Burnout is on the rise, and for business owners, it’s an all-too-common problem. Unfortunately, just taking a break is often not an option, and even if it were, it likely wouldn’t solve the problem. With the amount of uncertainty in the world, it’s no wonder people feel exhausted.
Burnout is a multifaceted issue, and it can’t be solved by just resting more or working less. It requires an approach with several steps to address the various factors that contribute to burnout.
Whether you’re just starting to feel the effects of burnout, have been burned out for a long time, or want to avoid reaching that point, these eight tips can help you maintain your mental health, motivation, and love for what you do.
- Keep building a team.
As a business owner, chances are you have far too much on your plate. You may be used to it and know how to manage it, but if you’re working long days at the office or bringing work home with you, it will eventually lead to negative consequences, like exhaustion, health problems, and lack of focus and energy to perform your best work. Not to mention it can create major damage in your family relationships.
Building a team is a vital part of growing your business and taking care of yourself. Find tasks on your plate that don’t require your level of expertise and hire people to handle them. Continue training your staff to take on more of the tasks you perform until you trust their abilities to handle those tasks without you. The goal is to eventually be able to work on only the parts of the business you love most while your team runs the rest like a well-oiled machine.
- Stay clear about your vision.
Create reminders to yourself about your vision for your business and the purpose you wish to fulfill. When you went into business, you were likely thinking of something greater than simply making money and keeping the business afloat—perhaps you have a goal to improve the world through your business, or you have a personal goal the business will allow you to achieve. Don’t lose sight of those things. They’re the reason you do what you do, and keeping them in mind will help you get up and begin work every day with a sense of purpose.
If your business has strayed from your initial vision, it may be time to stop and do some thinking about its future. Have your goals changed? If so, how can you achieve those new goals with what you’re currently doing? Or perhaps has your business crept in a different direction from what you intended? If that’s the case, you may need to make some difficult decisions to move it back in the direction of what matters most to you.
- Keep growing and reaching goals.
Growth can feel overwhelming, but it’s also one of the most exciting aspects of business. Making new deals, generating more revenue, and reaching the goals you’ve set can ignite new energy for your business. If you’re feeling overwhelmed rather than invigorated, or if you feel that your business is stagnating rather than growing, try setting some small goals with short deadlines that you can achieve for a quick win but which will also propel you toward a larger goal. Don’t forget to celebrate when you achieve a new goal!
- Find the type of clients or projects you love
You’ve likely worked with clients or projects you loved and also ones that felt draining and not worth the amount of work they required. As your business grows and you experience more types of clients and projects, pay attention to the ones you love working with and try to replicate them. By cultivating the type of business you do and who you work with to best suit your goals and preferences, you’ll make work a better experience for yourself and keep your business growing in the right direction.
- Prioritize your health.
When you’re dealing with burnout, it’s more important than ever to treat your body right. In fact, in addition to mental and emotional problems, burnout can even have physical effects on your body. Two of the earliest signs of burnout are irritability and exhaustion. When you notice those symptoms, it’s time to prioritize sleep, eating healthy, exercise, and self-care. There’s a good chance that will require taking a step back with your work to make time for proper rest. But you cannot recover from burnout without treating your body well, and both your mind and body will feel the consequences if you don’t take care of them during times of stress, which can result in health problems later down the line.
- Focus on what you can control.
Sometimes, burnout is a result of too many factors to influence or even factors entirely outside of your control. With the world rapidly changing around us, we’ve all experienced a sense of lack of control over the past few years. In times like that, it’s especially important to focus on what you can control and let go of everything else. If you stress over things that are outside your circle of control, you’ll waste a great deal of energy and cause yourself unnecessary grief. Discover which factors about a situation you can influence and which you cannot, then focus only on those that you can. This allows you to take action while also defining boundaries for yourself to avoid taking on the stress of problems you’re not able to fix.
- Create an environment of positivity in your workplace.
Nothing will create burnout more quickly than a toxic or negative work environment. Of course, creating a sense of positivity requires everyone involved, but as a business owner, it starts with you. You get to set the tone for your workplace by showing how to treat people and exemplifying the attitude you wish your employees to have. Smiles are contagious, and so are attitudes, so pick a positive one. If you’re down in the dumps or feeling stressed out, so will everyone else in your business. After all, you’re the leader. One extra benefit of doing this is that you can actually trick yourself into feeling better. Try smiling at a few people and making positive comments and see if you still feel negative. Sharing something you’re grateful for can not only boost your positivity, but those of your workforce, too.
- Make kindness a priority.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to do something nice for someone else. It gives you a rush of endorphins to do something kind and selfless for someone, and better yet, it helps you take the focus of yourself and all your own worries. Make a point of setting aside time to get to know your employees on a personal level and learn what matters to them. You’ll find opportunities to do kind things for them in the process. Make a goal for yourself to do something kind every day, even if it’s a small gesture.
Burnout cannot be treated with any kind of pill or antidote, but with these eight steps, you’ll be heading in the right direction to find your way out of it. Put these steps into practice and keep them in mind even as you begin to see improvements. Even if once you’ve bypassed burnout, continuing to practice these things will help you create a healthier and happier business and life.