How To Avoid Burnout & Survive Long Term In Digital Marketing
Are you ready to build a successful digital marketing business?
Well, it’s doable. But you need to remember that digital marketing is an umbrella term used to describe different marketing strategies through online channels like websites, search engines, and social media.
Sounds simple enough, right? Just stick some colorful banners here and there and you’re done.
Well, it’s not that simple. In the information age where online channels multiply at an exponential rate and customers digitally zigzag everywhere, keeping up can be next to impossible, making digital marketing ultimately stressful.
Sadly, burnout can cause several negative events to happen to an individual. The Workplace Burnout Triangle illustrates it better:
Why Digital Marketers Experience Burnouts
First, remember that customers are the lifeblood of any business, and digital marketing is the key to making sure the business stays within the customer’s grasp.
Digital marketing can be too huge of an undertaking for just one person as the web isn’t comprised of only one platform.
Even working in teams may not be enough considering the vast amount of data to be dealt with. As a result, entrepreneurs in the digital marketing industry put in long hours that are definitely bound to backfire sooner or later.
It’s a widely known fact that stress is a precursor to burnout and work-related stress is very common among those in the digital marketing game.
On January 2017, Future Workplace and Kronos conducted a survey of the root causes of employee burnout and found that unreasonable workload and too much overtime tied in second place at 32% after unfair compensation at 41%.
Tips to Prevent Burnout
In the world of digital marketing, the amount of workload isn’t something that can be completely controlled.
Often times, the adjustment has to come from the digital marketer himself. The good news is there are a lot proven ways to prevent getting burned out. Here are some that will help you get started today:
1. Release stress in a healthy way
Burnouts are primarily caused by unmanaged stress. In an emotionally demanding environment, it’s particularly easy to make bad stress-release choices like drinking.
In fact, a 2015 study at the Queen’s University in Canada revealed that acute stress increases voluntary alcohol consumption.
Since it is a known fact that alcohol intake is a setup for long-term health problems, releasing stress through drinking is definitely not an option if you want to avoid getting burned out and staying alive for the long haul.
One expert-recommended method of releasing stress is practicing relaxation techniques.
2. Find a hobby that has nothing to do with digital marketing
This works hand-in-hand with number 1. If you’re trying to avoid getting burned out, you might want to completely distance yourself from what you routinely do once in awhile.
Getting a hobby is a great way of relieving stress and recharging your creative batteries.
Hobbies give you a piece of work-free, responsibility-free life and that means significantly reducing stress.
3. Slowly shift to a healthier lifestyle
The digital marketing world is known to operate at breakneck speed and sometimes, eating healthy and getting exercise can be very difficult to squeeze in your schedule.
But little efforts put in daily do come a long way. You can start by making better food choices and waking up an extra half hour a day to do gentle stretching or walking.
You don’t have to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight to live healthier. Just make sure you work on it little by little every day consistently.
Sleep is your body’s natural way of rejuvenation, and you certainly can’t do that if you’re constantly checking your work email long after leaving the office.
It’s always best not to bring work at home unless you definitely have to. Spend some time with your loved ones when you get home, take your mind off work, and let your body recharge for another day. Rest is very important as it facilitates your body’s healing and repair.
Time Off: A Wakeup Call for Business Leaders
37% of American workers don’t take time off because they don’t want to return to a mountain of work, which then would be an even bigger challenge.
32% of managers don’t talk about the importance of taking time off with their direct reports and 11% only do it once a year.
80% of employees say they would take more time off if they are supported and encouraged by their employers.
6 in 10 employees report a lack of encouragement from their boss and their colleagues when it comes to taking time off.
65% say that they hear either nothing, mixed messages, or discouraging messages about taking time off.
These findings may be overly focused on employee burnout, but digital marketers can can learn from it. Because to a large extent, we’re all employees (whether you’re directly working under someone or you’re a solo entrepreneur).
As a digital marketer, the best course of action is focusing on improving work-life balance. More importantly, encouraging time off to enjoy your life is essential if you want to stay productive and achieve significant results.
A lot of things can be done on the management side to make the work-life bearable for marketers and team like placing flexible work schedules, embracing telecommuting, and providing wellness programs that workers can take advantage of.
Fashioning a workplace that welcomes open communication among its people and creates an ambiance that fuels productivity and creativity can also be a great platform for keeping work-related stress at bay and significantly decreasing the risk of burnout.