Have you ever felt like you’re just listlessly floating around every day, despite working yourself so hard? Are you at the point in your business where you feel exhausted, without motivation or enthusiasm? Sometimes, these feelings are accompanied by frustration, growing cynicism, and slipping job performance. In this article, you will learn some of the ways to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur.
If this is your experience, then you’re indeed experiencing burnout. You may be at your tipping point, but it’s not too late to hit the brakes, draw in some fresh air, and breathe out relief. As entrepreneurs, we often think that constant work is the only way to make progress.
Stress and mental strain are typical tell-tale signs of burnout and can drain the life from you sooner than you think. If this is the case in your entrepreneurial endeavor, then here are 7 ways to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur.
#1. Create a Balance
You must have heard the buzzword ‘work-life balance’ at one point or another. Some of us find it abstract at best, but the reality is that we’ve got to be able to define how much time we want to devote to work and how much time we’re willing to commit to other aspects of our lives — family especially.
At one point, your balance may mean giving 70% of your time to your business. Yet at another, it could mean splitting your time halfway between your personal life and business. Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial to define and set boundaries. Otherwise, you’ll frequently find yourself dealing with exhaustion and frustration.
#2. Delegate Responsibilities
You must have also heard that you have to do it yourself if you want something done right. Well, that may be right in some other contexts, but as an entrepreneur, you can’t do everything yourself. You can’t reply to all the emails on your own. You can’t keep the books, handle aggrieved customers, and launch successful marketing campaigns all by yourself.
So, one of the ways to avoid burnout from too much work is to delegate tasks to good hands. In other words, hire qualified people who know the job to assist you. Even as a startup, you can’t do everything on your own. However, if you can’t afford to put anyone on payroll, you can hire a virtual assistant and pay them as they work. Alternatively, you can prioritize your tasks and pick them off the list one at a time.
#3. Learn to Say No When the Occasion Calls for It
Saying ‘No’ sometimes can save you a lot of trouble. If you aren’t sure you can handle a task or deliver on a job, decline, or ask for better timing. Saying ‘no’ often requires strength and wisdom.
It is popularly believed that if your ‘yes’ isn’t convincing enough, then you may as well say no. Saying ‘maybe’ is often a sign that you can’t handle the job. And going ahead to accept responsibilities that you really can’t fulfill may end up haunting you in the nearest future. It’s either you earn a terrible reputation when you fail to deliver, or you work yourself sore.
#4. Create a Work Routine
One of the ways to avoid burnout is to create a work routine. It’s not enough to know what you want to do and how you want to do it. Each day at the office needs to be structured into deliverables and deadlines. Sometimes, we are busy without actually achieving much.
Time truly is of the essence, but an entrepreneur will have to define how well to use their time. Productivity and distractions do not go hand-in-hand. Therefore, making more out of your time also means doing away with things that easily distract you. Focus on one task at a time, identify what the distractions are, and find a way to eliminate them.
#5. Give Yourself and Staff Some Time Off
You should seriously consider taking breaks. Quite often, when people take breaks and return to work, they are refreshed. Taking some moments off, walking around, or getting lunch during work every day is an excellent way to clear your head and return to your desk with more creativity.
Also, you should consider taking shorter, more frequent vacations instead of longer ones. Long holidays are good, but so are short breaks. Short vacations can be just as good as long ones. It helps you to be more relaxed and achieve better results when you return to work. Besides, you don’t have to travel halfway across the world since they’re short vacations.
And as you do this, allow anyone working with you to do the same, at least once or twice every year.
#6. Create Opportunities for Growth
One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to create growth opportunities. You and your team won’t feel the burnout much if there’s a growth opportunity. They need to understand that they’re not working a dead-end job.
Everyone needs to know that there are rewards and promotions for their hard work. This can bring about mental and emotional relaxation that lets off stress and frustration.
#7. Devote Some Time to Recreational Activities
Surprisingly, finding and practicing a hobby can be one of the most refreshing things ever. It could be playing with your family on the weekends, going to see your favorite games, going to the gym, or running in the mornings and evenings.
Whatever it is, you need to understand that recreation is essential to a sane mind, just as relaxation is. Working all the time is not healthy for the mind.
There are many ways entrepreneurs and executives can deal with stress and work overload, just before it gets to burnout. Burnout will not only affect you mentally and physically, but it will also drastically reduce your performance, and in many cases, make you lose your clients.
So when you feel like you’re overwhelmed, your next line of action would be to take some time off and get better.