10 Simple Ways Leaders Can Unplug, Recharge and Avoid Burnout

Running a business takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and dedication. Often, entrepreneurs are so busy tackling their to-do lists, running meetings, and managing their teams that they barely have time to take a break, let alone fully unplug from their work.

Unfortunately, failure to “disconnect” every once in a while is a recipe for burnout, which ultimately means you’re not operating at your peak productivity. Therefore, it’s important for business owners to know their limits and find simple ways to fit rest and relaxation into their jam-packed schedules.

To that end, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer their best tips for busy entrepreneurs who want to prevent burnout and truly recharge their batteries:

Q. Keeping a packed schedule as an entrepreneur can often lead to burnout, so what’s one great way they can unplug and recharge?

Read some of their best answers below.

1. Separate Your Work and Personal Devices

I have two phones, one for work and one for personal use. I realized last year that turning my phone off or leaving it at home would not work. The work phone has no social media apps and no email, just an app for relaxation and a weather app. No work contacts are on the personal phone, just family and close friends. Zero distractions. It’s worked so well. Kelly Ann Collins, Vult Lab

2. Take the Weekend Off

When you are passionate about your business, it’s sometimes hard to stop. However, I’m pretty positive everyone who has ever experienced burnout before knows when it’s coming. As soon as you start noticing the first worrisome signs, make a conscious effort to pause and take at least a full weekend off. It helps a lot. Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Sit Down and Read

It sounds really simple, but I like to sit down and read an inspiring novel. When you intentionally decide to do something relaxing and let a story unfold, it takes you out of the stress life can create. Sometimes it’s a funny novel and you end up laughing all day or it might be something suspenseful or educational that really puts your own problems and life into perspective. Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

4. Take a Break from Your Phone

Sometimes less is more! When I start feeling the exhaustion and I’m not as productive as usual, I take time to “disconnect” from work, social media, and anything that can add stress. I spend time outdoors, maybe take a beach day, and make sure to use my phone as little as possible. Even if we are not aware of it and even if it’s not work-related, being continuously on our phones makes us feel busy. Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

5. Create an Evening Routine

Create a routine for your evenings where everything you do leads to a gradual slowdown and disconnects you from the work you did that day. You can read, listen to music, journal, or anything else you like, but it is important to wind down and to do this every day. Over time, your entire body will respond to the routine or ritual and you’ll relax out of habit. Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Limit Your Work Hours

You can reduce the chances of burnout by limiting the time you work each day. Most of us are working from home now and, as a result, are spending more time in our virtual offices. Limit yourself to a strict schedule so you get a chance to unwind and avoid burning yourself out. John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Do Something You Love Every Night

I suggest that you spend some time each night doing things you love, putting all business communications on silent. If you spend every day waking up, working, then sleeping, you’re heading toward burnout. Use some of your time to take care of yourself and pursue your hobbies and interests. You’ll find that it’s easy to shift to the “work” mindset the next day when you’ve had a real break. John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

8. Literally Unplug During the Weekend

A “no electronics” rule for the weekend is a powerful way to literally unplug yourself from work and social media. As hard as it can be to do, you’ll see a massive difference in the way you feel by the end of the weekend. Focus on other things like cleaning up your home or taking an online painting class to do something with your hands. You’ll feel wonderfully refreshed. Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Head to the Gym

Whenever I get overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, I just pause and go to the gym. Whether it’s a hard weightlifting session or intense cardio, it helps me get back the momentum for getting things done, leaves me energized and helps me keep my mind off work for a while. When I resume my work again, I feel 10 times more active. Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

10. Meditate Daily

Ground yourself and meditate daily. Mindfulness is a buzzword these days, but the practice is really quite personal. I have been meditating for years and it has been a foundation of my success. Knowing when to ground yourself and quiet your mind is truly a skill that is worth developing to help recharge. Start slowly at first, then work up as you feel comfortable in time. Matthew Capala, Alphametic

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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