While most people are at risk of suffering from severe stress and burnout at some stage in their lives, entrepreneurs and business owners are at even more of a risk of suffering the side effects of all the long hours required to start and manage their own businesses. In this article, we’ll look at how to identify the signs that you are taking too much strain, and how to manage your time and life to avoid the risk of burnout.
The culture of the hustle is firmly entrenched in our modern society. And when it comes to starting your own business, entrepreneurs put in incredible hours to guarantee the success of their ventures. StartupNation reports that on average, the majority of company founders work 50 hours a week, some even putting in up to 80 hours. But it’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs that you are being overwhelmed, risking not only the success of your company, but your health as well.
- From customer to enemy: If every day is a struggle, you might find yourself actually resenting your customers and the “demands” they put on your time and energy.
- Everything is work, all the time: If you can’t imagine not checking emails every hour, or having constant contact with employees and staff, it might be time to set some boundaries.
- Increased irritability: If you’re overworked, you’re more likely to have reduced patience and can find yourself getting angry more easily.
- Compromised immune system: If you are getting ill more often, this could be your body’s way of telling you it can’t cope with the burden of keeping up with the increased workload and stress you are subjecting it to.
- Uncharacteristic forgetfulness: Burning out puts enormous pressure on your brain, and getting through the “fog” of your daily duties will become harder and harder.
How to Overcome Burning Out
With some solid changes and a clear plan, it is definitely possible to rise above the fatigue and stress of burning out.
- Set clear boundaries: Whether you can force yourself to switch off at a certain time of day, or on certain days only, it is crucial to take the time for balance your work-life situation.
- Delegate: Entrepreneurs need to trust the people they’re working with, especially if it means they’ll give you the time to focus on your health while keeping the engines running in the workplace.
- Automate: Whether it’s setting up rules, auto-replies and workflow parameters for your inbox, or creating online forms for clients and customers to access when they need to reach out, manage your availability with the tech available. Just because one can be reached 24/7, doesn’t mean one needs to respond immediately. Manage the expectation of how long it will take you to respond.
- Outsource: There’s nothing wrong with letting go of an aspect of your business that others can manage on your or your staff’s behalf. If it means not sacrificing your health and sanity, it’s already money well spent.
Successful entrepreneurs are renowned for their utter dedication and drive to give 100% of their time to their new initiative, 24/7. This drive is what sets entrepreneurs apart from the workforce. But if that drive and dedication is risking their physical and mental health, it is bound to be detrimental to the business as well. Take the time to strike the ideal balance, so that everyone benefits in the long run.
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