There’s nothing wrong with being busy, but when you’re constantly moving forward with full speed ahead—running yourself ragged, not letting your batteries have much of a chance to recharge—that can lead to problems. The main problem it can lead to is burnout, which has been a scourge to entrepreneurs and business owners forever.
As a leadership speaker and coach, I meet with many business owners who express to me their struggle with burnout; they want to be productive and they want to keep loving their businesses unabashedly, yet they’re not sure of how best to keep their physical, mental, and emotional needs met. How can we stay productive while minimizing burnout, they ask me?
What to Do About Burnout
I’ll tell you what I tell all of them: You don’t choose between productivity and your personal health; emphasizing your personal health is the only way to remain productive over the long haul. Keeping your body and mind focused and well-rested is the only way to function at peak creativity.
Here are a few specific recommendations I’ll make for those worried about burning out:
Take a vacation—and truly unplug. It’s not really a vacation if you’re checking your Blackberry and responding to work emails the whole time, is it? Take a clean break from your office for a few days, maybe even a few weeks.
Create weekly and daily priority lists. Know what the big things you want to accomplish are, and don’t worry so much about the little things, or the things that are less urgent.
Schedule time for yourself. You need an hour at the gym each day, the occasional night out with your significant other, some Friday afternoons where you knock off early and go to the movies. Schedule this time. Protect it. Make appointments for your own health and wellbeing.
Delegate. Trust the people you’ve hired. (If you don’t trust them, then you’re not hiring well!) Ask them to shoulder some of the simple or repeatable tasks that stress you out or that you simply don’t need to be spending time on.
Get a change of scenery. Grab your laptop and go work at the park, the marina, the library, a favorite coffee shop, or just your home office.
I’ve seen many an entrepreneur be taken down by burnout. Don’t let yourself become one of them! Protect yourself. Educate yourself, too; learn more about effective business ownership by viewing the ACES page.