Nearly all business professionals have experienced burnout at some point in their careers. This feeling of intense overwhelm causes people to be less productive, experience decision-fatigue, apathy, turnover, and high job dissatisfaction.
Some evidence suggests that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience burnout due to the volatile nature of their jobs. Entrepreneurs tend to be driven by passion, more socially isolated, and work in higher levels of business uncertainty which are some reasons they burnout at a faster rate than their peers.
If you are burned out or feel you are on the verge, that is ok. Owning your own business is one of the most stressful (and gratifying) professions out there and it is only natural that you feel overwhelmed. Finding yourself veering into the territory of burnout can be intimidating, but there are things you can do to help.
1. Support Systems Are Crucial
Many business owners are independent people who thrive in leadership positions. But independent people still need a support system. As the business owner, it can be easy to feel isolated which is why you need the support of family and friends.
Even if it is difficult, be sure to let your family in and give them the opportunity to help support you. Take some time to go on dates with your spouse or take a Saturday to play at the pool with your kids. Make time to see your friends or call those who are farther away. We all need the support of others in our lives.
Nurturing your relationships outside of the office will help you feel more stable and secure not only in your personal life but also in your professional life.
2. Take Time For Yourself
As a business owner, sometimes you may feel like you are constantly doing things for other people. Make sure that you also take time for yourself and your needs.
One way you can do that is by taking intentional breaks. Earlier this week, we discussed the importance of breaks in your professional life and the impact it has on avoiding burnout. Take time for yourself each day you are at work.
That can be going for a short walk at lunch, watering the flowers in your garden, practicing mindfulness when you feel stressed, anything that speaks to you and provides you a sense of peace and calm.
It is important to find this time for yourself both within and outside the office. This means that when you are out of the office, you are really out of the office. Do your best not to reply to emails and to leave your work phone at the office. This is especially important when taking extended vacations. I encourage you to do the work upfront to prepare yourself, your staff, and your clients for your absence and trust the process to work.
3. Reassess Your Goals
When you are feeling burnout, it is important to take another look at your goals and the goals for your business.
- What do you need from work?
- Why aren’t you feeling fulfilled?
- How can you implement the right changes to help?
- Do you need additional help/support?
- Is your team too big to manage?
These questions will really help you get at why you are feeling unhappy. Identifying the pain points will help you to not only recognize the problem but also help navigate the road forward.
4. Believe In Yourself
You started your business with big dreams. Remember those dreams and that you are the person that can bring them to life.
You may not always be confident in what you are doing and that is ok. But in the end, believe in yourself and your company. It might be helpful to go back to your company’s mission statement and let that be the driving force to remind you why you created the company in the first place.