Ohhhh burnout, a v scary word to hear as an entrepreneur!
Burnout is a real deal, and for us entrepreneurs, hitting burnout almost seems inevitable. Pretty much every entrepreneur I know has gone through it at one point or another.
It is not a fun season to be in personally, and it definitely doesn’t do good things for your business either. So today I want to talk about the things you can proactively do now to manage your hustle, so you don’t hit the burnout wall hard.
You and I both know that if I recommended you to ‘set working hours and never work outside of them,’ that game plan would last all of half a day before you break that commitment.
As an entrepreneur, yeah, you end up working random days and times as is necessary.
But in order to give your personal life a chance at existing and helping promote the ‘life’ side of work-life balance, we need to set some definite ‘no work times.’
No work times could be actual times (eg. no working on weekends), or activity times (eg. no working anytime you’re spending time with friends and family). (Yeah, that means no email during dinner!)
Or maybe those no work times would be while on vacation, or away traveling somewhere.
Set the definite no work times and enjoy whatever activity/time you have set for living life by actually living it! Know that you don’t need to be working and shouldn’t be working during these no work times and really get intentional about doing life and forgetting about work.
When we run our own businesses, there are about 50 zillion things we could be doing right this minute to improve our business. If you’re anything like me, you have 16 ideas rolling around in your head of new things you want to do, but don’t have nearly enough time to execute them all.
It’s also typical when we run our own business, that we work alone and loneliness becomes a real issue.
It’s easy for our business to begin taking over our life.
Working on the business can easily replace the time you intended to hit the gym, cook a meal, watch Netflix with the boyfriend or grab cocktails with the girls.
That’s why you need to consciously prioritize social time and seeing humans.
I noticed over the years that my business kept creeping up on my social time. I eventually had to come to terms with the fact that, I hardly saw friends and hadn’t spoken to my family in what felt like ages.
I knew I needed a change of lifestyle, so I made a conscious priority to set goals related to social time & seeing humans, just like I set financial goals or business goals. I made it my goal to get out of the house, and go hang out with friends at least 2 nights a week.
So if your business is also slowly taking over your life, nows the time to set a social goal, just like you set business goals.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of sitting behind the laptop at 11 PM on a Tuesday ‘working’ but are actually doing anything but at that point. You’re scrolling through your competitor’s website, reading a business-related blog post, or opening up your email for the 33rd time that hour.
If you’re not really working, if you’re not really productively completing the task before you and it’s wayyy late into the evening, honestly, just close the laptop.
Sometimes we set ourselves mammoth-sized projects to complete which have us working all day and all night. But at some point, we’re just not productive. We’re on a detour through Facebook, blogs, our email, or are cleaning up the organization of our files on our computer.
At some point, we can’t continue doing productive work and are just doing semi-related tasks that aren’t really moving the needle or getting you closer to the completion of the actually important projects we’re working on.
In these cases, just close the laptop, put it aside and go do that living life thing for the rest of however long you have hat day.
Anddd what do we need when we’re utterly failing at holding ourselves accountable to the tips above? Someone to kick our butts and keep us accountable.
A business friend could work for this, but honestly, even better would be someone you live with. If a business friend is your accountability buddy, it’ll take you being honest on how you’ve done to make this work.
Better than a business friend would be someone you live with, someone who isn’t afraid of calling you out when you’re lying to yourself about how much work you actually did on the weekend or how many emails you responded to during dinner.
I’m also assuming that you’re closer with whoever you live with than a business friend, meaning they’re more likely to force you to stay accountable and not let you off easily for breaking your own rules.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve looked at my Asana, completely overwhelmed with what was on it, and stressed both during work time and during ‘life’ time about what had to get done.
And talk about ruining your free time with work stress; you’re not getting anything done and you’re ruining your night off!
If you have a tendency to assign too many tasks in a given time frame, or tend to underestimate the amount of time tasks take, then give yourself grace and allow yourself to push tasks back.
Being constantly under the gun is a guaranteed one-way ticket to burnout, so the next time you’re feeling stressed by your workload, just look forward on your calendar, find a day or week in the future that’s a bit lighter and push a task ahead.
Running your own business means going at your own pace, so give yourself the freedom to change your pace depending on how projects are actually going, not how you wanted them to go in an ideal world.