Burnout is what happens when stress is too much and gets in the way of your ability to work effectively. This is something that business leaders in particular are in danger of. Being in charge of a business and being responsible for its success are huge pressures, particularly when you throw employees into the mix. Your decisions will affect their salaries and lifestyles.
So with that in mind, here are a few warning signs that you’re headed for business burnout. If you spot any of these, then you’re best tackling stress head on before it impacts your business. This could mean taking some time off, delegating more tasks to employees or speaking to a doctor for more advice.
Dread of the day ahead
If you’re waking up filled with dread about the day ahead, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. However, if this becomes a regular occurrence and you lose sight of the original reason you started your business, maybe you need to take a step back. Try to identify exactly what you’re dreading and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Regularly missing lunch
Forgetting to eat or purposely putting off lunch in order to focus on your business can end up backfiring on you. You may see that half an hour break as a waste of time but it’s really important that you take breaks. Even if they’re short ones, a break will help you reset and when you do return to your work you’ll feel more refreshed and better equipped to handle the challenges of a long day at the office.
Replacing sleep with caffeine
You need sleep, we all do but it’s very common to see entrepreneurs and business leaders chugging coffee to get them through the day.
Don’t get in the habit of letting your work cut into your important sleep time. If you’re not getting enough sleep this will affect your concentration, making it harder to complete tasks. You may think that not sleeping is giving you more time to work on your business but if you’re not using it efficiently, you might as well be asleep.
There are hundreds of articles online talking about how the top entrepreneurs survive on four hours sleep a night. This is great if it works for you but if it doesn’t then there’s no need for you to copy famous entrepreneurs. Do what works for you.
Particularly after guzzling all that caffeine you might find that your thoughts race around your head. It can be overwhelming when you’re worrying about tons of things all at once. In this case, write everything down and see if you can organise them into actionable tasks or things you can give to an employee to take care of.
Becoming withdrawn from friends, family and employees
Another sign of burnout or stress is if you become more withdrawn socially. If you’re in the habit of taking your work home with you and spending little time being social as a result, then no wonder you’re stressed.
If you’re missing out on social time with family or friends, you could be missing out on something that might be able to help you switch off and decrease your stress levels. You’re also cutting yourself off from people who could help you manage your workload or offer advice on dealing with burnout.
Have you ever experienced burnout? How did you deal with it? Let us know your thoughts!
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.