LEARN | TWELVE, MAY 2019
As an entrepreneur, you’re at a higher risk of burnout than almost any other group, especially as a solopreneur. Studies have shown that burnout in entrepreneurs is more likely to show up in the body than in the job.
Jade Barclay, a psychotherapist who recently completed her MBA Thesis on Entrepreneurial Burnout said in an interview “There were a whole raft of cognitive symptoms that would show up, so just not being able to focus and things like that, brain fog, that kind of thing. A lot of people actually had body symptoms. It was common to have people say, "My body just completely shut down. I couldn't work anymore." So how do you prevent this all too common occurrence? We’ve found 4 helpful tips to help you avoid burnout.
Time blocking is the practice of setting aside blocks of time for specific activities and only those activities. By organizing your day into a series of time slots and devoting yourself entirely to one activity within that time period, whether it’s email, phone calls, creative tasks etc., you can focus on just one thing at a time, stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Delegate the tasks that you don’t enjoy or that you don’t excel at. Work to move anything off your plate that is repeatable and create a simple process to hand that off. Trust your support team to be able to tackle the work efficiently and effectively. Empowering your support team can be the most effective way to avoid burnout. For more great delegations, check out our list of sample tasks to delegate:
One of the best ways to beat stress and avoid burnout is to get moving. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” Block 30 minutes a day to step away from work and get moving. Take a walk, join a yoga class, try that spinning class you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t made the time. It doesn’t matter what you do just get moving.
Remember Why You Started In The First Place
As entrepreneurs it’s far too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and the stress of building your own business but you have to remind yourself why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. Look back at what fueled your passion in the beginning, where the fun was, and try to find ways to reconnect with that energy in your work each day.
They say if you want to refill your cup you should pour out to others. Giving of your time (rather than of your pocketbook) is one of the best ways to avoid burnout. Being the good in your community and serving others gives a renewed sense of purpose and rejuvenates the spirit.
These are just a few of the ways you can avoid burnout. The biggest key to avoiding it is to recognize it and to implement strategies that help you feel excited about the work you are doing.
You don’t need to break your day down into 5-minute increments like Elon Musk, just give yourself a practical amount of time for each segment. You can adjust accordingly if you find yourself always running behind. One side effect of time blocking is that you will start to see exactly how long certain tasks take to complete. This is a positive since you can now use that information to plan your day more accurately.
To make time blocking work, you need to consider these calendar events as meetings with yourself, promises to yourself that you will accomplish the scheduled items within that time period and will not procrastinate. Using the time blocking technique you will soon find yourself tackling more and ending your day with a greater sense of accomplishment.
Contributed by our Team Member, Amber W.