At the end of 2016 I had so many ideas, new inspiration and projects that were almost completed that I wanted to launch. I told myself the week I had off work at the Agency over Christmas would be the perfect time to pound out new blog posts and website content.
Homie, was I wrong.
I Wanted Social Media to Be Dead to Me
I basically had a GSD (Get Shit Done) list that I wanted to accomplish with the week off. I wanted to be efficient, strategic and power through everything. Unfortunately, what happened was that I burned out… And when I mean I burned out, I mean I burnt out HARD ?, like “pour gasoline on myself and light a match” hard.
I never believed in burnout, I was like, dude, this is my passion, this is what I’m obsessed with, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and I’m fucking great at it, why would I need to take a “break”?
Social Media Addiction Was Over
I literally stayed in my apartment after celebrating Christmas with my family and didn’t go outside. I had my MacBook open but I didn’t want to do anything. I was sick of digital marketing, I hated being connected 24/7, I didn’t want to touch anything related to social media marketing. I tried my best to acknowledge any engagement people had with me on social media, but I was fed up. I have always been stuck to my phone, but I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
I’m sure this didn’t add to it, but on New Years Eve, my boyfriend and I broke up (mutual) and it really sucked even more of the life out of me. I thought about what I would do for work, if I wanted to keep being in the industry or do something completely different. I just literally wanted to unplug, but if you manage social media for clients, you know that isn’t an option, it’s never an option. I was great at community management, I prided myself on responding to questions, acknowledging engagement, etc. within a 30 minute time frame, but I just wanted to give up.
I promised myself I would work on my new project so it could launch February, but January came and passed and I didn’t update my blog, I didn’t touch the new project, I didn’t do anything social media related unless I absolutely had to… Well, I mean I posted on Twitter (I love you Twitter), but only talked about personal things and never anything about social media. My website looked like I died.
Turning Things Around After Digital Marketing Burnout
In March I started to get back into the swing of things. Actively posting about social media marketing and connecting again with my audience. It took three freaking months to do it, it was a brutal three months and I “suffered” in silence, but I did it.
It’s hard to find motivation after three months of trying to isolate myself, but I’ve gotten back into the swing of things. I’ve smartened up and created a better schedule for myself and became pickier with the clients I take on. The ideal client is: someone who sees the value in social media. (If you don’t see the value, why do you even fucking care to pay someone to help you with it?) It wasn’t even FOMO as so many people accredit social media addiction to, it was just legit being fed up about being connected ALL the damn time. I know many digital marketers can relate.
Looking back, I realize the mistakes I made by not taking breaks. I remember the importance of going for a walk without my phone or shutting down my MacBook before 8pm. Taking a break, even if it’s from something you love, is essential if you don’t want to overly stress yourself, or have a breakdown, take a fucking break!
Tips on Managing Social Media Burnout
I posed the question to my Twitter followers and here’s some of their answers in how they handle or prevent social media burnout.
@hellobeverley I try to give myself an hour before bed where I don’t touch my phone. It’s probably not enough but it has been helping a bit.
— Shereen Zink (@shereenzink) February 3, 2017
@hellobeverley for me going on walks without phone. Vacation without phone. Turning off notifications. Video games.
— Chris Mikulin (@cmikulin) February 3, 2017
@hellobeverley Disconnect. Do something immersive, like painting, or hiking, or just go for a walk and leave your phone at home.
— PodSummit (@podsummit) February 3, 2017
@hellobeverley disconnect. Shut your phone off or put it in sleep mode. Do something that doesn’t involve you wanting to grab your phone.
— Tracey Sawatzky (@TraceySawatzky) February 3, 2017
@hellobeverley take breaks, go to a creative event, watch a movie, go for a holiday.
— Vlad Calus (@vladcalus) February 3, 2017
So, tell me, have you ever experienced digital marketing burnout? Have you ever just wanted to light your phone on fire? How did you handle it? OR how do you prevent burnout from happening?