When you started your business you were passionately obsessed with your mission. You survived on Nitro coffee and pizza while working late into the night, every single night. You hustled and sold and spent far too much time working. Now things are settling down, and you are exhausted. You are sleeping later and going to bed earlier. You put off returning emails or making phone calls. The desire to see your business succeed hasn’t faded, but you aren’t putting in the time or the effort anymore.
This is burnout.
How do you prevent, recognize, and get through burnout? We have some suggestions.
When a new business is getting off the ground hustling is one of the most important things to get it moving. There are networking events and meetings and professional organizations. It is easy to get wrapped up in the constant pulls of launching from nothing. However, maintaining a grounding point is important. Yes, you need to work almost everyday but not actually everyday. Save two days per week as your days off to focus on friends and family, go the gym, and even just sleep. Burning the candle at both ends won’t do you or your business any favors.
Slowly you have started waking up later and rolling into work at a new time. It isn’t because you are extra tired, you just can’t find the energy to get moving. You want to toss your cell phone out the window unless it is to play Candy Crush. You know something is different. This could be the beginning of burnout, and it is important to recognize what is happening. These are early signs that you need a break. It’s time to take a few days, ignore your email, and recharge. Make a list of why you started your business in the first place. Think of some responsibilities that can be handed off to someone else or even automated.
Getting Through Burnout
When the burnout has settled in, and you are struggling it’s time to make some big decisions so you can lay the foundation to avoid it again in the future. First, evaluate your mental health and decide whether or not you need to speak with a professional. This is helpful even if you feel like you are just exhausted. Beyond that take a vacation, even if it doesn’t mean going anywhere. A separation from work for a short period of time is a chance to recharge, and it gives your employees a chance to take on leadership roles in the company. Make a list of your professional and personal priorities and goals so that you can refocus on those things while assigning other tasks to employees. The important thing is to know it is okay to take a step back and figure out what needs to change.
Burnout inevitably impacts everyone, whether employee, boss, or sole proprietor. Part of the routine of working everyday is in itself exhausting and hard. Understanding how to make the most of your time and recognizing changes is an important way to manage your professional life and personal life.