Learn why entrepreneurs are more susceptible to burnout, and the steps you can take to manage it.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ve suffered from burnout.
Burnout, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a combination of three aspects: strong feelings of exhaustion, growing lack of enthusiasm for one’s job, and declining work efficacy.
Business owners are especially prone to developing burnout because of passion for their work. In a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of business owners stated that they work over 50 hours a week and 70% of respondents stated that they regularly worked on weekends. Failing to address burnout overstretched periods of time can cause serious damage to your health and business.
How does burnout affect me?
Not only does burnout pose serious health risks such as depression and heart disease, but it also affects your bottom line. Burnout can lead to a loss in personal confidence and purpose which can affect your ability to run a business.
Here’s how to check if you’re burnt out, and steps to take to overcome it.
- Increased cynicism outside of work
- Physical ailments
- Memory loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety
How can I prevent burnout?
Develop a flexible mindset
According to the Harvard Business Review, having a flexible mindset is key to moderating burnout. A flexible mindset can be thought of as keeping an open mind when it comes to career. This means that although you may strongly tie your identity with your job you aren’t consumed by the idea that being an entrepreneur is your only path to success. For example, let’s say that you love being an entrepreneur, but you also know that there are many other careers that would be just as satisfactory. As a result, this leads you to have a more flexible mindset about your career, which allows you to enjoy your job, preventing burnout. In contrast, those with fixed mindsets are more prone to developing burnout because they completely define their lives and notions of success around their jobs.
Don’t be afraid to delegate
If you’re feeling more overwhelmed with work than usual, it might be time to consider delegating responsibilities to members of your team. Not only does this allow you to focus more on the core of your business, but it also allows your team to play to their strengths and grow. Before delegating a task, avoid communication gaps by giving proper instructions on what exactly you’re looking for and any crucial deadlines. Afterward, ask your team for feedback on how you’re delegating so you can make improvements.
Establish boundaries for your personal life
The idea of scheduling time for relaxation, turning down projects, or not checking emails past midnight might seem laughable to the ever-busy entrepreneur. However, establishing boundaries is an important step in preventing burnout because it allows you to invest much needed time in your personal life. Here are some ways you can set boundaries:
- Going for quick walks on breaks
- Finding time to connect with friends and family
- Organizing your office space
- Recognizing and celebrate achievements
- Trying to multi-tasking less
Everyone gets burnt out from time to time, but business owners are especially at risk. Feeling burnout is preventable by learning to have a flexible mindset, delegating work responsibilities, and establishing boundaries between your work and personal life.