Burnout is all too real and widespread in the world of campaigning. The high-stress, fast-paced nature of the work can often take its toll on the paid campaign teams and volunteers trying to juggle a wide range of networks, activities and communications. So we’ve outlined our Top Five Tips to avoid burnout during these times.
#1 - Stay informed but set boundaries
While it’s important to keep informed about campaign developments, avoid constant exposure to news and social media. Set up auto-reply emails to let people know you’ll respond to them between your set working hours and schedule specific times throughout the day where you allow yourself to check news and social media. Hot tip: there’s a ‘Screen time’ setting in your smartphone that can help you enforce this (for those times where you just can’t help yourself!).
#2 - Build a strong team, and divide and conquer
A well-functioning campaign team can share the workload and provide each other much-needed support. Trust the rest of your team, delegate responsibilities, and streamline your organising activities using volunteer management software.This will give you more time back to focus on broader campaign strategy and planning.
#3 - Prioritise tasks and set realistic expectations
Prioritise the most critical and high-impact activities that move your campaign forward, rather than spreading yourself too thin. Approach every activity with optimism but also understand that not every campaign will result in victory. Be proud knowing that you’ve done everything you can!
#4 - Find your happy place
Find the stress management techniques that work best for you, whether it be meditation, reading, exercise, creative projects or simply talking to friends or a therapist about your feelings. Also try to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms like overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol (which can make you feel better in the short term but sometimes send you spiralling later).
#5 - Plan for your post-campaign life!
Just like it’s always nice to have a weekend away or a holiday booked-in to look forward to, it’s also important to make plans for what you’ll do once the campaign you’re working on is over. Having some plans in place can help to minimise that post-campaign slump and give you a sense of purpose and direction moving forward.
Campaigns can be intense so remember to prioritise your own wellbeing to maintain the energy and motivation needed to make a really meaningful impact. If you notice signs of burnout, take a step back and seek some support.
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