In our previous post, we discussed the perils of ignoring professional burnout as an entrepreneur and some of the root causes of burnout that should be addressed.
Entrepreneurship Takes A Considerable Amount Of Work
When we think of professional burnout, the images we have in our head usually include someone wasting away behind a desk, usually with a stalled career and a deep-seated hunger to learn and do something new. To many office workers and other traditional professionals, entrepreneurship is the answer to professional burnout. After all, stepping into the exciting role of a business owner and manager can be the key to addressing both professional and financial stagnation. However, as we are often told as children, the grass is always greener on the other side. While we certainly believe that entrepreneurship is a viable and potentially lucrative and satisfying career option, it requires a considerable amount of work and personal dedication, and some entrepreneurs find themselves overwhelmed and, eventually, burned out from the responsibilities of not just sustaining a business, but nurturing it and growing it. What are some of the ways that entrepreneurs can address stress and alleviate burnout, even if time, money, and other resources are in short supply?
Can You (And Will You) Take Time Off?
One of the most significant differences between entrepreneurs and other professionals who work for others is the concept of time off. When you work for others, taking time away from work can be as simple as submitting a vacation or Personal Time Off (PTO) request. For entrepreneurs, it can be significantly more challenging, and sometimes even risky, to step away from a fledgling business. However, taking time off (and away) from work can be the most effective way to alleviate stress and burnout. In fact, some experts believe that it’s the only way to prevent burnout from setting in.
Ignoring Calls And Emails
If you are simply unable to take an extended break away from work, attempt to set aside a weekend for which you ignore phone calls and emails. If you feel your business, especially a retail business, simply can’t survive without you, begin to develop a plan for either hiring additional employees or reevaluating your current employees. Not being able to take time away from the office is unsustainable, especially if you were to get severely ill or injured.
Create A New Routine
In addition to taking time off, another method to both break up the monotony of your professional life and alleviate stress could be to change your routine. Getting into a “rut” is real, and sometimes all you need to do to become more mentally engaged and less prone to burnout is to rearrange your day and simplify and/or diversify your routine. Remember, you’re the boss, and it’s unlikely that someone is tracking your timecard or setting your schedule for you! If you’ve found yourself stuck in an office or working space, consider working from home or from your local coffee shop for a whole day or part of a day.
Rekindle Your Passion For Your Industry
For some entrepreneurs, the problem isn’t necessarily an overloaded schedule or a boring routine, but that too many obstacles have sprung up between you and your passion for your work and/or your industry, causing you to lose sight of why you wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place! If your day is full of tasks that distract you from the core of your business, attempt to delegate some of them to your employees. Begin reading blogs and Internet forums dedicated to your industry, or even take a refresher night course at your local community college. Finally, find a local meetup of other entrepreneurs or industry professionals in your area, as interacting with others can reignite the spark you originally felt for your business.