Are you exhausted, annoyed, and ready to throw in the towel on something that once made you leap out of bed with joy every morning? Business can be crazy, stressful and overwhelming at the best of times, though add in running a household and managing a family as well, and it’s not hard to see why it can be easy to get overwhelmed and reach burnout.
Late nights, early mornings, always pushing yourself to work harder, grow your business and meet deadlines, you can end up stressed out, frazzled and sometimes even lose the passion you had for your business to begin with. But it doesn’t need to get to that point.
So how can you avoid burnout and stay in a productive rhythm when you are facing a mountain of work and tight of deadlines? Here are 8 tips to help safeguard you life against burnout.
1. Embrace a morning ritual
Are you starting your day on the wrong foot by waking up late, rushing about, and skipping out the door at the last minute? Try slowing down your morning instead. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than usual and spend the “extra” time sitting in a sunny spot in your living room with a cup of coffee and a good book.
As you slowly add more to your morning, you’ll develop a fierce attachment to “your” time. Why? Because you’ve chosen to start your day with a focus on taking care of yourself instead of busting out of bed like a bomb squad.
2. Take regular breaks
When you’re extremely busy taking a break can be the last thing on your mind. Not wanting to lose your place or momentum you can often think “I’m too busy to have a break”.
But breaks are even more vital when you’re under pressure to help prevent burnout. Even just sparing 5-10 minutes every 60-90 minutes to stretch or go for a walk, can help to clear your head, minimise your stress and leave you more refreshed to get back to work.
3. Break up your work
Break up high concentration work with low concentration work and tasks that you enjoy. This simple change can often be as good as a break and give your mind the rest it needs to keep working at your peak – without utter exhaustion.
For the best results start the low concentration work or enjoyable tasks just before or just after your break as this will give your mind more of a break.
4. Accept a little imperfection
If you’re a perfectionist like me you can often add more stress to yourself and take up precious time trying to ‘perfect’ your work.
Sometimes though, you have to let go of your perfectionist ways for both your sanity and schedule. Don’t get me wrong, still take pride in your work and ensure it is of high quality, it just doesn’t need to be ‘perfect’ all of the time.
5. Get a life!
It’s important to have a life outside of your work and the every day routine. Often when you’re passionate about your business and love what you do, you can view work as an outlet and it can become something you keep going back to in the spare moments you have.
But it’s important to remember that you need time for yourself in addition to time with friends and family, to have fun and enjoy life. Not only will you feel better for it, you will also be more relaxed and work more effectively. The whole point is to expand your social horizon and crush the feeling that you’re stuck doing the same thing every day.
6. Follow a fitness plan
Why we give up exercise in order to sit in a chair and work for an extra hour at a lower level of intensity is beyond me. We deal with stress by eating and work instead of working out. No wonder why we are burning out all of the time, plus think about how much tighter your pants having been getting over time.
If you want to avoid burnout, figure out what it will take to get you exercising on a regular basis. Apart from all the physical benefits of exercise, you’ll enjoy the mental satisfaction of knowing that you’re taking good care of yourself again.
7. Ask for help
This is easy to say but often hard to do, especially if you are a perfectionist, highly independent or proud. Though if you want to avoid burnout you do have to swallow your pride and give up control on occasion and reach out for help – especially in your busy times.
Look to outsource some of the tasks that you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy, collaborate with others in your industry to brainstorm projects or refer work onto and ask family members to help a little more on the home front while you are snowed under. This will help you get a solution faster than you could ever hope to alone.
8. Know your limits
One of the easiest ways to avoid burnout is to know how much work you can handle or comfortably outsource, and say “no” or “not yet” to the rest.
While it can be tempting to say yes to every client and every opportunity you can run out of time, stress yourself out and risk not meet deadlines or giving poor service which reflects badly on your professionalism.
If you are a serviced based business try booking your work in advance so you don’t have to say no to opportunities. Just explain that you’re booked out for the next week/fortnight/month and give them the option to book your services on the next available date.
Avoiding burnout is a matter of constant vigilance and regular maintenance. What are you doing to avoid burnout?