Have you noticed the lines between your business and personal lives start to blur? Have encountered a creative roadblock or feel the enthusiasm and vigor you started your journey with is beginning to wane? If you’ve answered yes to even one of these questions, then you are experiencing the classic signs of entrepreneur burnout.
In the world of business and entrepreneurship, there is a huge misconception that burnout is caused by working too much. Most founders, however, put in a lot of hours. And as their own bosses, they’ve created a lifestyle of independence — and it hasn’t been easy for them.
What actually causes burnout is a lack of emotional intelligence and the inability to manage one’s emotions. The quest of achieving business or career success is a roller coaster of events and emotions all year round. Having low days during this journey is nearly inevitable. Your emotions may be on full display when you are building a business and unawareness of this element of entrepreneurship can lead to burnout and a lack of motivation in the long run.
So what can you do to stay on top of everything and keep yourself going, especially in those low moments of your journey?
Make your values clear from the very start
At the start of their career, every entrepreneur takes on a variety of roles, especially if they are building a business from the ground up for the first time. But here is a reality check: You can’t do everything! And the sooner you accept that fact, the better things will get for you.
Define your values as early as possible, both in your business and your personal life. Work with a business strategy expert to help you set clear business goals, determine the focus of your business, and identify places where you need to create or expand your team.
When these values are put in place for your business, you can go on to take care of your personal life. First, set personal communication boundaries. Limit your working hours to traditional work hours or a more strict 8-hour daily schedule, and train yourself to respect the line between personal and professional. This may mean that customers cannot reach you immediately, but adhering to this boundary is critical if you want to avoid burnout.
Adopt a smart morning routine
You agree with me that the way you start your day tends to set the tone for the rest of the day.
If you begin your day in a negative, hurried, and stressed state, it is likely that this will continue for the rest of the day, affecting your work, relationships, and overall quality of life.
On the other hand, if you begin your day with some uplifting reading or a fun conversation around the breakfast table and then get started on your most important task of the day as soon as you arrive at work, you are setting a much better tone for the rest of your day.
Try your best not to give away your agenda to others before you’ve set your intentions and purpose for the day if you want a clean workday.
Opening emails, texts, and social media first thing in the morning expose you to the energy and opinions of everyone around you and this is likely to diffuse your mission and focus for the day.
Instead, start your day with a morning routine that works for you and is easy to accomplish like meditating, reading, or work out in the morning, and have everything you need ready the night before.
Take your mind of the “How”
For most people, especially entrepreneurs, the word “how” is exhausting. When you ask yourself how, your system will experience a surge of worry, which will start you off in a variety of scenarios and create cycles.
Instead of asking how, ask yourself, what needs to happen next?
This switches your brain to problem-solving mode. Make a list of everything you want to do, and then prioritize it. There is always a solution to a problem.
Asking questions about the next steps in the process will keep your mind on a solution map rather than spinning with concern, which leads to burnout.
Staying focused on job and purpose requires a dedicated and trained mind muscle. Reminding oneself of your why is an important part of growing this muscle. Keep your focus on your purpose and avoid identifying things as failures.
Remember, avoiding burnout is essential to your health, wellness, continued growth, and success.