What causes business burnout?
Well to start, running a business can easily lead you into the trap of being on 24/7. This often happens at the start as new entrepreneurs are starting their businesses and putting in those extra hours to start the inflow of clients... then they simply become stuck. They've set themselves up to bring in all these sales without planning for what's next. They are left with too much on their hands and no where to go. Hours increase and increase and you suddenly don't even know how to stop.
Another problem is we are all digitalised. The increase in technology and our businesses on Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Directories, and more, means there is constant access to your business. With it all compacted easily on your mobile, it's too tempting to fall into, "I'll deal with this now" and next thing you know it's 10pm and you're still answering emails.
Working from home! A blessing and a curse! Many business owners working from home don't set themselves working hours and instead work when or however it's demanded.
And finally, not understanding how to manage all the stressors that come with the role.
Put on your gloves and get ready to battle business burn out.
1) Don't get stuck in planning for now, plan for what's next
Plan, plan, plan, plan for 10 sales, 50 sales, 100 sales. Will you outsource? Hire employees? A manager? Get a larger office or warehouse? What do you need to accommodate your growth? The mistake of only planning for now can see many businesses getting stuck and losing the opportunity for sustainable growth.
2) Enforce working hours
With constant access to the internet and many businesses working from home, it's easy to get into the habit of starting earlier and earlier, and finishing later and later. Set business hours and stick with them, if you close at 5, clock off at 5.
3) Your calendar...
Most business calendar's I access are full of appointments, priorities, and projects... which is wonderful! But where is the time you've scheduled for yourself? It is vital you plan for your rest! Believe me, self-care is an asset to your business and will ensure you're delivering more rather than less.
4) Spot the fatigue before it does damage
What do you do when you get busy? Let me guess, double down, increase your hours and try to get ahead of it? The problem is, you won't! It will keep growing and you will be stuck in the cycle of 15 hour days and no weekends! What you should do is take a step backwards, give yourself rest and your clear mind. This will ultimately lead to more productivity down the line.
5) Identify who is in charge
You started a business for freedom, to dictate your own day. Are you letting clients and business demands dictate your schedule? Take a step back and remember who is boss.
6) Break down your to-do list
A common mistake I see is business owners with one long to-do list. This will result in stress and feeling overwhelmed, it also encourages pushing for more hours to work through your list. Break down and sort your to-do list into priorities, identify what can be outsourced or passed to employees and what can be categorised as low priority for another day.
7) Review your goals regularly
These are what give you direction. Reviewing, reflecting and updating your goals on a regular basis will give you a clearer mind and make your direction crystal clear.
8) Streamline and organise
Data across outlets, post it notes everywhere, 200 emails in your inbox... this not only slows you down but is also the wrong environment for productivity. Organise your systems and streamline as much as you can.
I often hear that it is too expensive to delegate or some find it hard to give up the control. You will not be able to give your business the best and grow sustainability if you do not learn to delegate. Invest in your business, invest in yourself, and growth will come.
Eat well, sleep well, get active. What's great for your body, is great for your mind and therefore your business.
11) Reflect on you
Your business is your baby, it's your blood, sweat and tears, but it's not you. Often business owners create an identity around their business and it becomes essential to their self-worth. You were you before your business, remember that, take time to reflect and take care of the you that's behind the boss.
Don't forget to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. We often forget along the way. You are amazing and not everyone can do what you do, so give yourself the credit you deserve.