S3 Episode 1: How To Overcome Burnout and Re-ignite Your Creativity with Karima Creative

Welcome to Season 3 of Align with Alora!

Today I had Karima Creative on the podcast and let me tell you, it was a good one! Karima is a brand and web designer from Raleigh, North Carolina. In this episode, we talked about the importance of business coaching, her best tips for productivity, and so much more.

Karima has an inspiring story. She quit her job, broke off her engagement, moved away from her friends and family. Once she realized she wanted to work for herself, she hired a business coach and that was the major turning point in her career.

I really connected with this part of Karima’s story. Something I brought up on the episode that many people might not know this about is that I got fired like 10 times in one year — eek! My self-esteem was so low and that’s when my mom was like maybe you should try working for yourself.

What’s business coaching?

So, what the heck is business coaching? Pardon moi? A business coach can help you take your business from where it is to where you want it to be by helping you clarify the vision of your business and how it fits in with your personal goals.

In the podcast, Karima talks about how investing in a business coach who cost literally more than her rent was the best decision she ever made. I know that a lot of people are wary of online courses and education, but they could help you avoid five years of failure.

She also made a great point in the podcast: Even Michael Jordan had a coach. That’s not because he wasn’t an amazing basketball player, it’s because his coach could see his strengths and weakness and help him get where he needed to be faster.

I’ve invested so much in business coaching and courses off site – I’m never not learning!


If you don’t know already, I’m an Enneagram 3 and so is Karima! Being an enneagram 3 makes it hard for us to know when to stop working and take a break! (I have a whole blog post on all things enneagram, you can check that out here!)

Karima’s business coach told her how four hours of focused work is better than eight hours of frantic busy work where you’re just jumping all over the place — and I couldn’t agree with that more. I’ve definitely struggled with overloading myself with work and not learning when to say no. You need to do things that benefit your business and your business’s bottom line. Have an intention for your day, focus on one task at a time, and then you can work fewer hours, and actually get more done.

Here are Karima’s top 3 tips for staying productive

  1. Always outline what you actually have to accomplish
    • Write down the top 3 things that you want to do each day. Snooze your inbox – accomplish your top 3 for the day and then check your inbox and answer any emails that are urgent.
  2. Reward yourself after you accomplish your top 3 things
    • If you accomplish something you’ve been dreading all morning, take yourself out for a fancy coffee afterward or go play with your dog outside and get some fresh air! It doesn’t have to be big – just take a break and recharge to get your creative juices flowing.
  3. Be very reasonable with what you can accomplish in a day
    • It’s easy to map out your planners and wake up and think you can do it all but things usually take longer than you think so don’t overpromise on your daily to-do list. This will give you the opportunity to overachieve and feel good and motivated instead of feeling like you’re behind and didn’t accomplish everything on your list that day.

How to rise out of burnout

Burnout happens to everyone and it’s really hard to see it coming until it’s already there.

Tips to avoid burnout:

  • Listen to what your own body is telling you. If your mind is foggy and you’re exhausted — it’s time to slow down, girl!
  • Learn your cycle so you know when you’re the most productive, then organize your schedule around your most productive times.
  • Learn to rest, not to quit — this is so important to learn. When you feel burnout, don’t quit, instead, take a break and step back and REST!

Learning to rest, not quit fits perfectly with what I always say: align, don’t hustle. Aligning is being stratgeic about how you work and rest so you can be balanced and efficient. Hustling is having a “go go go” attitude that doesn’t tell you when to relax or when you get there — then you never know when you arrive.

Nothing will work if you can’t. When you can’t recognize burnout in yourself you’ll work through it and that’s not healthy. What we don’t realize is that working and working to just get things done makes us dread our work and that doesn’t help us produce good content.

Ways to ignite creativity in and outside of work

  • Have a very intentional morning routine that includes time for “mental white space”
    • In the morning, disconnect from any social media and apps on your phone. Try to ignore your devices and don’t start work until you actually sit down for work
  • Take days off every week
    • If it’s your day off, it’s time to relax. Turn off notifications for work emails. Do hobbies that aren’t just work. Enjoy your day off!
  • Have an end of day ritual
    • Turn off the light in your office and close the door or light a candle in your living room. Have an end of work routine and give yourself permission to shut off.

Well guys, I hope this helped you learn more about the importance of business coaching and how to overcome burnout and unproductivity. I’m so excited for you to hear the rest of the amazing guests I have this season!

To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode