Avoiding Burnout

April 21, 2019  •  5 Comments

Avoiding Burnout.

I’m not here to tell you that I’m the best at keeping it all together and being motivated to work all the times. I think of it more like a pendulum really. Sometimes I work long days where I barely have time to get up from my chair. I’ll even have to have someone bring me food like when I’m shooting a team roping or a barrel race. Other times I’ll take a week off and hardly touch my computer except to fulfill online orders. It doesn’t matter if I’m working or relaxing though because I’m still photographing something. I just switch from taking pictures to making pictures. I feel like it’s important to focus on work and stay driven and motivated. To do that though requires, at least for myself, at least an equal or greater amount of enjoyable time. I’ve made some good choices in career and lifestyle that’s lead to me to a place where I can make my own schedule while traveling full time and working enough to pay for it all.

Behind the Scenes The Chair....LOLThis is where I sit for Team Roping Shooting Team RopingBehind the Scenes

When I’m working then I’m fully working. There’s no time for breaks, no halfway invested. I’m 100% present. If I’m shooting an event then I get there the day before and set up. I roll in at least an hour before the day starts and leave after everyone is gone each night. Then we pack up the day after in most cases. It’s not for the weak or the lazy. This job requires diligence and focus. When I’m shooting photos I have to be “on” all the time. I’ve gotta be ready for the next team to leave the boxes, ready for the next barrel racer to come around their first barrel. I have to anticipate the moment of peak action just a fraction of a second before it happens. I have to keep in contact with the booth and remotely help handle any issues that arise. I’ve gotta make sure everything is working as it should.

BTSFamily Photo SessionHeart Family Photos Behind the Scenes. (Yes my cap is embroidered upside down LOL)

This level of focus and concentration after a 10-12 hour day will take its toll on a guy. After a three or four day event it’s not too bad but after a few backs to back 7-10 day events that are when I could really use a break. I’ve found that I’ve got to keep taking a break to avoid burnout. There have been so many times where I did burn out. That’s hard to recover from. Once burnout sets in, it is like finding that you fell through a hole in the ice and every time you try to use the edge of the ice to pull yourself out, it breaks off again. Burnout needs to be avoided at all costs if I’m going to keep up this lifestyle.

Fun PhotosTexas State AquariumThe moment right before the dolphin tossed a ball to me

This is where travel comes in. A huge reason why I go through all the extra hassle and sacrifice of living in an RV full time is to enjoy the places I get to go. Instead of having to rush back home just to have boring household duties. I just get to stay gone. I generally try to book at least a week off between events. But often times I’ll schedule 2-6 weeks off at a time. I’ve been known to put a hold on working for two months at a time. This helps me avoid burnout. I don’t want to just work and sleep. Haha.  It may surprise some of you but I don’t actually love sitting in one spot for 12 hours a day collecting dust. So, it’s easy to burn out.

TouristWorld's Largest Peanut StatueCheck out my page called The Weekday Wanderer on IG and FB

It’s easy because there’s no joy in it. There’s nothing stimulating about it. So, while I’m working those long days, I will often put in earbuds so I listen to an audiobook or podcast. Those keep me mentally stimulated all day. I have learned so much doing that. I can hear interesting thoughts from intelligent people. Plus it downs out the background chitchat that I get some areas where I sit close to where everyone hangs out.

AquariumJellfishInside shooting Jellyfish.

I used to have a “real” job but I’m so glad I don’t anymore. No offense to my previous employers. I sure appreciated the opportunities that most of you gave me. All but one of my previous jobs was really great actually. I enjoyed the people I worked with and it was certainly educational. However, working for myself is much more my style. I can be highly productive in short periods of time when I’m not working an event. This is when I get to try out the things I’ve learned via audiobooks and podcasts.

travel funDolphin ConnectionWe were so close to these guys jumping out of the wake from an oil tanker

I’ll do my best to get all my ordered caught up in the morning before it gets hot then I move on to something else. Usually something creative or productive but sometimes I just do something for pure entertainment. A favorite activity for me is disc golf. There’s usually somewhere close to play since it’s been around since the 70’s and it’s free. Since I do what I like to do for a living, it can easily slip into just doing it for work and that leads to burnout. I’m always coming up with ways to challenge myself with photography. To avoid burnout I’ll often shoot things completely unrelated to team roping or barrel racing photos. By doing that I end up getting better at team roping and barrel racing pictures.

Montana Travel National ParkGlacier National ParkGetting my shot set up. If you haven't been to Glacier NP you've gotta go!

My suggestion to you is to try something new and completely different from what you do for work. For example, if you train horses for a living then maybe take up fishing. You’ll probably learn something about fishing you can apply to horses. There’s a huge world out there with unlimited ways to entertain ourselves. Keep trying new things and see what life has to offer.

Disc GolfProbably the coldest day of winter. LOL (JK)

Thanks for reading my little blog!

 

Let me know in the comments what you do to avoid burnout!

 

See ya at the next one!

(Behind the Scenes shots of me were taken by Brenna Ramsden. Thanks for letting me use them!)

disc golf springtown tx texas park funDay OffOne of my most frequented courses. bts photography behind the scenesCactus at SunriseGetting some shots right at sunrise in AZ.


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