5 Tips For Overcoming Content Creator Burnout
Being a Creator means having the freedom to express your creativity through niche, inspiring, and unique content. And yet, running a business and feeling pressured to come up with new, creative ideas all the time can also lead some Creators to feel creatively burned out (there’s literal science to prove this!).
As many as 61% of Creators have dealt with burnout, and recently, some have started to speak openly about their experiences. Chelsea Henriquez, a fashion Creator who specializes in creative photography and Instagram Reels, believes, “what can cause burnout is trying to do everything all at once. You’re your own location scout, wardrobe stylist, prop stylist,and photographer/videographer. Trying to consistently create content for multiple platforms can lead to burnout if you don’t pace yourself.”
As a creative, burnout is totally normal, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. In fact, taking time to address your burnout can help you rediscover your inspiration and feel more motivated and connected to your work. So here are five tips for managing and overcoming Creator burnout.
1. Set Physical and Mental Social Media Boundaries
It’s healthy to set boundaries between your public, social media life, and your private, IRL life.
Physical social media boundaries
These boundaries can be physical, like only checking social media when you’re sitting at your desk or in pre-scheduled time blocks. If being a Creator is your full-time job, remind yourself that most jobs have set hours and personal time off. Don’t be afraid to keep your work between specific hours or take days off from checking, posting on, or creating content for social media.
“Whenever I’m in a rut, I step away from the internet and go for strolls around my city or visit my favorite museum,” suggests Henriquez. “I connect with friends IRL, do stuff with my hands (like painting), or people watch.” For many Creators, unplugging is a form of self-care. Studies even show that creating time for fun and play can relieve stress, make us more productive, and can boost creativity.
Mental social media boundaries
Setting mental boundaries might include giving yourself permission to not share everything about your life (like your personal relationships), and allowing yourself the grace to put your phone away and not feel guilty. Not letting social media comments or feedback affect how you feel about yourself or your work is another way of setting mental boundaries.
Once you’ve set those boundaries and let go of the need to be online 24/7, you’ll feel more relaxed when you do things just for yourself, like taking a vacation where you don’t post any of the photos.
2. Build Work Structures and Schedules that You Can Stick To
While the freedom to set your own work schedule can be truly liberating, holding yourself accountable to deadlines requires sustained mental energy and focus.
If the lack of structure isn’t working for you, build a daily work schedule complete with clear work streams, processes, and deadlines. Structure allows you to wake up in the morning with a clear picture of your day–your tasks, your due dates, and your free time–and that clarity itself can be illuminating.
Figure out what helps you stick to this schedule, like using calendar reminders or a color-coded planner. If necessary, you can set alarms on your phone for each task. Having time bound tasks can also be helpful to add external structures that help keep you accountable; for example, a post-work fitness class you can’t cancel gives you a deadline to get all your work done ahead of the class.
What matters is how you work best; if you do your best writing at 9 p.m., then build that into your schedule.
3. Get a Work Buddy
Being a Creator means functioning as all departments of a company—CEO, CFO, marketing, HR, legal, and creative. Being a team of one can sometimes feel like your work environment lacks the camaraderie and support of real-life coworkers.
Finding other Creator friends is an important way to create your own “team” to discuss the algorithm over after-work drinks, share tips and resources, and workshop each other’s creative ideas.
“Whenever I’m feeling burnt out or disappointed with the algorithms, my community is the one to pull me through,” says Henriquez. “They motivate me to keep going because they’re constantly cheering me on and my content is how we communicate.”
If you want to make it official, schedule a weekly (or bi-weekly, or monthly) get together with Creator friends to problem-solve your shared conundrums, have creative brainstorms, or just unplug and enjoy each other’s company.
4. Create Content that Inspires You, Instead of Feeding the Algorithm
Since keeping up with the algorithm can be burnout-inducing for many Creators, the antidote is to create content that keeps you inspired.
You can start by making a few pieces of content each week or month that are purely creative. This will help you remember what you love about creating content, which can keep you engaged and motivated to create more.
Here’s the most important part: try not to attach any significance to the engagement you get on that content. Not every post needs to go viral, and getting caught up in a post’s reach or engagement can leave you feeling discouraged. Instead, you can think of these posts as fun experiments.
5. Eliminate Superfluous Content that’s Weighing You Down
If writing blog articles, scheduling Facebook posts, creating Instagram content, filming/editing TikTok videos, and filming/editing YouTube videos (on top of invoicing, managing brand partnerships, ideating new concepts) feels like too much…that’s because it probably is.
When you start feeling burned out because you’re trying to do everything, eliminate the channels or work streams that are the least beneficial, or just pare back your schedule.
Producing fewer, better quality pieces of content will only help you in the long run.
In fact, 44% of content Marketers have said that “improving the quality and value of their content has led to success.”
Stepping away and taking a breather when you’re feeling burned out might just help you reignite your passion, motivation, and inspiration for creating content.