Entrepreneur burnout is a real thing and it has happened to many of us over the years. The exhaustion sets in, your focus becomes divided and your frustration levels are so high you may even start harboring thoughts of shutting the whole operation down.
We’ve all been there and it’s not a great place to be. So how do you, a busy, successful and driven entrepreneur avoid entrepreneur burnout?
Don’t false start
The beginning of your day sets the tone for how the rest will progress. Start off without coordination and you may find yourself playing catch-up for the rest of the day. Imagine going through that routine for years and you can see how it could wear anyone out. Having an established morning routine that works for you is vital to your success.
Customize your days
While it’s great to learn from the success of all the many thought leaders that have gone before you, never forget the person who is the head of YOUR company…you. Success habits can be learned and applied but the law of authenticity demands that you be yourself. Organizing your days and your company in a way that does not maximize your strengths and the skills of your team, just so you can match a competitor will drain you dry. Customize your days for maximum impact, not for mediocre productivity.
Ensuring that you have an A-team with skilled players is your responsibility. Once you’ve built your team, lead them, don’t micromanage them. There is a big difference.
Invest time and resources into onboarding and training, so that you can trust your team to function symbiotically. When you have a rock-solid team, you can be confident in your ability to rest at necessary intervals without your world catching fire. Invest in your team and then trust them to do what you hired them to do.
Your time is your most valuable resource and everything will be demanding an audience. Valuing your health requires you learning the art of saying ‘no’. Sometimes this will require you to walk away from your devices, even for an hour in the day and certainly at night. Taking a vacation and then working the whole week is not a vacation, it’s a change of scenery. If you struggle with taking time off, start by unplugging on a regular basis or establishing work hours and “safe spaces”. Your dinner table, for example, can be a great work-free safe space.
Prioritize and Delegate
You cannot do everything. Yes, you may want to and there are times when it may seem necessary but that is the least sustainable approach to business. Evaluate your tasks and decide on those things that only you can do, not the things you think you can do best, but the things that out of everyone on your team, you’re the only person who can actually do it. Isolate those things and delegate all the others. This gives you more time to focus on your tasks and be more creative in your problem-solving and innovation. It also frees you up to assist your team, if necessary, and provide guidance on what would otherwise be another full-scale responsibility.
Diet, Sleep and Exercise
These three things will help you feel great, stay sharp and boost your confidence. When you’re nourished and rested, you’ll be more productive, less stressed and have a stronger resistance to seasonal illnesses. This is great for business as it will result in fewer sick days and more billable hours.
Doing too much without a game-plan, consistently over time is the formula for disaster. Pacing yourself requires foresight, planning, and inclusion. Know your projects and what they require. Do an inventory of your resources (that includes people and skillset as well as tangible supplies) and then decide on how best to apply them. Taking on projects that you will not be able to efficiently handle will lead to a few results and none of them are desirable for any entrepreneur.
If you feel the tell-tale signs of burnout coming on, it is definitely time to stop and evaluate your daily routine. It’s no secret that your routine holds the key to your success. If you miss the opportunity to take control of your days, a burn-out is the inevitable result and not everyone recovers from them. Become proactive about avoiding entrepreneur burn-out so you can channel your energy and focus on making sure that your business grows.