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Scale It Back If You Have To – How Not To Burn Out

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about time. 

As some of you guys know, I’m in the midst of writing a new book, the Rogue Artist Guide To Rogue Marketing. I’m very excited about putting this book together and out there in the hands of other creatives. One reason is that I want to help artists market their artwork out into the world, but also to be able to write down the marketing methods of my madness. 

Now, the interesting thing about writing a book is that it is very, very time-consuming. The other interesting thing is that being an artist, and creating artwork is also very, very time-consuming.

Throw in the fact that we have commissions, a YouTube channel, podcasts, blogs, music, motivational MP3s, a Patreon following, and zoom meetings and it could feel downright impossible. 

I’ve had people ask “Rafi, how do you even find the time to be able to do any of the things that you do?”

Here’s the interesting thing, you’re not going to find extra time to do anything. Time doesn’t change. Our perception of time on the other hand, does. 

In this modern world where everything feels like it is moving at a thousand miles a second, it is easy to feel like you are not doing enough. Unfortunately, that can cause you to do too much.

There are times where I have to reevaluate all the projects that I’m working on. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you cannot manage time. 

You can however, manage the tasks that you take on for yourself. At this point, I am a little overwhelmed by the number of projects that I have going on. Between the art creation, the book, the YouTube videos, the podcasts, the music, and everything else that’s going on, I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by my own creative process. 

I get contacted all the time by artists who tell me that they feel a little bit overwhelmed in their art career. I can understand where they’re coming from. The one thing that I could suggest is to reevaluate constantly, and take a look at all the things that you have going on. 

The fact is that “more” and “faster” doesn’t equal better. At this point, I am putting out so much content that even some of our most loyal peeps are having a hard time keeping up. I know that’s contrary to what a lot of people will tell you, they will tell you to do more social media, do more marketing, do more art. They will tell you to do more this or more that in order to get known. 

I think that there comes a time where you do need to step back. 

Because if you’re not taking time for yourself, then you have no time to give. No matter what you do, the ability to give is your biggest and most unique marketing advantage.

This week, I am sitting back and re-evaluating and deciding to pull back a little bit from the internet world. 

Immediately my insecurities flare-up. I think to myself “If I don’t reach out to people, if I don’t let them know what’s going on, if I don’t post the newest video, if we don’t post the new podcasts, people are gonna forget about us. 

Everybody’s gonna think that I let them down. 

My people-pleaser flares up and starts itching and causing me to get overwhelmed. The thing is that the more you get out there, the more people you think are expecting stuff from you. Unfortunately, this means that the people-pleaser within you starts telling you that you are constantly doing a bad job.

I’ve actually been to this place before. I almost burned out last year because I had taken on way too much, so I scaled it back. I still released new art, videos, podcasts, and fun things, but I allowed myself to have more me time and produce a little less content.

I don’t know if it was 2020, but so far, it’s easy to blame 2020 for just about everything, so why not this too. 

If you find yourself verging on burnout, the best thing you could do for everybody involved is to take a step back, reevaluate what you’re doing, and just scale it back a little. When you scale things back, you allow yourself the time and the energy for yourself, for the projects that you’re working on, and for everyone else. 

So don’t be afraid to scale it back. No one’s going to forget you. No one’s going to be disappointed. No one’s going to think that you’re letting them down. 

And if they do… F them.

Just scale back and take that time for you.