Why there is such a thing as too much fun!
When we run a business doing what we love, it can be very easy to just keep working. To spend all day and all evening on our laptops because we’re having such a good time writing, connecting with people online, tinkering with tech or playing with new designs in Canva (guilty as charged).
But just because it’s fun, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to keep going ad infinitum.
I completely get it. We all want more of the things that light us up and bring us joy. Of course we do! That’s probably why we went into business in the first place – so we could make our living doing something we love on our own terms! And if something is fun, why shouldn’t you just keep going?
Look at it this way.
Think about your favourite ice cream. Or sweet treat. (Or savoury treat if you must!) If that was all you were allowed to eat, eventually you’d feel sick and wouldn’t be able to face it anymore. And hey presto, you’ve just destroyed any possibility of enjoying that Cherry Garcia deliciousness ever again. So sad.
The same goes for your business. Burn-out doesn’t discriminate between over-work that feels fun and over-work that doesn’t. Exhaustion doesn’t pass you by just because you seem to be enjoying spending so much time at your computer.
If you see September as an alternative new year, you may be all fired up right now, feeling the spark of excitement and inspiration as we throw ourselves back into our businesses with gusto after the summer break. HOORAY for that! There’s nothing better than that feeling of motivation and readiness to share our brilliance with the world!
But it’s a long time ‘til the Christmas break, the days are getting shorter, venturing outdoors suddenly feels far less appealing (it’s blowing a gale as I write), so we need to be careful.
Constant vigilance, as Mad-Eye Moody would say (yes, the reignited Harry Potter obsession continues).
If we allow ourselves to over-do it, we risk falling out of love with what we’re doing. Our bodies will start to gently (and then less gently) point out that we need to slow down. Our brains will become exhausted, impairing our creativity and problem-solving skills. Suddenly things don’t feel quite so much fun anymore, do they?
So, what’s the alternative? How about setting some boundaries so that, no matter how much fun you’re having in your work, at a certain point in the day you put it aside and shift your attention to something else. Something that feels nourishing and good to you, whether that’s hanging out with friends, some quiet time with a book, sleep, a long bath, exercise, watching a movie or just pottering around the house for a bit (a favourite past-time of mine!).
An added bonus? You’ll get to enjoy the fizz of anticipation of getting stuck in again having switched off and nourished your soul in other ways for a few hours. You’ll be really bloomin’ excited to pick things up where you left off!
Do you have experience of burning out, even when doing something you love? I’d love to hear your stories, so please do share in the comments below.