How many cups of coffee do you need to get through your workday? If the answer seems to keep climbing, while your energy levels only drop, you might be suffering from burnout. Burnout in leaders and small business owners is incredibly common due to the long hours and high-stakes decisions required to run your own business. Given the effect that burnout can have, it’s important to take steps to mitigate it to ensure the health of both you and your business. If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re burned out, look for these common signs: feeling a lack of purpose or drive, feeling a loss of confidence, experiencing excess cynicism, increased mistakes on a daily basis, and physical exhaustion or even sickness.
Here are few key ways to reduce your small business burnout:
1. Lean on others. Whether you have a formal mentor, a partner, or a wise friend, asking people for advice can be a great way to take some of the burden off your own shoulders. And it’s been proven that business owners who have mentors are more likely to find success in their business. In addition to leaning on others, it’s important to trust your employees and colleagues with other tasks. If you have too much on your plate every week, it’s likely past time to delegate a few tasks to a capable employee.
2. Establish a work-life balance. Do your best to assign yourself acceptable working hours, and only work within them. Working weekends, responding to a critical email at midnight, and planning the next day’s events won’t give you the proper time away from your work you need. Not only will setting healthy boundaries help you avoid burnout, but time away from work can clear your mind so you work more efficiently and require fewer hours for the same tasks.
3. Remember why you started. If you’re feeling just plain demotivated, take some time to reflect on why you started. Try writing down a mission statement or set of values for your business. Thank about your motivating factors for going it alone. Was it for more freedom? Greater opportunities? To be able to give back, or support the ones you care about? Reconnect with your original motivations. Not only that, but do your best not to get too caught up in the results, rather than enjoying the process.
4. Get Organized. The last and most obvious step if you’re still struggling with too many tasks that can’t be delegated and have to get done, is to make your processes more efficient. Organize your desk so you don’t waste anymore time searching for notes or files. Set up a time management calendar with every task for the week, and simplify communications with your team by using a project management software. You’ll be amazed how much time staying organized saves you.
Content Marketing Specialist, Seige Media