Entrepreneur

How to Manage Burnout – Simple and Effective Tips for Entrepreneurs  

how to manage burnout
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The hustle culture has glorified the non-stop grind, making you feel like slowing down equals failure.

Sure, you must work hard to build your dream business and create something great. But that doesn’t mean you let it consume and overwhelm you.

Today, we’ll talk about how to manage burnout so you can safeguard your well-being and sustain that venture you’re passionate about.

The Truth About Burnout

the truth about burnout and how to manage burnout - a match that's burned lined up with new matches

In one of my posts, I shared how having a business can give you that sweet freedom you’ve always craved.

But like any other thing, there’s a not-so-beautiful side to it that doesn’t make it into the Instagram highlights.

If there’s workplace burnout for employees, business owners also suffer from work-related stress or job burnout.

In fact, 80% of entrepreneurs feel they work too much, drastically increasing their risk. And we can’t deny that this number is quite alarming.

Identifying the Early Signs

Are you experiencing any of the following? 

  • Persistent Tiredness. The physical and emotional exhaustion won’t disappear, even after a night’s sleep.
  • Cynicism and Loss of Motivation.  You find yourself increasingly pessimistic and cynical, losing your usual enthusiasm for what you do.
  • Retreating from Responsibilities. You suddenly feel overwhelmed and start to pull back from your roles and duties.
  • Procrastination. Tasks that used to take you an hour now take three. 
  • Change in Appetite or Sleep Habits. Have you been eating or sleeping too much/too little? That’s your body issuing a warning signal. 

Don’t sweep it under the rug if you nod to any of these signs. 

5 Simple Steps on How to Avoid Burnout for Entrepreneurs

The good news here is that there are many ways to prevent burnout. Here are some of my faves:

1. Make Time for Self-Care

When you hear the term ‘self-care,’ your mind might jump to spa days and skincare routines. But beyond that, it’s about taking a holistic approach to your overall health.

To help you avoid burnout or manage one, you must work on sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

Getting good sleep habits, like sleeping for 7 to 8 hours, is crucial so your brain and body can rest properly.

In addition to that, exercising can do wonders for your physical and mental health. You don’t have to enroll at the gym to do this. Even a brisk 20-minute walk is enough.

Another great way to manage stress and burnout is progressive muscle relaxation. This process allows you to focus on tensing and then relaxing each muscle group, promoting body calmness.

And the last key to this self-care trilogy is what you put in your body—eating a healthy diet that can boost your energy levels throughout the day.

So keep fast food to a minimum and add fruits, veggies, and lean proteins to your meal.

Mini Challenge 

Pick one aspect of self-care that you’re going to focus on. Whether committing to the right amount of sleep, taking that brisk walk daily, or incorporating more fruits and veggies into your meals—choose one and stick to it for a week.

2. Set Boundaries

Boundaries are essential to keeping your sanity intact. This is important if you want to do this in the long run and become a successful entrepreneur.

They help you distinguish between “me-time” and “work time.” And in today’s always-on culture, where we are constantly pulled to check our phones, we must take this seriously. 

So, how can you set healthy boundaries as a burnout prevention? 

  • Set your work hours and stick to them. If you decide to only work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. because it aligns with your most productive hours, then do so with conviction.
  • Don’t overextend yourself by packing too many calls and meetings into your schedule.
  • Learn to say no. Overcommitting does no one any favors. It’s okay to decline something that doesn’t align with your goals or capacity.

Mini Challenge 

Try implementing the “Two-Sentence Rule” for setting boundaries this week. 

Let’s say a client or customer wants you to hop on a call outside work hours. You could say, “I’d love to chat with you to see how I can help. Let’s schedule a call during my regular working hours.”

3. Delegate and Collaborate

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and delegating tasks won’t make you less of a business owner. It’s actually quite the opposite. 

When you delegate, you optimize what you’re good at and empower those around you to do the same. 

That’s the kind of harmony that not only boosts productivity, but also significantly reduces the chances of you burning out.

Mini Challenge 

This week, identify at least one task you can delegate that doesn’t require your expertise. 

Hand it off to a team member (or if the budget is lean, see if you can delegate this task to an intern), and see how it plays out. It might help you reduce some stress and take a load off your plate. 

4. Incorporate Mindfulness Techniques

Have you ever found yourself so caught up in the “doing” that you forget the “being”? 

Mindfulness helps you pause and tune in to yourself. It enables you to be fully engaged in the present. In addition, it also increases your resilience to stress. 

You might think, “I don’t have time for this.” Don’t worry. I won’t ask you to meditate for an hour or go to a retreat to practice it. 

You can start with simple breathing exercises. Take 5 to 10 minutes from your chaotic schedule for a quick meditation.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a free 5-minute guided meditation. You can also check apps like Insight Timer or Calm. 

Mini-Challenge 

Try practicing mindfulness for just five to ten minutes a day for a week. Notice the shifts in how you react to stress or engage with your clients, your team, or yourself.

5. Seek out connections

When burnout hits, your instinct might be to isolate yourself. It makes sense on the surface, “I’m drained, so I need some time alone.”

But this can open the gates to an endless spiral of negative thoughts. 

Connecting with others—whether it’s family, friends, or colleagues who lift you—can be a beneficial way to break that cycle and offer a healthy distraction. 

Conversations can be refreshing, bringing new perspectives, or simply offering a sounding board for your thoughts. Most of the time, they can be the antidote to the loneliness and stress that accompany burnout.

Mini Challenge 

Make it your mission this week to send a simple message to friends or family members you’ve been meaning to talk to. A “Hey, how’s it going?” can open doors. Keep it simple and genuine, and see where the conversation takes you.

Manage Burnout For A Healthy and Successful Career

Burnout is an urgent issue that can affect most of us. But that doesn’t mean we have little or no control over it. 

We can manage our mental and physical health and overcome burnout by investing in self-care, creating healthy boundaries, practicing mindfulness, and more. 

We Want to Hear From You

Which one of the tips above speaks to you most? Let us know in the comments! 

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