As a business owner, you enjoy the significant benefit of governing your work independently, including setting your own schedule. However, the current trend of a constant connection to work may not be as good for you as you may think. In fact, it’s likely to cause severe anxiety and weariness. Meeting clients’ expectations while managing various daily tasks involved in running a thriving enterprise can lead to burnout — a growing concern among workers and entrepreneurs alike. Luckily, you can avoid burnout as a business owner, however impossible that may sound. Although the line between working hard and too hard is thin, after reading this article, you’ll know just how not to cross it.
The depletion of mental, physical, or emotional resources characterizes burnout. It’s commonly referred to as the affliction of overachievers, and, as such, it’s an alarming issue in the contemporary, rapid-paced world. The latest research reveals a growing prevalence of burnout among entrepreneurs, with more than 50% reporting experiencing some symptoms that range from utter exhaustion and lack of focus to anxiety and depression. It’s common for individuals to start exhibiting one or two signs before gradually showing others.
Burnout is a problem that needs to be cut at its roots. Here are a few strategies to consider adopting to prevent it from escalating.
#1 Learn How to Delegate
At all stages of growing a business, many leaders are challenged by relinquishing control and assigning responsibilities to others. This is something that proves especially difficult to solo entrepreneurs as, to them, a business is like a child whose care they have never before entrusted to someone else. But, just like it’s normal to have a babysitter or a grandparent cater to the little one’s needs from time to time, obtaining assistance from others business-wise is essential. One way to do so is by hiring new staff and outsourcing duties as soon as possible.
For example, an entrepreneur starting a new agency should prioritize acquiring new clients rather than handling accounting matters. In this situation, delegating tasks to a bookkeeper or accountant can significantly reduce their workload. Over time, as that same agency grows, this business owner won’t be able to handle the clients on their own. They’ll require assistance in client management, meaning they’ll need to hire and train even more staff. And while hiring that first employee can be intimidating, seeking help for your business is vital before it’s too late.
#2 Adopt a Strict Schedule
To maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s essential to create a well-planned schedule for your business. Begin by deciding on the number of hours you wish to work weekly. Then, distribute those hours across each day.
Perhaps you prefer a three-day weekend and allocate the work hours between Monday and Thursday. Or you may choose to work four hours each day, including weekends. Whatever your preference, to avoid burnout as a business owner, it’s necessary to create and adhere to a consistent schedule.
As the folks at Helix Transfer & Storage Virginia have had the opportunity to talk to many entrepreneurs, they know the only way to stick to your hours is to avoid setting unrealistic ones. They recommend that you refrain from working long hours every day. Instead, plan for it in advance if you need to work longer during busy periods. Then, make short-term adjustments to your schedule. And when hiring, remember that an objective hiring tool like PXT Select can substantially increase your odds of making a successful hire and avoid the huge costs of a bad hire.
#3 Let Yourself Unplug
As a business owner, taking a break to recharge your batteries, irrespective of your workload, is imperative. Surveys indicate that entrepreneurs often work up to 72 hours a week, which emphasizes the importance of taking a break. And according to research, four weeks marks the ideal vacation period for business owners. Now, being the workaholic you are, you may be hesitant to take a vacation. Don’t be! You must let yourself unplug, and here are a couple of suggestions for doing so:
- Complete all pending work before your vacation. This way, you’ll ensure you have no unfinished tasks during your time off.
- Notify your clients that you’ll be unavailable for the time being.
- Train your team and assign a point of contact for emergencies.
- Set up an email autoresponder that informs people of your return date.
#4 Shake Up Your Routine
Sitting in the same chair, in the same room, and doing the same work repeatedly can take a toll on your energy levels.
Hence, it’s a good idea to shake up your routine, particularly when you start to dread work time. Not sure how to do so? Well, one effective way is to vary your work location. For instance, you could work from the office one day, from home the next, and from a coffee shop another.
#5 Priortize Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is how you’ll avoid burnout as a business owner. Self-care involves dedicating time to look after yourself, including getting enough sleep, regularly eating nutritious meals, and engaging in physical activity and other activities you enjoy. It’s all about prioritizing your well-being. By doing so, you ensure you remain healthy in a physical and a mental sense. For sound advice on the foods most beneficial and anti-inflammatory to you, be sure to consult an expert like Silke at Simplify Holistic Nutrition Consulting.
#6 Build a Support Network
Connecting with like-minded individuals is crucial for entrepreneurs on a similar journey. Starting a business is a unique experience that can be challenging for others to understand, thus leading to feelings of stress and loneliness. To overcome this, one option is to seek a mentor or a coach who can provide guidance and support. Another option is to join an entrepreneurial community where you can connect with other business owners and share insights. Additionally, it’s essential to have a support system privately. Ensure those closest to you understand your goals and can help you find a healthy balance between your business and your personal life.
Don’t Let Burnout Get the Best of You
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that working tirelessly without taking breaks is the only way to build your business. This perspective is not conducive to your mental and physical well-being, and it’s best to adopt practices that will help you avoid burnout as a business owner. Establish a work schedule that suits you, engage in physical activity, eat nutritious food, explore new interests, and prioritize effective time management to continue working on your business while maintaining a healthy equilibrium.
Please get in touch with us to support you in implementing any of these ideas. We have helped many entrepreneurs and executives overcome these challenges and thrive!
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