June 13, 2022 Content Chat Recap: How to Overcome Marketer Burnout

A #ContentChat header image that says this chat topic is "How to overcome marketer burnout" with Maureen Jann of NeoLuxe Marketing hosting the chat in place of Erika Heald.

Understandably, many marketers are reaching their breaking point. We’ve planned, pivoted, and persevered throughout the pandemic, but prolonged fatigue makes it hard to stay focused and optimistic about our work. Something has to change.

In this #ContentChat, Maureen Jann leads the community in a conversation about marketer burnout, including what burnout looks like and how we can manage this overload. Maureen shares findings from her team’s “How Burned Out Are You” quiz for marketers—take the quiz here and read through the recap below to learn how to reduce your burnout.

If you haven’t had a chance to take the burnout quiz, you can share your burnout level via our toast-o-meter, here: https://t.co/y5Oey4TyzF
I’m 5/6 on that meter, 7 out of 10 for these purposes! #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Q1: Hey marketers, on a scale of 1 to 10, how burnt out do you feel?

According to preliminary findings from the “How Burned Out Are You” quiz, 70% of respondents rate some sort of serious burnout.

A1b: It turns out that I’m not alone. Preliminary findings of our recent “How Burned Out Are You?” Quiz report that 70% are rating some sort of serious burnout (feeling toasty – burn to a crisp). #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

The community mirrors these findings.

A1: Me, personally? I’m pretty burned out. Between the demands of work, business ownership, parenthood and the general craziness of all of this *gestures around myself*, it’s hard to handle. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

7 today. Hoping it decreases throughout the week. #ContentChat https://t.co/Ifci6eIpqB

— DiKayo | dikayo.eth (@dikayodata) June 13, 2022

While it’s a little hectic at the moment, with many proposals in play and more availability than I’d like, I’m still pretty engaged and happy about work life. #contentchat https://t.co/3J1hmWq9AL

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

I was feeling a little crispy before I went through everything in play with @AlekIrvin on Thursday. #contentchat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

A1. Currently, burnout is at bay. But I’ve seen worse in the year when the pandemic hit #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

A1: I’m probably at about a 5. And, reflecting on where I was at this time last year, I’m good with that! According to my quiz results, I was “getting warmer,” so I think that sounds about right. #ContentChat

— Amy (@amylonghorn) June 13, 2022

A1: My burnout has gone down a lot in the past week, thanks so our awesome new team members! I’d say I’ at a 5 right now 🙂 ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) June 13, 2022

A1. I finally took some meaningful time off in May, really for the first time in a couple of years. That helped. I’m not feeling as burned out about work now. But I’m TOTALLY burned out on the wettest Oregon spring on record! 🌧 ☔️ #ContentChat

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) June 13, 2022

A1 3
I think I’m just tired though
-Alyx#ContentChat https://t.co/InJ6afbnhQ

— Charlie & Alyx – Charlie Appel Agency (@ColfaxInsurance) June 13, 2022

A1: I’m at about a 6, which is higher than I had hoped considering I just went on a week-long vacation. Each day is different, though. #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

A1. There are days when I feel 8…but then there are days when j feel like a 4! #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) June 13, 2022

A1: 8. I take breaks but it never seems like enough. #ContentChat

— Michelle Ngome 🇨🇲 (@MichelleNgome) June 13, 2022

Q2: Why are marketers feeling burnt out? What are the work or life areas that affect how burnt out we feel?

How can you tell if you’re burnt out? Burnout is typically associated with feelings of exhaustion, increased mental distance from your job, and reduced professional efficacy.

A2: Generally, burnout is identified by a few key forces :
1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
3) reduced professional efficacy#contentchat”

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

So what causes burnout? Per the NeoLuxe survey, poor work/life balance and “toxic positivity” play a role in burnout.

A2c: Our preliminary survey results reveal specifics related to that: 59% marketers stated they don’t have a good work life balance. 67% are showing signs of poor mental flexibility + the idea of “toxic positivity” is playing a role in our exhaustion as well. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

The community adds the following burnout causes: Rising performance expectations coupled with budget cuts…

A2b: What we don’t talk a lot about is how the key infrastructures in our lives are actually impacting marketer’s overall feelings of burnout. Looking at the shrinking marketing budgets with rising performance expectations is enough to make a girl lose it. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A2 Many of my clients are being asked to reduce marketing budgets and pause hiring and retainers. Doing more with less is crispifying. #contentchat https://t.co/zpDTiDNGeN

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

Juggling too many tasks at one time…

A2. There are multiple reasons for burnout:

• Unrealistic job expectations
• Juggling too many plates at a time
• Lack of focus + prioritization meaning piling work #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

A2. This probably seems obvious, but having more things to do than you can possibly do well is stressful. I think most of us have a perfectionism gene that makes it painful to do something less well than you know you could, if only you had more time to focus. #ContentChat

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) June 13, 2022

Being inundated with information…

A2: Inundated with information about news, products, updates, clients, trending topics, etc. #ContentChat

— Michelle Ngome 🇨🇲 (@MichelleNgome) June 13, 2022

Pressures to stand out from the competition…

There’s a lot of players in the game and a lot of pressure to stand out in a way that makes any significant amount of money. #ContentChat https://t.co/FRlVUJ7q7H

— DiKayo | dikayo.eth (@dikayodata) June 13, 2022

Expectations to know and do everything at once…

A2: Marketers are feeling burnt out because often marketing is the face of the company and can be demanding when trying to be creative, analytical, and up to date with trends all at the same time! ~Jenna #contentchat

— Nimble (@Nimble) June 13, 2022

Yup, I agree with this. The “I have to know everything because I’m a marketer” syndrome we like to carry around with us is exhausting. Constantly proving ourselves is also exhausting. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

That’s so very true, Jenna!

Marketing sure is demanding. And there’s also a perception that quantity is greater than quality which just keeps adding work on marketers.

P.S. I don’t believe in this + I’m an advocate of outsourcing what you can #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

Working as a team of one…

A2: I often feel burnt out/overwhelmed being the “only one” on my team – when content falls on one person, it can be a struggle. Having supportive leadership who champions prioritization is a great help for me personally. #ContentChat

— Amy (@amylonghorn) June 13, 2022

And triggering world events.

A2: A few things that have amplified my feelings of burnout…
– Triggering world events (shootings, wars) that just keep happening
– Lack of predictability with my workload
– Team communication breakdowns#ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

Q3: What support do marketers need to feel better in your work atmosphere?

The first step to reducing burnout: admit that there is a problem.

A3: The biggest think you can do is admit there’s a problem. It’s easy to say “it’s just this project…” or “it’s just this time of year…” but it’s easy to become the frog in the boiling pot. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

This is a major point. You have to acknowledge that something needs to change. If you just keep making excuses and pushing your needs aside, it’ll be too late to effectively recover. #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

Yup. I can say, from personal experience, that this is a major mess. I know we like to glamorize burnout, but in truth, it’s ugly and sad and takes a really nasty toll. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Too often, people fall deep into burnout before realizing the severity of their burnout (and its effect on their work and life).

A3b: Most of the people we interviewed for this project were deep into burnout before they really understood what was happening. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Boundaries are critical for recovering from burnout.

A3c: When you are able to identify your burnout, it’s time to address a few key points:
1 ) Your boundaries – Do you have boundaries?
2 ) Your workplace – Do they leave time for rest?
3 ) Your routines – What stress-reducing activities do you participate in? #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

I think that’s where our boundaries, as marketers, need to come into play. You can be everything to everyone, but that is like lighting yourself on fire to keep others warm. Recipe for burnout. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Number 3 is 👌

You need to participate in not just any stress reducing activities but those that specifically help you, which takes lots of trial and error in the beginning. #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

And it needs to be a selection of stress reducing activities. The pandemic taught us that when you only have one coping mechanism, and it’s taken away, you’re going to be in a bad way. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Company-wide mental health days and support groups and communities can help reduce burnout.

A3. Support for dealing with burnout:

• Company-wide mental health days
• Moral support groups/communities
• Training on setting SMART goals and to-do lists, saying no, and setting boundaries #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

And team leadership plays a vital role in fueling or alleviating team burnout.

I think this is especially where team leadership comes into play. @SFerika is incredibly considerate and flexible (thank you!!). She understands when some things can wait, or explains why certain things are a priority. It’s all about open dialogue. #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

Team leadership is definitely a big component to this – I’ve worked with leaders on both ends of the spectrum: those who support and prioritize vs. those who say to do it just because I said so, or it’s how we’ve always done it, or… Obvi I prefer the former. #ContentChat

— Amy (@amylonghorn) June 13, 2022

Absolutely! The pressure to be scrappy (as @Nimble noted) is so ubiquitous, as is “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” This implies that getting half-asssed “DONE” is all that matters. Good is better than bad, but it’s not good enough. #ContentChat https://t.co/ML5BslHxmN

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) June 13, 2022

Q4: How have you attempted to reduce your burnout? What workplace strategies have worked?

Try reducing your burnout by being realistic about your situation. Trying to fight your reality creates unnecessary stress. Evaluate your options and make changes that will allow you to reduce your stress…

A4: For me, personally, addressing burnout meant being realistic about my situation. I wanted it to be a certain way… it “should be” a certain way. But it wasn’t. Isn’t that the root of all suffering? #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A4b: I evaluated my options: keep doing the same thing, or make a change that addresses the existing challenges I was facing. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A4c: I also needed to acknowledge that the social systems I needed to make my current situation sustainable were not available to me. That was a sad realization. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A4d: Then it was time to make changes that allowed me to pivot and make changes that would allow me to reduce my stress and make better choices. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Protect your work/life balance…

A4: Better balance will beat back burnout.#ContentChat https://t.co/TrKShhO8GE

— Kathryn Lang – hopesmith and dream ignitor (@Kathrynclang) June 13, 2022

Take a step away if you feel yourself starting to spiral. You can fuel your flames or choose to disengage and reset…

A4: A few ways to reduce burnout:
– Set and respect your time boundaries
– Take a step away if something is triggering you more than it should
– Do not start a conversation from a place of anger or frustration
– Learn to accept the things you cannot change#ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

Prioritize chatting with your coworkers about non-work items…

A4: Reducing burnout is always essential! Some strategies we practice at Nimble is team building during the day, even if it’s a 5 minute break talking about our weekend. It’s important to step away from work even for a little bit when possible. ~Jenna #contentchat

— Nimble (@Nimble) June 13, 2022

I’m at the point in my burnout journey that there is no way 5 minutes here or there is going to make an impact. I needed big buckets of time to decompress and rest. I hope your folks get that too! #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Reduce your screen time…

A4. As a freelancer, I try to reduce burnout by:

• Having no-screen Saturdays
• Scheduling regular breaks daily
• Taking the time to read since that truly recharges me #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

Try journaling…

Oh and I’ve recently started journaling, which is a really good way to disconnect from work, review how I’m feeling + what I’ve covered, and recharge (alongside reducing stress) #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

Practice mindfulness…

A4 I’ve found ways to build mindfulness into my everyday activities. For example, I take each of our bulldogs for a walk, separately, as soon as I get up in the morning. They get my full pre-coffee attention. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

Been working on more mindfulness lately. Give me any tips that you have for me, Erika #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

Have you heard of Anna the Anxiety Coach on Instagram? I have really benefitted from some of her helpful tips to reset my system: https://t.co/iinX3ZFa2F #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

The biggest one is just building it into what you are already doing. Being in the present in the garden and playing with the dogs. I also let them tell me when we need a play break. #contentchat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

A good exercise is to identify five things you can see, four things you can physically feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Take a moment to fully embrace those sensations and appreciate the beauty of existence. #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

And seek feedback and guidance from your leadership or client.

A4. In a workplace-driven situation, it can be useful to get feedback from your leadership (or client) on what they see as priorities—and which things you should stop doing to make time for what’s important. #ContentChat

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) June 13, 2022

Q5: What outside resources, marketing or otherwise, do you recommend for people hoping to reduce their feelings of stress and anxiety?

The community shares several resources to help reduce your burnout. The tips include changing jobs if needed…

A5: This may not seem helpful, but I think it’s important to say: Change jobs if it sucks. Organizations who don’t honor your mental health are not worth working for. Too often we internalize unrealistic expectations. #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Been there and done that! So worth it. #contentchat #nomoresundayscaries https://t.co/pSTLZbHX90

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

Learning how to set boundaries and ask for help…

A5: Working on the boundary side of things and learning when you need help is a big one too. Start assessing how much you internalize individualism. Learn about individualism here: https://t.co/7qqu6SEV2j #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A5c: Get a sense for how to build strong boundaries in your home and in your workplace. Here’s some inspiration for thinking about boundaries from empath.psychologist on Instagram: https://t.co/cA4OaYOHYO #contentchat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Explore therapy…

A5: For anyone, I recommend therapy! Trust me, it helps so so much. I can’t recommend it enough. ~Julie #ContentChat

— Nimble (@Nimble) June 13, 2022

Use a passion planner…

A5 I love my passion planner. It helps me touch base with my goals, capture successes, and track positive actions. #contentchat https://t.co/vj1eq9uzWf

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

And check out the book Awakening Joy.

A5: The book Awakening Joy by James Baraz and Soshana Alexander is great for learning how to focus more on contentment and delight, regardless of how your life is going. It teaches you about mindfulness and practical ways to become happier. https://t.co/Z8B4uT2xCP #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

An important message from Maureen: You are good enough. You are doing enough. The expectations put upon you are unrealistic. Put the onus back on your organization to support you.

I think the biggest message that I want to get across about burnout is that we tend to think we’re not good enough or not doing enough. But in reality, the expectations are unrealistic. It’s time to put some of the onus back on the orgs. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

Q6: What intention would you like to set for the rest of the year?

Some of the community members share their intentions for the year below. What intention will you set?

A6: My intention is to dig more deeply into the values I hold and continue towards ensuring that my life is in alignment with them. Both at home and at work. #ContentChat

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

A6. Be more mindful and keep taking regular breaks #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

A6: An intention I would like to set for the rest of the year is actively practicing mindfulness during work and practicing quality over quantity when it comes to my work! ~Jenna #contentchat

— Nimble (@Nimble) June 13, 2022

A6: I intend to approach all my client work from a place grounded in calmness, regardless of how chaotic the world may be. I hope to inspire others to stay calm, and I do not want to carry negative energy into my projects. #ContentChat

— Alek Irvin (@AlekIrvin) June 13, 2022

Q7: Let’s end things on a high note. What is something you are proud of that we can all celebrate?

The community has a lot to be proud of! What can we celebrate with you? Tweet us your recent accomplishments using #ContentChat and @ErikaHeald.

A7: I’m really proud of our “How Burned Out Are You?” Quiz. It’s been a labor of love for our team and I’m excited to be able to share it. It’s still open if you want to share how burned out you are! #contentchat https://t.co/y5Oey4TyzF

— Maureen Jann (she/her) (@NeoLuxeMo) June 13, 2022

I’m proud if my client @hitchtalent being acquired by @ServiceNow even tho it means we are now looking for a replace t fractional content marketing team retainer. #contentchat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) June 13, 2022

A7. Honestly, it’s my newsletter (https://t.co/ZEdJfRqDlG)

I started it last year and have been consistently sending our weekly letters that I love writing.

It’s my little, I-can-do-it-thing! #ContentChat

— Masooma | Content Writer (@inkandcopy) June 13, 2022

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