Running a business can certainly be a source of stress for many. You work long hours, wear numerous hats, deal with customer concerns, employee issues. After a while, no wonder so many small business owners start to feel the pressure and ultimately do in fact experience burnout.
Many entrepreneurs have probably been there at some point. It is how you handle the stressors that will determine whether or not you do go through a period of burnout. Self-care is crucial. Taking time for you, to regroup and refresh is necessary for any business owner. It's not just about avoiding burnout either, it's also about being more productive in general. Taking a break from the daily grind, especially in light of what we've all just come through, is essential for your business to be able to thrive. If you start to flag and falter because you are so incredibly stressed, then where does that leave your company.
Many experts concur that the primary cause of burnout is working too many hours. This consequently leads to mental, physical, and even emotional exhaustion. It's more than being tired; it is an entire mindset and feeling that consequently diminishes your passion for everything related to your company and your job.
There is no magic formula for curing burnout; rather, it requires a shift in how you approach your professional life. It takes time. There are some strategies you can use to help you overcome that dragging feeling of burnout so that you can feel reinvigorated about your job and your life.
Be more social
With the rise of remote work, it becomes easy to cut yourself off, socially speaking. Virtual offices are now more so than ever the norm. And certainly, there are benefits to this by way of flexibility, there are also some downfalls to the remote work revolution. So, for those who are working from home and are consequently isolated from co-workers and colleagues, maintaining social interaction is key.
One thing you might do is to work in public places such as coffee houses or restaurants, or even go to the park and work. Just being around other people even if not engaging in lengthy dialogues goes a long way toward helping you maintain your sanity.
Engage in healthy activities
You cannot neglect your body. It needs exercise, good food, and of course the requisite amount of sleep. Many business owners burn the candle at both ends and in doing so, they fail to properly take care of themselves. This results in them feeling lethargic, and basically, just not like their best self. If you feel bad physically, well this certainly will take a toll on every other aspect of your life, and burnout becomes inevitable.
You don't have to all of a sudden become a cross-fit enthusiast or run marathons. Even just a brisk daily walk will help get that blood pumping. You'd be surprised at how refreshed you feel afterward.
The pace of business can be fast and furious. Things may be coming in from all directions; your desk may be piling up with paperwork that needs attention ASAP. This can get overwhelming…quickly. However, if you let it get out of hand, or in other words, if an organization goes to the wayside, it is going to get even more overwhelming.
At the very beginning of your day give yourself ample "prep" time to organize the day's tasks, layout your schedule, and tend to whatever other odds and ends may be relevant. Give yourself time to get it together so that you don't feel so frazzled come midday.
Maintain a positive attitude
This is most definitely key. And if in fact, that positivity starts to fade, take a step back, breathe deep, whatever you need to do not to get too inside of your head. Things can get emotional—the trick is not to get bogged down within the emotionality of it all. If you feel this starts to happen, visualize something positive. Focus on the good that is immediately accessible to you.
Don't be afraid to say "no"
Certainly, you can't say no all the time, but also, you should be confident in saying no to some things. Are your commitments inundating you? Then prioritize. And without question, say no to those things that aren't necessary or that are in fact time wasters. You can even turn your cell off on occasion—no, this is not the end of the world. Disconnecting for even a few minutes a day can be quite healthy.
Set realistic expectations
Rather than always swinging for the absolute fences, set smaller goals/expectations. This way they are easier to achieve. Achieving your goals feels good. It is measurable and you feel a true sense of accomplishment therein. Setting only these huge, unrealistic objectives that cannot be attained easily or quickly will ultimately just lead you down a path of frustration and anxiety. This, in turn, you guessed it, will bring you to burnout.
Take some time off
Entrepreneurs often erroneously believe that their company will not survive without them for even a day. If you're never taking time off and stepping away from that desk, you will burnout, guaranteed. You don't necessarily have to go on some lavish and expensive vacation, but everyone does need a breather from time to time.
To be as productive as possible you need to focus on you now and again. It is okay to say no, it is okay to go on vacation. And it is fine to power down on occasion. It is what is best for you and your business.
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