Dude, no matter how big your candle is, you probably shouldn’t be burning it at both ends. I understand you want to build your business, but being reckless with your time and not following some simple stress management tips is a sure way to create entrepreneurial burnout.
While your staff members are tucked nicely in their beds, you may be up late at night, running on your business treadmill, desperately trying to keep up.
But that's a great way to burnout.
Sure, it’s a no-pain, no-gain kind of thing, and if you find that sweet spot where you’re really pushing yourself, in the zone and working constantly, good on you. But your job as an entrepreneur is to manage your resources and take smart risks. Working yourself ragged may give you a brief moment of glory, but isn’t a good long-term strategy when you come down with a serious case of entrepreneurial burnout.
Whether you’ve been going it alone a few months or for years now, here are some self-care fundamentals that you always need to return to when the going gets tough:
Don’t ever multitask
Maybe your ego likes the idea of getting 400 text, Slack and WhatsApp messages every day from your staff bringing their questions and problems to you one by one, you doling out single word answers and basking in the flurry.
But that shouldn't be a business owner's focus.
In fact, working in this low-grade chaos is inefficient and will lead to you burning out. Do one thing at a time, properly, and consciously remind yourself to go slowly, to be present in each moment.
Be more active
Life's entire premise is that a person can improve their life by making solid lifestyle choices. So don’t be a slouch and slack on eating your veggies and staying active. Sleep enough, stay hydrated and if you’re a bit of a cortisol-junkie, consider regular mediation or chill out sessions to de-stress.
You won't do your business any good if you suffer an entrepreneurial burnout.
Watch out for yourself doing the same little task over and over. Rather, spend a bit more time upfront making it automatic and then forget about it. Automatic payments, a yearly consultant contract or software that manages clients with minimal fuss from you are good examples.
Fill the well
An entrepreneur is a machine that turns ideas and energy into reality. To keep on metabolizing your brilliance and pumping out good decisions, you need to make sure you’re feeding your soul. Whatever it is that keeps you going, make sure you’re giving it to yourself regularly. Friends, family, hobbies, religion, whatever. Fill up the well more often than you draw from it and you won’t ever run dry.
Build your team
A staff member you trust deeply is like an extension of yourself.
If you constantly say “Fine, I’ll just do it myself”, you’re not in a management role, you’re in a nanny role. Focus on training up people you're happy to delegate to and then find the 20% of your efforts that are directly related to your success and really matter – delegate everything else. A team that you trust to do things right will give you the time to disengage when you need to without the whole business falling apart.
Entrepreneurial burnout is like falling in love – and, no, I don't mean it's a myth – it happens slowly at first, then all at once. Always be mindful of your hypertension and pace yourself.
What does your stress management plan look like?
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