It's a common misconception that the key to avoiding entrepreneur burnout is working less, but we are all wrong! The truth is, there are a number of habits you can develop and changes you can make to your lifestyle that will help you achieve balance between your personal and work life.
In this blog post, we will discuss what burnout is, how entrepreneurs can avoid it, and some tips for achieving balance in your life!
What is Burnout?
Burnout happens when an individual finds themselves in a period of mental, emotional, and/or physical exhaustion. Usually, it doesn’t just pass with a simple good night’s sleep or a weekend off. It can last for weeks or even months on end if not attended to, and can have a detrimental impact on your mental and physical health.
Some of the signs of burnout are:
- Severe exhaustion that you can’t seem to get rid of
- Feelings of helplessness or detachment
- Mood swings
- Loss of motivation
- Increased substance use
- Loss of interest or pride in your work
Sometimes burnout can even be so severe that it leads to severe threats to your health, so it’s crucial that it be taken seriously.
Because of the unique career demands of entrepreneurs, it can be an easy trap for them to fall into, and since entrepreneurs often work alone, there sometimes aren’t others in their circle who notice the signs.
While burnout might seem scary, there are several steps entrepreneurs can take to avoid it. Let’s take a look at what you can do to create a healthy work life balance and protect your mental health.
An Off-Day? What's That?
Some entrepreneurs, especially those who are still in the early stages of their careers, are eager to dedicate their lives to work. This is a very common mistake.
It’s important to cater to other areas of your life so that you can fully disengage from your projects and experience times with your friends, family, and hobbies.
Make some strict rules about when and where you engage in work and then be sure to stick to them. Make sure to give yourself real time off each week and use that time to do something restorative.
If you find yourself anxious about stepping away, remind yourself that rest is essential. You might feel fine working non-stop right now, but that relentless schedule will eventually catch up with you. Some examples of some good rules might include:
- No work on weekends
- No work after 6 PM
- No working in your bedroom
- Turning your phone off when out with friends and family
Implementing these rules can be difficult and first, but they will definitely pay off in the long run.
Get A Move On It
You might not like to hear it, but the science is in: exercise is good for you. Not only is exercise good for your general health, but it has also been proven to help relieve stress.
Now listen, that doesn’t mean you need to get up at 5 AM every day to get in an intensive workout. In fact, if you are already tired then that would be a terrible idea and could even make burnout worse.
But, adding in some exercise to your regular routine is a great way to help prevent and alleviate symptoms of burnout. Exercise is personal, and there’s no one right way to do it.
The best exercise for you is the kind that you can maintain. That might mean going for a walk every day, that might mean doing a 15-minute workout video on YouTube, or that might mean going to the gym for a daily personal training session. Whatever is sustainable and enjoyable for you is what is best.
Sleep Your Way To Success
Sleep is often ignored, but it is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Getting adequate sleep can drastically lower stress levels and can even help with decision making, which is an essential part of entrepreneurship.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all number of hours of sleep that is perfect for each human being, but the general rule is that most men require 7-8 hours, and most women require 8-9. Of course, some people may need more.
Almost no one can function well on less, no matter what some people might tell you. If you are thinking about sacrificing sleep to get in a workout or an extra hour of work, then think again. Sleep is really that important.
Don't Forget About Fun
Entrepreneurs can get so caught up in their work that they sometimes forget about their other interests. While it’s wonderful to be so passionate about your career path, it’s important to have other activities that bring you joy.
Hobbies can stimulate our minds and provide satisfaction that isn’t connected to external validation or financial returns.
Disconnect To Reconnect
Another important way to create balance in your life is by spending time with the people that you love. Connection is a basic human need, but when we’re caught up in our work it can be easy to forget how much we value a hug or a good conversation.
Spending time with friends and family is a great way to unwind and let go of work stress.
Also, talking to other entrepreneurs who are in a similar situation to you can be very validating, so it’s worth a try as well. You might discover a great support system where you can support each other in living full, balanced lives.
Everyone experiences stress from time to time, but you don’t ever want to find yourself in a position where you don’t know how to get out of it. By implementing the advice from this article into your life, you should be able to find a healthy work life balance that can bring you peace and satisfaction.