6 Ways to Avoid Burnout as a Business Owner

Chef experiencing business owner burnout

This article was contributed by Cam Gray and originally appeared on Business2Community.

Preventing burnout on your team is a must, but don’t forget about yourself along the way. Use the tips below to help you get back in control, and hear how other business owners manage their business and personal lives so you can see what might work for you too.

Burnout is detrimental to your business and life success.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living — there’s a certain point where too much of it all the time will lead to burnout. Burnout is a state of exhaustion caused by prolonged stress; it can manifest emotionally, physically, or mentally. Burnout exists across all industries, but it is particularly prominent in the world of entrepreneurship and small business.

Of course working hard is important, but it’s not as important as your health. Many business owners identify who they are with the business they own. We love that passion as much as anyone else, but we don’t want it leading you into a cycle of stress that hurts your health.

Fully, completely relax yourself

There’s tricking yourself into thinking you’re relaxing, and then there’s actually fully relaxing. Make sure to do the latter at least once a day for 30 minutes in order to avoid burnout. Sit down, take a deep breath, and do something you enjoy that’s not work related. If you catch your thoughts running about work, that’s fake relaxing. Notice those thoughts without any self-judgement and simply start fresh.

We can’t stress the importance of doing your best to completely let go of all stress, even if it’s just for a moment. Those little moments of 0% stress are what your body needs physically and mentally.

Finding this time can be difficult, especially if you have a really busy schedule. So make it part of your schedule. Block off 30 minutes of your calendar a day for relaxation. It will serve you well in avoiding burnout.

Remind yourself of your purpose and successes

Burnout often comes because we are too narrow sighted. We lose sight of our original purpose because we spend too much time stressing and worrying about one specific, little goal.

You can help remind yourself of the big picture and re-spark your drive by taking some time to reflect on your past achievements and successes.

Don’t look back at the day to day. Instead, look at what you achieved over a longer period of time. Did you increase your sales year after year for the past few years? Have you increased the number of your employees? There are a ton of questions you can ask yourself to remind you how successful you’ve been.

Exercise your body and mind

This goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. When you are healthy, you feel better.

Exercising regularly feels great in the moment, but will also have sustained long-term effects on your mood. Make a habit of finding time to exercise a few times a week, or daily, if you can. This will also improve your quality of sleep.

Exercising your mind is just as important as your body. This is how you can completely relax yourself. Try picking up a hobby, learning how to meditate, or doing just about anything that will get your mind off of work for a moment. This is particularly important in the winter, and especially during a lockdown.

Say “no”

In business we all know that expectations can be a driving factor. We’re not saying to totally ignore them, but too many can lead to disappointments and burnout. It’s too easy to build up stress and anxiety when too much is on your plate.

So learning to say no is important. Most of the time people just don’t know how much is on your plate and will 100% understand if you’re not able to take anymore work on.

If you need to determine if something is worth taking on, create a fictional ideal client and project. See how the incoming work measures up to that and decide whether you want to do it — or not.

Don’t just work… organize

Some people love organizing and find it therapeutic. To all those people, keep on organizing! Others find it boring and a waste of time. To all those people, start organizing!

When you have too much clutter around it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Staying organized in both business and life plays a huge role in managing your stress as well as your time.

Organize your desk, your home, and especially your files on your computer. Trust us, you will feel much better once everything is in its place.

Stay social and have a support group

We know how difficult it is to stay social during a global pandemic, but it’s still really important that we do it safely. Losing daily contact with those around you who support and care for you can be detrimental.

Whenever you start to feel burnout come on, don’t hesitate to call a friend, family member, or even an employee to just talk. More importantly, talk about stuff that isn’t work related. What shows have you been watching? What’d you think of the big game? All of this is much easier when you build a great team around you.

Remember, it’s hard running your own business, but it doesn’t have to hurt your health. Avoiding burnout is necessary for you to achieve success in your business, and in your life.

This article was written by Cam Gray from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.