Burnout is very real, and very common issues for entrepreneurs. We understand that you want to go hard, to give your all at work. You have goals, and you have dreams, and you will achieve them whether it kills you or not. Well, this article is more focus on the “or not” part of that phrase.
Namely, it’s one thing to work hard and achieve your dreams. However, it’s a completely separate issue when you’re working yourself into an early grave. In this article, you can read about some tips and pieces of advice that can help you regulate stress, and assist you in avoiding burnout.
Your energy is precious
There is a difference between avoiding your triggers and pain, and actually avoiding conflict. We are focusing on the former. Namely, your time and energy are valuable. There is no point in wasting it on moody people, tedious work, and in general things that stress and tire you out, without giving you much in return. So, mute, unfriend, block, avoid, and ignore people and things that don’t matter. You may need to sacrifice a bit of politeness here, but is that more important than your sanity?
Get some structure
Try to get structure in your day. An entrepreneur doesn’t have a set schedule, your time is completely your own. This also means that if you let it, your time can run away from you. Too many sleepless nights dedicated to work, and too many days where you get out of bed at ten at the earliest will lead to an overflow of work and stress. Write out schedules, stick to your sleep routines and habits.
Yes, you need to learn how to breathe. When we become stressed, we hunch over, we take short, shallow breaths, and we tighten our bodies completely. This can make things worse, it can cloud your judgement. Breathing like this, with this kind of posture, puts your body into flight or fight mode. We suggest you learn and train yourself to notice this feeling, and then break away from it.
So, here what we suggest. You should sit or stand upright. Shoulders back, chest up – open up your body, don’t guard it, don’t get into a protective stance. Then, we suggest you breathe from your lungs and your stomach (i.e. diaphragm). Take a deep breath that lasts for 4 seconds. Then, hold it for four seconds. Then exhale for four seconds. Repeat.
Gratitude and introspection
This one is a two partner, but it ties to the same thing. You want to practice introspection, to look and analyse how your day went, how you feel, what you feel, how you think. And part of this introspection is writing down, and reminding yourself, for what you should be grateful for. This can serve as a motivator, as well as keeping you grounded. Finally, in dark and difficult times, it serves as a way to push yourself more.
You shouldn’t deal with all of this alone. In fact, at least releasing some of the burdens by speaking your troubles out loud can help you distress. You can visit a psychologist, or simply have a drink and talk with a friend or your significant other. Never keep this bottled up, it will drive you crazy.
And this isn’t just some hippy, new-age talk. Know that a psychological injury in the workplace can happen and that sharing your feelings is healthy and important for success. It won’t make you weak or soft, it will actually allow you to pursue your goals better.
You do not have to do all the work on your own. In fact, you can’t do that, it’s impossible. You need to delegate as much as you can and conserve your energy. Multitasking, being at a hundred places at once, all of this will drain you. It will also influence your work. It’s better to transfer some of the more tedious, annoying stuff onto people you trust, and allow yourself to focus on what only you can do.
Take care of your body
Taking care of yourself is a vital part of minimizing stress and avoiding burnout. Namely, if you are healthy, you will handle stress better. Working out regularly, taking care of your diet, getting enough water, vitamins, minerals, protein, all of this will make you more efficient. You will also get sick less often, giving you, even more, time and energy to pursue your goals.
Try to get outside more, catch some rays. Understand that Vitamin D, which you get from sunlight, is good for you and that it’s vital for long-term health, as is fresh air.
Learn how to say no
We understand that saying yes to things and to opportunities is a vital part of running your own business, of being an entrepreneur. However, you need to get your priorities straight. For something’s, you simply need to say no. Did you run into a high school buddy you haven’t seen in ten years, and he asked you to catch up? Ask yourself – do you really have the time? Understand that saying no to him means saying yes to your family and your close friends.
The same goes for work. It will not be the end of the world if you refuse this client if you simply say no. Losing sleep and family time is simply not worth it, especially if your company is going steady as it is.
Never compare yourself to others
We understand that there is always this creeping feeling, this idea that you may have ended up a failure. You may have scored 20 big clients, you are perhaps making six-figure, but that guy over there is making twice as much, with three times as many clients. However, there is someone even better than him, making, even more, having even more success. Our point here is that there is always a bigger fish. You should look at the success of others as a source of inspiration and motivation.
Understand that burning out, that working yourself into an early grave is not productive. It will not help you achieve your goals, quite the contrary in fact. You will lose your energy, you will lose focus, and you will most likely make mistakes. Try to regulate your stress, to take care of yourself, and you will definitely find a way to achieve what you want.
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