There is no denying the rewards of starting your own business; working for yourself, setting your own hours, exploring your creativity. However, being an entrepreneur is not without its stressors. Even the best organised and committed entrepreneurs can suffer from burnout – a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. However, there are strategies to combat burnout so your business and life does not suffer from the stressors of overwork.
Take a break
One way to avoid (or at least stave off) burnout is to take a break. A real break. This means little to no contact with the office for a significant period of time. In the beginning, this may only be a weekend or a single evening, but these breaks are vital to your mental health.
This will allow to you to spend meaningful time with your loved ones (integral to maintaining your support system), focus on your health and wellness, and keep up with household tasks. Taking a break from your business could also aide your creative development, by changing your perspective or finding inspiration.
Learn to say NO
Another important skill to learn to avoid burnout is the ability to say no. You cannot be all things to all people, and any attempts to be will only result in frustration, inefficiency and overwork.
Take time to establish boundaries, which will look different for everyone. It could be no work calls or emails after 7 pm, or limiting your hours on the weekend. Either way, decide what time is important to you and make that a priority.
Another way to establish boundaries is to hire effective staff. Choose people that you can trust to make decisions in your absence. This will allow you to take a step back from the business when ready, as well as lend another helpful perspective.
Think of your WHY
It is also important to remind yourself why you got into the industry in the first place. Running a business is exhaustive work, and it is easy to get bogged down in the relentless details. Take time to evaluate what originally excited you about your business plan, and invest time and energy into that.
Lastly, it is crucial you set realistic expectations for yourself and your business. If your deadlines are not achievable, you will feel rushed and frustrated. This could cause you to make careless mistakes or thoughtless decisions, which will only add to your stress. As well, if you over-promise you could add to your external pressures. When you are setting timelines and goals, research each action thoroughly to ensure you are being realistic with yourself and your employees. If you are unsure, seek advice from mentors or other industry professionals to help you in your goal setting activities.