Entrepreneurship can be one of the most difficult professions in the world. During the initial stages, a lot of business owners are working long hours with little to no financial rewards to show. This can lead to mental, emotional and physical stress.
Many of them put themselves through immense pressure for several years without thinking about the consequences it can have on their lives.
Burnout is usually caused by long periods of excessive stress. If you’ve been leading a stressful life for long periods of time, you could be a prime candidate.
Here are some obvious signs of burnout:
#1 Always tired
Even after eating well and having a good night’s sleep, you’re still tired. And this is not once in a while but all the time. This may also be due to other medical issues, so it’s advisable to see a medical practitioner for professional help.
#2 Lack of interest and motivation
If you were always ambitious and motivated, and all of a sudden you seem to have lost motivation to do anything in life then it could be a sign.
#3 Falling sick all the time
Falling sick can be your body’s way of telling you that you need rest. That’s a time to listen to your body, and not fight it.
#4 Forgetting things
If you’re constantly forgetting things, and your mind is blanking out, something that never happened in the past then that could be another sign.
#5 Taking longer to finish routine tasks
A task that took you 2 hours to complete is now taking you a day or longer to finish. There has to be a reason for it, isn’t it?
What causes burnout?
The biggest reasons for burnout are stress, lack of rest, poor work-life balance, emotional disappointments and taking on more than one can handle for long periods of time.
Eric Skicki, Owner of My Square One Condo says, “Entrepreneurs are working literally 24 hours a day if not physically at least mentally, for several years, with little to no breaks.
They’re always taking care of people – employees, customers and vendors – that they forget to make time for themselves. This can be counterproductive. It’s important to remember that you work to live and not the other way around. Sometimes, it just makes sense to enjoy the little things in life.”
How to avoid burnout?
Don’t skip meals
At a recent get-together with some of my entrepreneur friends, one person asked “Have you ever forgotten to have a meal?” Most of them said that they skip meals on a regular basis. Nutrition is so important to an entrepreneur, a car stops if it has no fuel, it’s exactly the same for an entrepreneur, avoid working on an empty tank.
A good night’s sleep is extremely important. Sleep is when your body recovers after a long day’s work.
Do something for pleasure
Richard Branson says, “Find a schedule that works for you.”
I’m a believer in the 8-8-8 rule. What does that mean? It means that you work for 8 hours, sleep for 8 hours, and do something for pleasure for 8 hours.
Doing something for pleasure stimulates your mind. It could be anything – pursuing a hobby, playing with your dog, or watching a movie.
Take some time out for self-reflection
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take some time out to do nothing. These are times when you start reflecting on your life and start appreciating the little things in life. Just don’t force it, allow thoughts to flow freely.
Meditate, work out, do some yoga
Endorphins are released in your body when you work out, which makes you happy. Any sort of physical activity is good for you - it could be sports, yoga, working out at the gym, playing sports or even swimming. Find something that you enjoy, and stick to it.
Life is not always about work, there are times when we need to slow down. It might seem really difficult to slow down after being used to a fast paced life, but slowing down could help you enjoy the journey better. A wise man once said, “Life is not a destination, it’s a journey.”
So slow down, walk a little slower, breathe a little slower, smell the breeze and enjoy the company of great people around you.
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate your tasks to other people, and find ways to automate things in your life. This way, you’ll be getting more done in less time.
Find a support group
Spend time with family and friends. Human beings are social creatures and need the support of their family and friends. Don’t ignore them in your quest to change the world.
Take professional help
Medical science has come a long way, although there is a lot of information on the internet. It’s important to take help from a trained professional who deals in workplace related stress.
Entrepreneurs run a very high risk of getting burned out due to their flexible and highly ambitious schedules. It’s very important for business owners to achieve good work-life balance. Staying emotionally, physically and mentally fit is a great way to become more productive, earn more money and enjoy a great quality of life.