It's difficult to start up a business. Long hours, little revenue coming in - and…
How to avoid burnout
Owning a small business requires working around the clock. Likely, you see your business as your baby, which means you take care of it no matter what time it is. But this lack of work-life balance can quickly lead to owner burnout.
One study found that burnout can lead to a variety of issues for owners, like absenteeism, poor decision making, and employee turnover – not to mention the toll it takes on the person physically and mentally.
So, what can you do to avoid burnout? You want your business to thrive without sacrificing your sanity. Let’s find out how to do just that.
Get Away on a Regular Basis
Being passionate about your company is important, but that also means you have a hard time putting it on the back burner. Owning a business is exhausting and overwhelming, and a person can only push themselves for so long.
As a result, you likely put yourself and your family second. That’s why it’s important to commit to taking a break. Whether you do it every six months or once a quarter, put time on the calendar where you’ll get away and unplug from it all. And once there, it’s critical to actually disconnect. That means putting on an Out of Office message and only checking in if absolutely necessary.
Some time away from your business lets you re-energize and maybe even reconnect with your passion. Upon your return, it can bring a burst of energy that can benefit the company.
Take a Mental Break
Between problem solving and taking care of customers every day, your brain is constantly on overdrive. Taking a mental break each day can help you reset your ability to think clearly. In fact, it can help you problem solve even better.
Sedentary work, like sitting at a computer for hours on end, can be incredibly mind numbing. Physically getting up, walking outside, or even just standing for a quick stretch, can be just the mental and physical break your body needs to recharge.
Plus, sitting still for long periods of time puts you at a greater risk for health issues like obesity, depression, and heart disease. A simple five-minute walk once an hour can drastically improve your mental and physical health.
The daily operations of being a small business owner can be monotonous. Creating daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists is a great way to break it up. Crossing off items on your list is a great visual way to show you everything you’ve accomplished.
Without lists, you can get lost in the daily tasks. Reflecting back on a busy day, it’ll just feel like a blur. But lists are a tangible way to help you feel more efficient and successful.
Don’t Do It All Yourself
You started your business because you’re passionate about something, and it can be hard to delegate or find that passion in others. However, you’re only one person, and trying to be a multi-tasking master every single day can quickly lead to burnout.
Find support staff or outsource certain tasks, like billing and accounting, to free up more of your time during the day. You’ll find that with even a little bit of help, you can start doing a better job of putting your top priorities first. You are able to focus on the core of your business, while staff can help in other important areas like social media or payroll.
Self-Evaluate on a Regular Basis
If you’ve hit a wall of boredom or wearying tasks, it might be time to re-evaluate the business and plan for “what’s next”. Perhaps you can pursue professional development or training opportunities, or it could be time for a rebranding.
You can also use this self-evaluation to determine your company’s strengths and weaknesses. One of the best ways to do this is through a client survey. Send out a simple questionnaire to your customers asking them how you’re doing. This honest insight can be a guiding light for what’s next for your business.
Don’t let yourself reach the point of burnout. A perfectly successful business can quickly crumble when its run by an owner who is no longer passionate. Put yourself first to ensure you have the ideal work-life balance.
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