While life can be a rollercoaster, the lows we experience aren’t often amusement-worthy. We spend so much time on the go every day that the wear and tear on our bodies often causes a collapse in our daily lives – we get burnt out. We’ve all been there, and it’s happened to everyone at some point in time – a lack of motivation, overall cynicism and, sadly, low levels of energy. In order to avoid burnout in running a business, here are 11 important things to think about.
- Push yourself
Many of us have sat around, waiting for a spark of energy or creativity to fly that allows us to be productive and finish what work we need to get done. More often than not, we find ourselves overdoing the waiting and not executing properly. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he discusses forcing himself to write some 2,000 words every single day – even when he isn’t motivated or inspired. He writes on weekends, holidays, and still publishes an average of two novels a year! To be blunt, you need to get up and go! While life isn’t a novel, and neither you nor I may happen to be the King himself, writing is his livelihood, as much as your work is your own livelihood! Forcing yourself to do just a small task every day could allow you to progress over time in ways you weren’t aware of before and, as a result, manage your time instead of burning out! While the initial push and shove may not be fun, they allow you to manage time effectively and avoid feeling spread thin in the long haul!
- Work smarter not harder
If you speak with anyone deemed successful in the business world, they will tell you of the tireless effort they put into their dream, threaded and woven seamlessly with a successful model, a strong workforce, effective marketing strategies, and the time they took watching their work pay off! While procrastinating is alright sometimes, it often leads to preventable stress. It’s better to begin right away and take those dreaded first steps! Kevin Kruse in his book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management points out that successful people work on their most important tasks earlier in the morning so they don’t get distracted and they schedule them on their calendar. To read tips on how to work smarter read here.
- Focus on yourself
You’ve had a long hour, period in the day, week, month, year – decade, even. In all of life’s trials and tribulations, it is extremely easy to lose sight of yourself, your goals, and what you’ve been working toward all along. A lack of personal closeness and value creates a sense of apathy: you have little to no concern about your health and well-being, and you go through the motions in order to complete the task (or tasks) at hand. While “focusing on yourself” may not be something you think you have time for, it is extremely simple to embark on small tasks that help to relax your mind, allowing you to work on your perception of yourself and the world around you! Be honest with yourself, feel everything – be kind and patient to and with yourself. Living in a frantic mindset affects your body and livelihood the more you do it. Running a business is often more hectic than you originally imagined it would ever be, and it is important that you focus on you in light of potential downfalls and rough patches.
- Change the pace
It is important that, while you are working, that you avoid moving too fast! While you never want to work too slow, changing the pace from up to down tempo never hurt anybody! While your business is not going to run itself, it is easier to make mistakes and fail to notice when you’re moving too fast, but changing the pace allows you to retrace steps and catch mistakes in the future! Take a couple of minutes to reflect on your day or to meditate, this will help your brain gain back focus. Working too fast also causes you to burn out at a rapid rate. Think of running a mile – consistently shifting or maintaining your running time so that you don’t lose your breath and place – and consider pacing yourself to avoid being overwhelmed with your business.
- Be prepared!
I’m a strong believer in contingencies. For business and in life, things aren’t always a matter of if – they’re a matter of when. Things will get lost, communication will get muddled, and fearful pranks will ensue in and out of the business. Having something – anything – to fall back on is better than nothing! You can truly save so much if you prepare ahead of time! Craig Jarrow the author of Time Management Ninja makes an argument that planning is great but preparation is better. Preparing the night before can remedy any shortfalls like printing your presentation in case your laptop doesn’t work when you are presenting to a client or doing pre-work like practicing your presentation or arriving early to a meeting.
Exercise is essential to maintaining overall health. Exercise helps blood flow, reduces stress, and assists in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to ADAA “Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.
A brisk walk for up to thirty minutes each day can help you in more ways than you would believe! Your mental and bodily health converge and often factor into one another. Exercise helps your body to find a state of release, and helps to keep you from burning out!
- Find something to get excited about!
Not all work we do is glamorous or exciting. It is easy to grow bored and displeased with work and, as a result, less motivated to do the work required of us. It is important to remember when you find yourself displeased and dissatisfied, that factors of business – and life – are often uncontrollable and that sidesteps are a given. Finding a hobby or something to get excited about can bring those fluttering memories of happiness you’ve felt throughout your life. Take initiative, don’t be afraid of failing.
- Listen to music
Music is my favorite thing in the world. Never in my life have I ever experienced a work of art that brings back memories, smells, reminders of how I felt during a certain time, nor have I been brought to elation by something like music! While work is tiring, I have learned that, with good music, no work is bad work! Studies show that listening to upbeat, catchy music is more likely to boost productivity than less known or subjectively unpleasant music! Listen to music that you like while working, switch up your genres and avoid music that will leave you worn out. If you need music to help you focused then a great application for that is focus@will where you can listen to music that is scientifically engineered and proven to increase focus and reduce distractions.
- Take care of your brain
I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to take care of your body and your mind! While unhealthy food tastes great, believe me, your mind and body are sure to benefit from eating right. Eating more fruits and vegetables – good sources of important vitamins helps to shift you into gear and remain alert while working! Besides feeding your body and mind the right way, it is important that you talk about your feelings – whatever you may be feeling – with a loved one or in a log that you hold! Read good books, have heated political conversations, and stretch the limits of your brain. To learn more about how to take care of yourself for a happier mind and body read here.
- Remember your purpose
When faced with the hardships of running a business, you may be in for more than you bargained – the last thing you expected to happen. When things go south and look bad, it is easiest for us to revert to a state of confusion and disdain, and we often have intrapersonal quarrels where we are unable to pinpoint just why we do what we do. This business is your dream, and you’ve worked so hard to attain the success you’ve created over time! Keep your goals in mind, list your priorities, and remember why you started your business! Good luck and don’t get burnt out!
Author: Christian Jimenez
Christian is a Public Relations student and freelance writer from Dallas, Texas. He has a passion for traveling, coffee, and all things writing (creative, technical, you name it). His works range from newsworthy topics to self-help blog posts for small businesses. He is currently the content creator for ezClocker.