The Hard Knock Life of an Entrepreneur Part 4 – “Burnout”

Okay small biz owners, this blog post is especially for you. It’s time for us to talk about a topic that we, as business owners, are all too familiar with, and it’s called, BURNOUT!

How do you know if you’re operating in Burnout-mode? Ask yourself these questions:

– Are you tired all the time?
– Are you stressed out? Anxious?
– Do you feel overwhelmed?
– Are you on the computer from the minute you wake up, until right before you go to sleep?
– Is your home/office disorganized?
– Do you find it difficult to wind down and relax?

If you answered yes, to one or more of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re burned out.

Here are my suggestions to drag yourself out of burnout-mode, and hopefully, never return again:

1) Set work hours. If you own a business, you’ll know why I’m saying this. Entrepeneurs tend to work ’round-the-clock without even realizing it. Whether it’s because you’re passionate about your work, or you just don’t have as much staff to help you out in your business, it’s time to reign in your hours. Whatever they are, they should preferably not exceed 8 hrs a day. Less is even better. There’s a time to work, a time to rest, and a time to play. Make sure you have a balance of the three in your life.

2) Turn off your computer (and your Blackberry)! Yes, I said it! I am a self-proclaimed Blackberry addict, and I know that I need help. But, hey, admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? After you set your work hours, set a time each night to turn off your computer. This time should preferably be at least 2 hrs Before you go to bed. I’ve found that it is really rough to wind down at night if your computer is on, until right before you go to bed. When does your mind and body have time to relax, wind down, and decompress? Also, leave your Blackberry charging in another room in your home, where you won’t be able to easily access it.

3) Pick one day (during the week) to either not work at all, or only work a half-day, and Do Not Do Any Work during that designated day/time. Do something completely not work-related. Spend time with your spouse, children, or yourself. Go volunteer, go to the gym, to the library, go for a walk, or go to the movies. You get the idea.

4) Do not work on the weekends. Okay, now I’m sure you think I’m officially crazy at this point. Either that, or I don’t really own a business. Neither is true (well, I may be a little crazy lol). Anyhow, I know this may be difficult for all, and not possible for some. But the point is, there’s a good chance that one of the reasons you started your business was so that you could have a “flexible work schedule”, and have “freedom”. So, what ever happened to that? Aren’t you working more hours now than you did when you had a regular job? My point exactly. You have to set boundaries for yourself, or you may end up working yourself to death. Or even worse, living a life of working all the time, and in turn missing out on all of the true joys of this life.

Say goodbye to Burnout today, and watch your life and business really begin to flourish. And guess what, since you won’t be burned out anymore, you’ll actually be able to enjoy the benefits of all your hard work, and the fruits of your labor. You (and your family) will definitely thank me later. 😉

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