Hi. My name is Jennifer, and I’ve suffered from burnout.
Phew. Now we’ve got that out of the way, I want to tell you a little story.
When I first decided to leave my 9-5 job to start my own business, I was ecstatic. For years I sat behind a corporate desk watching the hands on the clock move as if there were some invisible force trying its hardest to pull them back. Once I came to the realization that my own life was passing me by, I decided to make a change…it was time to make my own rules!
Those are just some of the great things I knew I’d have once I went solo.
What didn’t I plan for?
The complete mental and physical exhaustion that makes you ask yourself if becoming a business-owner was a mistake.
When running your own business goes from making you feel motivated, passionate and energized to making you feel tired, mentally drained and indifferent, it’s likely you are experiencing entrepreneurial burnout.
It happens to the best of us! So before you throw your hands up in the air declaring defeat, read my tips on how to kick burnout’s butt all together.
It’s as simple as that. Most entrepreneurs experiencing burnout begin to lose their passion and become disengaged and emotionally distant from their businesses. This is a common symptom and something that shouldn’t alarm you, it’s simply the result of prolonged stress. Once you can admit to yourself that you are experiencing burnout, you can begin taking steps towards overcoming it, without having to give up your business.
Manage your stress triggers
You may not realize it, but there may be certain tasks that you do throughout the day that provoke stress more than others. For a week, take notes of the various times of day you feel overwhelmed or stressed and the what you were doing. You may begin to see patterns and identify specific tasks that induce stress to which you can begin to manage differently. If you find invoicing stressful, perhaps you can delegate this task to someone else, or maybe even doing it first thing in the morning after a workout, when you are feeling your best.
Stop guilting yourself into work
Us business-owners are notoriously bad at this one, but who’s to blame us!? As the founder, CEO and typically also CFO, CMO, and CTO, it’s no surprise we feel like we’ve got to be up and running 24/7. But here’s a little secret: we don’t. There are only so many hours in a day and we should be energized and quick on our feet during the hours we are working on our business. Answering emails, redesigning your website, and fussing over invoices at all hours of the day and night will not only negatively affect your emotional and physical health, but your business’ as well. Off-hours are not a crime.
There are few stress-relievers better than good ole’ exercise. Getting your heart rate up releases endorphin levels that interact with your brain, triggering positive feelings and even reducing the perception of pain. You don’t need to be a triathlete, simply going on a power walk a couple times a week will do the trick! You can also try to change up your activities to keep things fresh and enjoyable.
Schedule time to connect with others
Burnout can also be fueled by one’s isolation from their close circle of friends and family. Running a business can be lonely, but running a business you are feeling more and more distant from is even worse. Taking the time to disconnect from your work and reconnecting with the people closest to you can do wonders for taking off that edge. You may be running your own business, but that doesn’t mean no one is there to support you through it.
Only after I put myself first was I able to fall back in love with my business. Using the tactics above have been a lifesaver for me. I suggest you give it a shot and let me know how it goes! You’ve got nothing to lose but bad vibes, afterall.