Burnout can happen with any kind of work, and marketing is no exception. At the end of the day, marketers are only human. Even if you love your work, doing the same thing over and over constantly can lead to a feeling of burnout. And there are other issues that can lead to a burnout in marketing.
So what exactly does digital marketing burnout look like? And how can you avoid it and keep your work fresh and fulfilling?
In 2022, nearly 75% of burned out marketing professionals stated that they felt burned out from a lack of time for focused work. Even at work, there can be distractions that keep marketers from being able to best do the work they love. A barrage of emails, asking for updates, trying to put out fires with clients, and attending meetings can all lead to marketing professionals feeling there is not enough time for them to actually…market.
In the same survey, 57% said that they felt burned out from too many meetings. 36% mentioned they felt burned out due to a lack of work-life balance, which is a common burnout cause across different industries. Ideally, everyone should have a time to focus on work and a time to put work away and simply live their life, spending time with family and friends or pursuing personal interests. When one outweighs the other, especially when work overpowers life, burnout is sure to follow.
The same study showed that 17% of marketers reported feeling burned out due to inadequate pay or a lack of career advancement. This shows that fair pay is a significant concern for marketers, but it is not everything. Even with good pay, when there is disorganization in the work, marketers can still become burned out.
Marketing burnout can become a vicious cycle. When you feel burned out, your productivity drops. When productivity drops, you may find yourself missing deadlines or making errors in your work. In doing so, you may lose clients or might have to deal with more conflict at work, both of which can intensify your marketing burnout. It’s better to avoid marketing burnout or nip it in the bud. Here are a few tips to beat marketing burnout:
You can’t be on 24/7, even if you feel like your work demands it. One of the first steps to preventing marketing burnout is to recognize when you’re starting to feel burned out. Are you leaving work feeling overwhelmed or growing anxious about going into work? These could be symptoms of marketing burnout.
It’s important not to judge yourself too harshly when you recognize marketing burnout. It happens to everyone, and often burnout is a way of telling you that something needs to change in your work situation. Listen to your burnout and take time to consider what might be causing it so that you know how to fight back against it.
Maybe you’ve heard this saying before: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same is true for work. In marketing burnout, you may feel as though you have too much on your plate, that the pile of work is too high and you can’t handle it. Instead of trying to tackle the entire pile, take a moment to write out the most easy to accomplish tasks. Focus on those so you can take them off your list. Then you can move on to the harder tasks.
Your health can impact those feelings of burnout. If you’re losing sleep, if you’re not eating well, or if you’re not exercising, it can impact your ability to focus on work. Take stock of your health. Have you been neglecting yourself lately? Take care of your health first and then return to trying to take care of your professional burnout. You may find that once your health is under control, you feel much less burned out.
One of the best ways to avoid and beat marketing burnout is to communicate. This can also be hard for many of us to do. In our hustle culture, especially in the digital world where everything feels urgent, burnout can seem like something shameful. But it’s important to know that burnout happens to everyone, and your clients or your manager are not going to want to receive work that came as a product of your burnout, anyway.
Tell people how you’re feeling. Try to identify what it is about the project that has you burned out. Is there too much work for you to take on by yourself? Are there too many meetings that take up your entire day? If you have a good client, manager, or supervisor, chances are they’ll want to work with you to find a solution. Maybe they can add someone new to your team or find an alternative to all those meetings so you can focus on what you’re good at.