How do small business owners avoid burnout? For many small business owners, their businesses are an all-encompassing and time-consuming activity which requires their full dedication. Yet, burnout and the inability to switch off, particularly from technology, is a very real problem for many entrepreneurs. From depression to coronary heart disease and fatigue, burnout can have serious consequences for you and your business.
Here are seven ways to help you learn how to avoid burnout.
Be Organized And Use Time Efficiently
Entrepreneurs tend to be extremely busy. In order to avoid burnout, effective time management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop. In order to stay productive and focused, make sure that you take some time to organize your working day.
Ensure that you have an organized filing system so that you can easily store and retrieve files and data whenever you need it. In particular, administrative and financial tasks can cause some of the most stress. If there are particular tasks that you find especially stressful or tend to avoid doing, make sure that you create a plan in order to get these done in plenty of time.
Similarly, make sure that you use a comprehensive bookkeeping system in order to stay on top of your finances. Not only will this enable you to stay up-to-date with your business, but it can also be used to automate tasks, thereby saving you time. This will also make it easier and less stressful when it comes to completing your tax return.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of things that you have to get done. Instead of trying to do everything at once, make a list and prioritize the tasks. Consider using a digital list-making app, which enables you to set reminders and share your lists.
“There may be tasks that need to be prioritized first due to set deadlines. Alternatively, consider prioritizing tasks based on goals. You can further categorize tasks into those which are ‘important’ or ‘urgent’. Not only will this make things more manageable, but you’ll also be able to dedicate your time and energy to the most pressing tasks first. Most importantly, be realistic about how much you can get done each day,” says Hollie Wymore, a writer at Lia Help and State Of Writing.
Multitasking is an important and valuable skill. However, there are times when multitasking can actually be counterproductive, leading to divided attention and errors, as well as increased stress and burnout. Instead of trying to do multiple tasks all at once, schedule individual time for each task. In this way, you’ll be able to fully focus on each task, improving your productivity and reducing the potential for mistakes.
Delegate Wherever Possible
Entrepreneurs are known for trying to do it all themselves. However, it can actually be more efficient to delegate tasks to employees or vendors, freeing you up to do other important tasks. Be aware of tasks which can be suitably delegated to others within your business, as well as any areas in which you require additional support. As a result, you’ll be able to make better use of your time and skills, as well as those of your employees.
Similarly, learn when to turn down work. Assess incoming work against your ideal client, project or business goals. Avoid taking on work which doesn’t meet these lists to prevent unnecessary stress.
Very often, burnout can be traced back to other aspects of lifestyle, including poor sleep, diet and exercise. Many entrepreneurs put their businesses, particularly in the early days, ahead of their own sleep and wellbeing. However, staying healthy is essential if your business is to thrive.
“Start by assessing your sleep,” suggests Joseph Gray, a small business blogger at Boomessays and Essayroo. “Getting sufficient sleep every night is extremely important. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Similarly, make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet and try to introduce some exercise into your weekly routine. Try to schedule a lunch break every day, where you can sit down and take the time to eat properly or even do a short workout. This will give your body the chance to recharge and feel more energized and better prepared for work.”
Schedule Regular Breaks
Incorporate regular breaks throughout your day, as these will enable you to refresh your creativity and refocus. Similarly, if you’re struggling with a particular task, consider taking a short break or returning to it at a different time of day.
A change of location can also help break up the day and inspire more productivity. Many entrepreneurs have the fortune of being able to work remotely, so consider trying to work in a flexible work space or a coffee shop to aid creativity.
Set Work Hours And Stick To Them
To improve productivity, set work hours and stick to them. At the end of your work day, whatever time that may be, be strict with yourself and avoid answering emails and unplug from your devices. Having a regular schedule can help you to be better organized and make the most of your time. It will also help you to develop a more positive work-life balance, leading to reduced stress and burnout.
Similarly, schedule down time into your day. In the same way you’d schedule a meeting, schedule in some time for exercise, to read, or simply step away from your work. If possible, try to book a holiday too, whether it’s a full week off, a long weekend or even just one day to yourself.
Burnout is a very real problem for many small business owners. Running your own business can be overwhelming and all encompassing, leaving you with little time for yourself or your personal commitments and interests. However, in order to run a successful business, it’s essential that you find a balance between your work and home life. By following the steps above, you’ll not only avoid burnout and reduce stress, but you’ll also become more productive and successful.
Lauren Groff is a successful small business writer at Academic Writing Services and Essay Services, where she regularly writes about ways to improve productivity in the workplace, as well as sharing tips on how to run a successful small business. She is also an experienced editor at OX Essays. When not writing, Lauren enjoys spending time reading and attending business conferences