Burnout – it’s a term often associated with feeling slightly fatigued or bored with your job. That doesn’t seem so bad but the reality of the situation is, burnout is a serious and real condition that is particularly prevalent among entrepreneurs. It presents in a number of ways such as a growing disdain for your profession or current venture as well as emotional and physical responses. Some people experience drastic changes in their appetite or sleep patterns whilst on an emotional level, some people will become depressed and / or irritable. There can also be a decline in immunity giving rise to colds, flu etc.
The fact of the matter is, if high stress isn’t managed properly, it can have a severely detrimental effect on your personal and professional life. There is however, a way to avoid reaching burnout point using these invaluable strategies:
Get away from it all…
Breaks and longer vacations are an important part of stress management. Following any break, you’ll find yourself being more productive and see your job in a more positive light. Tasks that would normally weigh you down or intimidate you become less so when you schedule short breaks into your daily calendar. By the same token, you need to go on holiday at least once a year. Even if it means just staying at home, those few successive days at home can give your mind the space it needs to maintain your sanity at work.
Make Healthier Choices
There are several lifestyle choices you can make to help you manage high stress levels. The most is of course, taking up some form of exercise as this releases endorphins and endocanndinoids that give you a kind of natural, short term high. In the long term, you stand to reduce your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
The problem with so many of these lifestyle changes in relation to the average entrepreneur is finding the time to implement them. However, being a successful business person hinges on making time for yourself and yourself. Making time for yourself will mean that the hours you pour into your business will not be wasted.
Get to the Root
Whilst this seems like an obvious course of action, getting to the root of what is causing your stress is never a futile exercise. Make notes on a daily basis of what you do, how much time you spend and your feelings associated with the same. In doing so, you’ll probably discover that certain tasks cause an inordinate amount of stress because you’ve spent more time on them than you realise. They could also be tasks that you have a particular dislike for because of your personal preferences.
Where possible, you should:
1. Automate your work by finding an app or software that will manage the task for you.
2. Rework your processes – this may involve restructuring your business so you no longer deal with those tasks as a company.
3. Delegate your work – This can be done by training another member of staff or hiring a new staff member to manage those tasks specifically.
See the Signs
It’s important to recognise the symptoms of burnout so you can take action as soon as they begin to manifest. They can seem harmless to begin with but over time, if left unchecked, will intensify over time. They can include:
- Constant feelings of exhaustion
- Repeatedly feeling frustrated or doubting yourself
- Being overly critical or cynical at work
- Feeling demotivated or dreading coming to work
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Using food, alcohol or drugs to cope with your frustration
- Avoiding or relinquishing responsibility
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Headaches and / or muscular pain
- Decreased immunity rendering you more susceptible to illness and fatigue
If you start seeing these signs, it’s important to take action and implement some or all of the strategies listed above. It’s worth taking the time to take care of yourself. After all, taking care of yourself means your business is better taken care of as well.
To find out how we can take the stress out of the day to day running of your business, give us a call on (091) 511 400 and find out more about our virtual office services.