I’ve seen entrepreneurs learn the lesson of “burning out” the hard way – either by physical and/or mental collapse or emotional stress that comes from damaging their relationships by working too many hours. When burnout occurs productivity wanes, energy lessens, motivation disappears, and a sense of despair can occur. You are far more likely to make poor decisions, doubt your competence, develop a bad attitude or give up and quit when you experience burnout.
I’ve put together a few suggestions to avoid burnout
1. Prioritize every morning
If you are constantly thinking of everything that you have to do you will get overwhelmed before you even get out of bed. What do you need to accomplish this month? Break it down into 4 weeks, then break your week down into daily tasks. Each day choose your top 3 priorities and start your day by getting these priorities done first, then move onto other things on your list.
2. Schedule in a break for 20 – 30 minutes per day
This break is for you to have some quality alone time each day. Some ideas could be to read, pray, meditate, work on a hobby, take a walk etc. No texting, phone calls, TV or internet – turn off the world. If you have to set your alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier, seriously consider this. I promise you that you will notice a difference.
3. Take care of your health
This suggestion should go without saying, but good health is your greatest asset. Make sure that you are:
Eating healthy meals
Taking vitamin/mineral and nutritional supplements as needed
Exercising regularly (even just a daily walk)
Getting out to enjoy nature and some fresh air
4. Share the load
Are there any tasks that you can outsource or delegate to business partners or someone on your team? You don’t have to build and maintain your small business by yourself. Learn to let go of some control and trust others to help you. Build some businesses that have residual income so they don’t have to rely on your personal effort 24/7. The most successful and wealthiest people have multiple streams of income.
5. Manage your time wisely
How often do you catch yourself saying, “I’ll just hurry and check my personal social media, or play a game of Candy Crush” then 30, 60, 90 minutes go by. I understand that this is the world we live in now and many people build business on social media, but if you are doing this multiple times a day then you aren’t managing your time well for optimum productivity. Rather than constantly checking your social media and email, set aside blocks of time when you check it. I know of one person who sets aside one day a week that he doesn’t check his email so he can totally focus on other tasks. He puts this in his out of office email reply each week that he won’t be checking his email that day and if the person emailing has an urgent need to text him. I also know of some offices and people that set aside one day where they don’t make any appointments or set up any meetings so they have a day set aside to focus on their office work.
6. Take a day of rest
In several religions, one of the commandments is to rest on the 7th day. You need to take a mental and physical break from work one day a week. Let your partners and team members know not to bother you on Sunday or whichever day you choose unless it’s urgent. Use this day to worship, meditate and spend quality time with your family so they feel like a priority and don’t resent the time you spend working.
People are always talking about finding work/life balance. In my experience, this is a continual pursuit. I doubt that anyone finds perfect balance in their life. Hopefully, I gave you a few useful suggestions to put into place to help you avoid burnout and find not only success, but satisfaction and joy along the way.
“Man…sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” -Dalai Lama