A few weeks back, a client emailed me to ask for some support and encouragement as she was feeling a little burned out and overwhelmed by her client workload...
I emailed back some workday exercises that I’ve found useful for whenever I’m feeling a little disconnected, or overwhelmed, or fatigued by my client work. As much as we love serving our clients as big-hearted service based creatives, there’s no denying that from time to time we can get a little burned out along the way.
If you’re currently feeling in a slump with your client workload, I have five exercises for you today to hopefully help you reconnect to the joy in your work and find some clarity and energy moving forward...
1. This is an opportunity to…
This is a journal prompt that can be super helpful for when we just need to reconnect to our “why”. It’s all about encouraging ourselves to have a mindset shift between seeing client work as just another task on our to-do list, to being an opportunity to do work that feels meaningful, purposeful, and joyful along the way.
So next time you’re feeling frustrated and uninspired in your client work, try finishing this sentence. Ask yourself:
- How can I show up for this client and serve them along the way?
- What positive part can this work play in their journey right now?
- Why is this service meaningful to this client and why have they invested in working with me?
2. Clients are not the enemy
Sometimes we can start to feel like clients are the enemy - just one or two challenging client experiences can cause us to lose sight of the fact that the majority of the people we work with are wonderful, big-hearted, incredible humans who we have the wonderful privilege of serving through our business. Ask yourself:
- What is my mindset around my clients right now?
- What frustrations are coming to the surface for me with my client work in this season?
If you’re currently battling with feeling like your clients are the enemy, my encouragement is to give yourself permission to sit with this feeling and then start to rewire your thinking so you can reconnect to a mindset that serves your work and yourself better. Start to explore the things you really love about your clients, and put yourself in their shoes so you can get a clearer picture of what may be adding to some of your frustrations. I always encourage my clients to remember this whenever they're starting to feel like clients are the enemy: your clients hire you because they believe in your work, connect with your brand, and are excited to work with you and engage with your services. They're not rooting for you to fail.
3. How can I take care of myself so I can show up and do my best work?
Sometimes we’re just burned out in our business. We’ve pushed ourselves past our limits and we need to recenter and recharge so we can show up and do our best work along the way. Ask yourself: what do I need to do to take care of myself so I can show up and serve my clients along the way?
For me, I know I need to prioritise sleep, downtime and rest, time to reflect on coaching sessions, and to be organised and to have systems in place to support me to run my business as smoothly as possible. Explore what you need to make space for so you can show up and do your best work - and give yourself permission to prioritise your own needs along the way.
4. Five client projects or engagements I’m proud of are...
If you’re feeling a little burned out and disconnected from the joy in your client-based business right now, reflecting on the work that you’re really proud of can help you reconnect to the why and the motivation behind the work that you do. Outline five client projects or engagements that you’re really proud of and that you really enjoyed, and just spend a little time remembering why this was your dream business in the first place.
Hopefully this can help to re-energise you in your work, and help you to remember the wonderful things you’ve been able to make happen with the awesome clients you’ve been able to work with so far.
5. Five reasons why I’m grateful for my clients and my business are...
To wrap up, take a little time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for in your business right now when it comes to the client work you do. For example, top of my list is:
- The wonderful clients I’ve been able to get to know, support, and build relationships along the way
- The lessons I’ve learned and the joy I’ve found from supporting other creative women in their journey
- That I’m able to work from home and run my business on my own terms
- That I’m able to make a good living doing work that feels meaningful
- That I always feel like I’m growing and evolving in my work, and that there are always new lessons to be learned along the way
I’ve really found that sitting with gratitude can really help us to reconnect to what matters most when we’re feeling a little burned out along the way.
It’s oh so normal to feel burned out on client work from time to time - we trade so much of our energy so we can show up for our clients along the way, that it’s only natural that we may feel a little exhausted from it all at times throughout the year. I’ve learned that I have to show myself grace, prioritise taking care of myself so I can continue to show up and give my clients 100%, and to stay connected to the meaning behind the work I do and the opportunity I have in front of me to truly be of service to someone along the way.
If you’re feeling a little burned out right now, I’m rooting for you and I hope these exercises can support you to feel more energised and joyful in your creative work along the way...
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