Tesla CEO Elon Musk once said, “Running a start-up is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss. After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends.” Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been managing your business for years, it’s no secret that being an entrepreneur requires hard work. The challenging part doesn’t only come initially. It never ends. As long as your business exists, you have to put up with all the risks and uncertainties that come with it. In the long run, running a business can leave you mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted especially if you forget to stop and focus on yourself every once in a while.
Here are six ways to help you avoid entrepreneurship burnout.
Do things differently every now and then
It’s easy to fall into a repetitive pattern of doing things especially with the endless everyday demands and responsibilities that come with running your business. Some may find peace and comfort with this, with everything they have to do during the day already planned out. But in the long run, a repetitive routine can take its toll on you. It’s a good thing being an entrepreneur gives you total control over what you can do–what task you can do first when you could take a break, and wherever you want to work. Take a break from the drudgery of your repetitive routine and exchange your tasks to something you like doing or have a change of scenery and work somewhere else. This change in scenery and task will help you be more productive.
Give yourself a break
No matter how many people you think you’ve helped or how big your ideas on changing the world are, you are only human. You are not a superhero. Give yourself the breathing space you deserve every now and then. Whether it’s watching a funny two-minute video on Youtube or going on a weekend getaway to the beach, allow yourself to de-stress every once in a while. This will help you recharge and give you more energy to work. Working straight for hours or months on end without pause will leave you feeling tired, unproductive, and even make you lose passion and interest in what you’re doing in the long run.
Maintain a good work-life balance
As an entrepreneur, you carry a lot of obligations, and most of the time, your personal life would overlap with your professional life. When your business is constantly growing, your responsibilities will multiply as well. What used to be family or movie night every Friday will turn into frequent overtime at the office. To avoid this, set a strict rule for yourself and follow it. When you say you’ll get home at 8 PM, get home at 8 PM. Unless it’s really important that you can’t put it off for another day, don’t allow your professional life to get in the way of your personal life. This is for your own benefit, after all. Getting enough rest at night will leave you feeling more refreshed and productive in the morning. Otherwise, not only will working yourself too hard affect your physical health, it can be destructive to your mental and emotional well-being as well.
Stay organized, but be flexible to changes
Since a typical day in an entrepreneur’s life involves a ton of paperwork, meetings with employees and phone calls with investors, one of the most important skills an entrepreneur has to possess is the ability to multitask. However, the most productive way to get things done is not by trying to finish them all at the same time, but by setting priorities. List down everything you need to do for the day and cross off each one according to its level of priority. You can also download productivity apps that could help you get through each day smoothly. By staying organized, you can get things done faster and have more time to face any unexpected difficulty, should one come up. Do this and you can conquer each day more confidently.
Set achievable goals
Setting unrealistic and unachievable goals is always a recipe for disaster. You want your business to succeed, but you must know that success doesn’t happen overnight. There are no shortcuts to it. It’s a normal trait for entrepreneurs to be ambitious, but don’t make it to the point where you’re rushing to get things done because you want to see results immediately. This can be destructive to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, because rushing to get things done in a meager time frame will not only lead to unsatisfactory results and disappointments; it will also pressure you and leave you incredibly drained and burned out.
Don’t go it alone
One of the most dangerous conditions that an entrepreneur could have is the Superhero Syndrome. It’s when a person believes he can do everything alone; that they don’t need any help and nothing could stop them. Sadly, most entrepreneurs have it, and there is something that could stop you–burnout. All human beings get tired and drained at some point. What more if you’re an entrepreneur who faces numerous challenges every day? Sometimes, all you have to do is admit that just like everyone else, you’re vulnerable. Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, but it’s actually the defining trait of great entrepreneurs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For yourself. We look up to the top dogs of the business world such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. All we can see is the luxurious life and business success they’re experiencing right now, but behind that façade and the road to getting there is not as glamorous. Entrepreneurship success does not come without a price. Famous and successful entrepreneurs have suffered through anxiety and countless struggles too. It happens to everyone, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when the weight of carrying your responsibilities and problems gets too heavy. Delegate some of your tasks to your employees, or hire a team if you don’t have one yet, to help take the extra baggage off of you. Seek professional help when it’s your mental and spiritual help in need.
For your business. By now, you should know that you can’t (and you shouldn’t) do everything alone. Your business is at stake. There are certain areas that require a high level of specialized knowledge, and it’s not something that you can just try to learn. There are other aspects of your business you need to focus on, and in order to do that, asking help from professional service providers might be needed. A consulting CTO that would help you develop a business plan and suggest the most appropriate development platform for your business or a marketing consultant who could develop marketing plans that would give your business exposure would be a great help and addition to you and to your business.
With the demanding schedule and amount of responsibilities that come with being an entrepreneur, it’s normal to feel tired and overwhelmed sometimes. It might seem impossible to make time to focus on yourself when the challenges just keep coming but do yourself and your business a favor by allowing yourself to breathe sometimes. Don’t make it to a point where you don’t want to go along anymore. Working yourself too hard might get things done, but it will take its toll on you and it would only affect your business negatively in the long run.