Burnout is something that crops up, seemingly out of nowhere, putting all your plans to bed. It can lead to slumps in productivity, stale ideas, and general unhappiness. But whilst running a business can be stressful at times, it shouldn’t be 100% of the time. If it is, you’re probably experiencing burnout – a common problem among business owners.
Signs of business burnout
You feel like you’re going through the motions
When business burnout hits you start to lose sight of your goals. You end up going through the motions, just trying to get the job done without looking further afield.
This can make you feel like you’re not progressing. You might feel like you’re not building the business, you’re just maintaining it. It can lead to a vicious cycle that can be hard to break out of.
You feel overwhelmed
When it feels too hard to keep on top of your workload, this can lead to stress and burnout – making it even harder to accomplish what you need to grow your business.
You’re not prioritising your own well being
Has the exercise bike started to gather dust? Are you living on ready meals or takeout? When was the last time you sat back and watched a film? Taking time to look after yourself or have some fun gets neglected when you experience burnout.
How to deal with burnout
Reassess your methods
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and all over the place, it’s definitely worth taking the time to reassess your methods, workflow and business setup.
Are there more efficient ways of planning projects, managing teams or communicating with clients? You may need to find better methods to organise your time or you’ll end up wasting energy on inefficient work practices.
Research project management, communication and financial management tools to look for a solution that is right for you. Burnout is very common, and those who have experienced it may have created just the solution for you.
It’s a familiar sight – you’ve got a deadline and therefore there are plenty of reasons to skip lunch or stay glued to the laptop. However, this does you no favours. Burnout leaves you unable to concentrate.
Just because you dedicate more time to a project, doesn’t mean it’s going to be done well. Breaks are important as our bodies need the rest. You can look at a problem for hours on end and not see the solution until you step away and come back.
Take some time just for yourself
It’s important to set aside time just for you. Take the time to focus on healthy eating and exercise. Investing some time in a hobby or doing something relaxing can mean wonders for your productivity. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of dismissing these things as a waste of time, but they’re important to ensure you’re operating the best you can.
You can’t run on empty and you don’t need to sacrifice your well-being for business success. You need time to reflect, recharge and also to take a breather if you want to return to work clear-minded.
Ask for help
One of the most common reasons for burnout is taking on too much work by yourself. If you’re a business owner, you may have been guilty of this at some point.
Recruit some help, outsource to freelancers or actually start delegating to your staff. There are people out there who want to help and may even be better equipped to do the job. If you’re starting to burnout from taking too much on, sharing the load will help.
A good business owner recognises this and uses it to their advantage. You don’t need to do it all alone and sometimes the best thing you can do for the business is to stop trying to.
Do you suffer from business burnout? Do you have any tips for avoiding it or managing your time and stress levels better? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.