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10 Strategies for Dealing with Business Burnout

Posted on: April 18, 2019
Tags: Work-life balance, Small business tips
10 Strategies for Dealing with Business Burnout

It’s not uncommon to work extended hours when you first launch your small business. Your passion and excitement for what’s to come removes all sense of time. Your eagerness wakes you before dawn and finds you working long past the time the family has gone to bed. Over time, the extended workday turns into extended workweeks and, before long, what fueled your start-up passion, has turned into a deadly habit that’s killing you and your business.

The negative consequences of burnout are well-documented (illness, depression, fatigue, procrastination - sound familiar?). Below are 10 strategies for dealing with burnout before it harms you or your business:

Stop the Burn by implementing these Strategies:

Fortunately, small business owners have control over their work hours and can implement these strategies easily and effectively to put a stop to business burnout.

1. Establish priorities based on goals. Rather than focus on your to-do list, the “squeaky wheel”, or the biggest fire, prioritize your day based on the actions needed to achieve your business goals. By being goal-oriented rather than time-oriented, you’ll eliminate unnecessary tasks and achieve much more.

2. Perform in 40/20 cycles. Pierre Khawand, author of “The Results Curve™: How to Manage Focused and Collaborate”, discovered after a decade of research that the best results are achieved after 40 minutes of focused work following by 20 minutes of collaboration.

3. Stop multitasking. Once the sought-after skill of the 80’s – 90’s, researchers are now finding that multitasking is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Although walking and chewing gum is still an acceptable form of multitasking (it’s automatic), responding to email while talking on the phone adds to inefficiency. Plus, its just plain embarrassing when you’re asked a question and you’re unable to respond appropriately because your attention is divided.

4. Delegate. Entrepreneurs are notorious for “doing it all”. Hand over suitable tasks to skilled employees or vendors that support your business objectives. It frees up time to focus on your vision and creativity.

5. Keep yourself healthy. You are the primary bread producer in your small business; therefore, your ability to stay healthy is crucial. Although many small business entrepreneurs don’t feel they have the time to exercise, studies show that entrepreneurs who run or bike have higher sales than even those who strength train! And, to keep fueled with energy-producing foods, but don’t eat lunch at your desk! 

6. Play more. Recess isn’t just for kids. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day refreshes your creativity and reboots your brain.

7. Take weekends off. Fatigue costs more than $136 billion per year in health-related lost productivity; 84% of those costs due to reduced performance at work. Is working on your day off really worth it?

8. Unplug from technology. When the clock strikes 5 pm – or whatever arbitrary time you have for closing down shop – turn off all your technology. Your body and mind needs time to renew after a day of decision-making. In our blog post, The High Cost of Indecision on Growing Your Business, we discuss the importance of rejuvenating your decision-making muscle.

9. Know your stressorsThere are probably certain things that you don't love about your job, so you probably procrastinate and put them off as long as you can. Then when you finally tackle them, they take longer and are much more painful than they need to be. Be able to identify what these stressors are, so you can create a plan for getting them done and off your list as quickly as possible.

10. Peek at your successes. Take time to revisit where you were before getting started on your own. What were your first small business goals? What kept you going? Then celebrate your accomplishments and acknowledge how far you've come.

Avoiding burnout is really about protecting your time, focusing on your priorities and taking breaks so you can come back refreshed. It takes a conscious effort, but once you get the hang of it you will reduce stress and reach a whole new level of productivity.

Click here and here to read full articles on this topic by Jackie Nagel and Alyssa Gregory.

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