How to Avoid Burnout

Written by Olivia Walsh

24th Oct 2019

How to Avoid Burnout as an Entrepreneur:

Everybody knows that work can be stressful. But that stress can be multiplied when you own your own business. Being an entrepreneur has immense perks, and more and more people are opting for entrepreneurship over the traditional work model everyday. However, entrepreneurship strips the safety net of overhead, leaving responsibilities to inevitably fall on you, leaving you susceptible to overwhelm and, in turn, burnout.

First things first: what is burnout? Burnout is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout is now considered a chronic workplace crisis, meaning that across the board it is being taken more seriously. Employers are seeking ways to bring back a healthy work-like balance and encourage relieving activities to their employees. This is all great, but what do you do when you’re self-employed? It’s easy to tell yourself to keep pushing, even when you aren’t feeling so hot, because we believe that being busy means being productive. But, that’s just not the case. Busy does not equal productive. In fact, once burnout does set in, you will lose a substantial amount of productivity that you could’ve preserved by avoiding burnout altogether. So, how do you avoid burnout? Here are some tips:

Focus on your Work - Life Balance

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners make themselves available around the clock, 24/7. While this seems great — you are reliable and reachable! — it can wreck havoc on your balance. Setting aside at least one day each week that you avoid working at all costs can make a huge difference. Rest is important and making sure you get enough of it is crucial to your success. Not resting and just pushing through is counterproductive. So, take a nap, you deserve it.

Plan Ahead

When you are faced with a to-do list a hundred pages long, it may seem impossible to get everything done. Feeling overwhelmed by your work-load definitely contributes to Burnout, but it is avoidable. Planning your days, weeks, or months ahead of time gives you time to process everything you need to get done and keep your brain organized. Plan ahead as much as you possibly can — that way, if and when something unexpected does comes up, you’ll be able to handle it without worry.

Visualize your Goals

This one might sound cheesy, but it really does help. Visualizing your goals, whether it be by writing them down, creating a mood board, or writing out what you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years can transform your outlook. Monotony is part of any job, but it can really drag you down. Keeping your eyes on the prize can help you get through those days or weeks that seem endless. Set goals and envision yourself achieving them!

Take a Break

This is the last tip: take a break. There is a reason almost every job gives vacation time; people need breaks. Just like you should take a break once a week, you should also take an extended break once or twice throughout the year. Giving yourself time to truly unplug and refresh will increase your productivity and give you a much needed boost of motivation. Plus, stepping away from work for a bit can give you a fresh new perspective and a chance to really think about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.