesignMy Profile

    • Berls

      That’s exactly how I got myself doing multiple posts a day. I’m trying really hard to reign it in to 1 a day again. I got a little too excited signing up for tours & reveals too, so I’m trying to get that under control. I long for the days when I was a week ahead. My goal is to get a month ahead over xmas break, with the exception of a post or two a week that I can’t do that far out.

  2. Jackie (Literary Escapism)

    Schedules definitely help! I’ve been going through it a little myself, but I’m trying to crawl out of it. Actually, I think all of us at LE have been. *grin*

    Something I’ve found that helps a lot is making each day different. That way I know what I’m going to be posting, and I don’t have to rush around to get it ready. For instance, I only post author visits on Tuesday or Thursday. Originally this was the day my oldest was home from school, so I really didn’t have the time to put into LE, and I always had the content a day or two before. So it was easy to have something scheduled.

    I’ve also found lately, when you’ve reviewed the same series book after book, it’s hard to come up with something new. So I’ve been trying completely new authors and seeing if that doesn’t help.
    Jackie (Literary Escapism) recently posted…Exclusive Excerpt: Vampire Games by Tiffany AlleeMy Profile

    • Berls

      That’s a really smart idea to move between authors/series; that way your struck by each book uniquely as opposed to seeing only the similarities.

      And you’re so right, schedules are super helpful. I’ve gotten so far behind though that my schedules are all shot to hell. I’m currently much closer to caught up than I’ve been in a while though, so I’m going to try and get back to my schedule – and like you said – to make each day different so I’m not in such a rush when I don’t have the time. Thanks so much for weighing in and your ideas!

  3. A'ishah Rose

    I’m new to the book blogging world, but not new to the concept of burnout. I’ve had activist burnout, workaholic burnout, graduate school burnout…hehehehe. I definitely can relate to that feeling of not doing enough – I have books that I’ve read sitting around for review (and having planned to post reviews of them for awhile), I have a huge pile in front of me and a pile more that I’d LIKE to have on my TBR list (and may or may not have returned some of them to Amazon). I also have been working 70 hours a week at my day job as a government contractor and neglecting my processes of self-care and recovery.

    What always pulls me out of burnout (or frees me if I’m in that almost-to-burnout stage) is doing things that remind me why I love what I’m doing. For example – at first reading My Soul is Wherever You Are felt like a chore – I did not get the book, I did not want to review it, etc. And then I reread it and realized how fascinating it was as a story, the way it was constructed, etc. My next book on my COYER list is an ARC I’m having a LOT of trouble with, so I think I’m going to switch to a book I know I’ll enjoy before I try to tackle finishing that one.

    Give yourself a break! You do so many reviews and tours and giveaways, it is a LOT of hard work. Sometimes I feel like there is a necessity to just spend some time doing nothing, or something that is completely unproductive. Like coloring – it is my burnout lifeline. Or spending an entire afternoon/evening having coffee with a friend in person.

    Another thing is…I try to remind myself how I want to feel (channeling Danielle LaPorte here) and what my priorities are and why I have those priorities. Right now I’m getting burned out at work because I want to make a certain amount of money but the OT hours just aren’t worth it and by the time I get paid, I feel awful. So that’s a sign to me that it’s time to recalibrate and think about my priorities.

    It’s OKAY to have priorities that involve things that take care of you, pay your bills, etc. It’s okay to say no to opportunities – even ones we’d love to do! – because we’re human and we have limited time and energy. It’s okay to not post on time – or at all – if it means preserving your sanity. Look at it this way – in the long run, giving yourself some room to breathe now means that you’ll continue loving to blog for a long time. There are a lot of times I wish I had given myself the room to breathe before a situation felt so much like an obligation or chore that I left it completely.
    A’ishah Rose recently posted…Review: My Soul is Wherever You AreMy Profile

    • Berls

      You’re so right A’ishah! I think I’ve decided that I’m really going to take a break too – and just deciding that I have a break coming up has taken away a lot of the pressure. I’m going to take off during the xmas holidays for a week or two and use that time to 1- relax and 2- get ahead on my posts so that I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed.

      I’ve always been one of those people who tries to do too much, and as a result taking care of myself ends up being last in line. But blogging is something I decided to do for fun, so it’s important to me that I don’t let that change. Thanks so much for all your thoughts and suggestions :-)

    • Berls

      I tried putting off commenting but I just got too overwhelmed with the number of comments I had to respond to in one sitting. So now I’m trying my best to stay current. I also set my email up to send me an email every time someone comments so that I’ll know right then and there. It might get annoying, we’ll have to just wait and see.

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    I think we all go through periods of this, where we feel there aren’t enough hours and largely it is the our life that gets in the way. Scheduling is super important to me. So I always mark review in my Google calendar, and place them on or around release day. About every two weeks I set up posts for the reviews of books I will be reading. This way all I need to do is add my review. I am anal about writing them and try to do so within 24-36 hrs of finishing book. My prep-work and organization skills cut out a lot of time giving me more time to visit blogs. Some days I have no extra time in my day and may only reply to comments on my blog and visit back. Other days I may visit 60 blogs. I do what I can. I only get involved in tours, promos etc if they interest me and don’t feel guilty about saying, no. I always struggle with saying no to books placed under my nose or email..but hey I am a book addict!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Sunday Post #81 Sharing blog news and book haulMy Profile

    • Berls

      The calendar thing is probably the only reason I’m still holding on – I’m super organized. unfortunately the calendar hasn’t allowed me to add any hours to the day. I’m seriously just going to have to back off on posts for like two weeks (I’m planning xmas break) and use it to get myself ahead. I really want to start the new year fresh and ahead! I think getting in tours is where I really shot myself in the foot. I just get so excited about books and want to do everything! So backing off of tours should help a lot.

      You’re like the master at this though, I’m so impressed with all you accomplish on your blog. I’m hoping to get to that point someday!

      • kimbacaffeinate

        The key is to get ahead. I use to be 3 weeks ahead, now I am two out..but I got ill & became an Avon Addict for 6 months and lost some of my buffer. Right now I am posting reviews 6 days a week, and haven’t done a Confession or tips post since September..LOL I am taking the week of Christmas off, and just rebuilding that extra week.
        kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Dark Witch by Nora RobertsMy Profile

        • Berls

          I could never keep up with 6 reviews a week! I do 3 a week and that’s my limit. I’d be overwhelmed otherwise. But I am really hoping to get ahead over Christmas – I’m taking off then too.

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve been thinking about and dealing with this issue myself, lately, Berls. And I have to say I’m mighty impressed that you’re figuring out the balance much sooner than I have! (I’m also impressed you can function on only 4 hours sleep…ahh, to be young!)LOL

    So I’ve recently instituted all the same measures you’re doing. No blog tours unless the book just really speaks to me or it’s an author I love. Same for blitzes and cover reveals. As for comments, I try to do them all at once.

    Cheers to keeping reading and blogging fun! :)
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Sidekick Showcase #19 ~ Ladies Man**My Profile

    • Berls

      Function may be a lose interpretation of what I do on 4 hours of sleep LOL. But I just want to do EVERYTHING and I can’t :(

      I’ve kind of decided over the course of answering comments for this post that I’m taking a blog vacation at the end of December to get myself to a place where I can stay ahead, instead of always feeling like I’m treading water. But for now, hopefully the measures I’ve come up with will work.


  6. Jenna

    I’m feeling overwhelmed lately too, and I haven’t been reading as much YA, which is a real problem since my blog is about YA. After reading a YA book that isn’t out until January (so my review doesn’t go up until December/January either), I read Rhiannon Frater’s non-YA The First Days last week and liked it SO much that I wanted to start the second in the series right away. Which I did…but it’s moving a long very slowly. I only managed a review last week because it was a tour book. Now I have no reviews to go up this upcoming week and no other posts ready either. I do have a couple of half-written discussion posts that I can probably finish without too much trouble, but I have plans for tomorrow so I don’t know how I’m going to get to them.

    I love blogging but I do wish I could get just a little ahead so that I was scheduling reviews and posts for next month instead of this week.
    Jenna recently posted…Discussion: Novellas and Short StoriesMy Profile

    • Berls

      I know what you mean about reading outside your blog “genre” – I like to think I’m interpreting fantasy loosely – as in fiction, not just the fantasy genre. Otherwise I’d be reading outside my “genre” all the time. I don’t want to be limited in what I let myself read – maybe you could a feature/section of your blog devoted to “YA Grown Up” or something?

      And boy would I love to be a full month ahead on posts. I’m going to try and get to that place over the holidays – I’m pretty sure I’m going to take a blog vacation to get myself set for a fresh new year.

  7. A Voracious Reader

    I’ve had real life take up more of my blogging time than I would wish, but real life is more important than blogging, so I just let the blog go. As a rule I only post once per day. Even posting once per day it gets to be too much if I’ve used up all my backlog. I’m trying to balance home, family and blogging, but haven’t quite got the right formula down yet. This month I’ve cut back on my reviewing and I have nothing scheduled for December. I’ll post when I have something (say Saturday Shorts or Friday Featured Spotlight), but I’m not going to put any more pressure on myself for something that’s supposed to be fun. I’m hoping to get lots read in December so I have a nice backlog to start posting in the New Year. At this point, I have 7 deadlines for this month. I’m concentrating on them. If I get some extras done then awesome. If not, I’m not going to fret over it. I am not Superwoman, no matter how much I want to be.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Saturday ShortsMy Profile

    • Berls

      Having a back log seems like it would be really key. I think I’m going to take a two week holiday break at the end of December and use that time to get a healthy back log going for January. Maybe if I get started on enough of a backlog I can start the new year fresh. But I agree with you – we’re not superwomen and we just need to have fun and give ourselves a break!

      • A Voracious Reader

        I think if I can get a bunch of books read that have been sitting on my own shelf then I can use them for filler reviews since no one is waiting for the review. Then I can concentrate on my review queue and get as many done before New Years as possible. That’s my only goal. I loved when I had a backlog drafted, but when they were gone…panic time! lol
        A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 16th EditionMy Profile

  8. Julie S.

    I think your preventative measures are really good. I’ve also stopped signing up for blog tours (or at least significantly decreased the ones I do sign up for) for the next few months because I have a lot of real life stuff coming up and I don’t want to *have* to do anything blog related on a specific timeline that I can’t control. I think preventing burn out is so much better than having to fight it later. Go you :)
    Julie S. recently posted…Foreplay ReviewMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Julie – I hope not signing up for tours works out for you with what you have coming up too! Here’s to keeping it fun!

  9. Katarina @ Notes on Novels

    That sounds like an overwhelming schedule, also keeping in mind that you’re not a professional blogger. I too feel that a one post a day blogging regimen can be stressful. I hope you’ll find a routine that works for you and takes some of the pressure of. Reading and blogging should be fun, not work.

    Cheers, Kat :)

    • Berls

      Thanks Kat – it is overwhelming. I would absolutely love to be a professional blogger, but so far I’m not quite good enough for all that. Maybe someday (a girl can dream, right?)!

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