Balancing work and life
YouTube is not a 'traditional' job. It's a round-the-clock endeavour and you're the boss. Find ways to balance YouTube with your life so that you make time for yourself and don't burn out.
Managing your time
Time is a precious commodity, and for many YouTube creators it's something that you have control over. To maximise your time, it can be helpful to have routines and treat each day like a workday (which means scheduling days off too!). For example, after you wake up in the morning, get dressed (as a minimum, try not to edit in your pyjamas every day), plan to work for a certain set of hours and then do something non-YouTube-related. Filming 24/7 can be tiresome, so remember to take time to be away from your camera.
Scheduling your day can help. Consider getting a planner or online calendar and write out what you will do each day. Add a cut-off time for work and schedule non-work-related things. Try to include specific tasks that you want to accomplish each day and make easy, realistic goals. Be forgiving with yourself if you don't achieve them all!
Some people find that they can only focus on one task for a certain set of minutes. If this sounds like you, schedule your day in chunks and take breaks in between.
Try batching similar tasks together, like replying to comments on one day, thumbnail creation or filming on the next. This can help you be more efficient (bonus: you only have to do hair and makeup once!).
- Try to see some daylight throughout the day. This can boost your mood!
- Take time away from your channel and social media each day. This can help clear your mind and reduce stress.
See it in action
It can be easy to burn out – here's whyLicensed therapist Kati Morton talks about why burnout can happen so easily to YouTube creators and what to do about it.
Elle Mills on Creator Burnout | Creator CoffeesElle Mills sits down with YouTube employee Matt to discuss creator burnout – her struggle with it, what she's done to combat it and advice for other creators.
When you're your own boss, it can be tempting to get sucked into work and skip taking holiday. On YouTube, it can feel like your audience is always hungry for more of you, and we know creators fear that taking time off from YouTube will result in fewer views upon return.
Let's tackle holidays first. Time off and holidays exist because people inherently need to rest at some point. If you go, go, go all the time, you will exhaust yourself. So, find time to schedule a holiday and put it in your calendar.
If you want to share your holiday with your audience, do so – but put boundaries on what days you're going to shoot and stick to this. Make sure that you get some time to relax without a camera in hand.
You can schedule videos to publish ahead of their release if you want to keep posting while you're on holiday. Otherwise, consider telling your audience that you're taking some time off and when you might be back. Either way, make sure that you take some time away from your work on YouTube.
Now the big question – if you don't post during your holiday, will the algorithm punish you? There is nothing in YouTube's search and discovery system that inherently penalises a creator for not uploading. As noted in our search and discovery lesson, the algorithm follows the audience, so any concern should be more around if the audience will disengage during your absence. This is why it's helpful to let your fans know that you're taking a break, and when you expect to come back. That way, there's more chance that they'll be eagerly awaiting your return.
- Acknowledge before your holiday what's OK to share and what's not OK to share. Family members, friends and even hotel staff may not want to be on your channel.
- Remember to get permission from anyone who you're shooting in your videos.
- Be good to yourself – try not to work when you're sick.
What to do if you feel burned out
If you're feeling unbalanced, uninspired, constantly stressed or exhausted, resentful of your audience or channel, or that you're putting in more effort than you're getting out, this could mean that you're experiencing burnout. But don't worry, there are simple things that you can do to recover.
The first thing to do is to acknowledge it – don't ignore burnout because it will probably just get worse. Take a step back and figure out why or how you ended up like this.
Then find things that make you feel better, like spending some time with friends or taking a day (or more) off. Or, you might need a longer-term solution like trying something new on your channel or even in life. Be as open as you can to inspiration – like music, people, ideas or art.
The most important thing to remember is to be nice to yourself – you are probably your own harshest critic so give yourself a break (even if it means breaking promises to your fans).
- Consider writing down why you think you got burnt out, so that next time you can see the warning signs and take action before it happens.
See it in action