5 ways to avoid business burnout

Managing a business takes a lot more than knowledge alone – you also need strength and determination in spades. And that also means there’s a significant risk of burning out.

The longer you’re in business the more successful you are and the easier running a business becomes.

But many business owners burn out and give up before they reach this point.

So, what can you do to keep business burnout at bay and last the distance?

Here are five things to seriously consider doing so that you can maintain the rage when appropriate, without the risk of running out of steam.


1. Take holidays


I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to schedule in time for yourself when you own a business.

Who’s going to manage it while you’re away? Will you lose customers? Can you afford to not work in the business?

All these thoughts prevent us from doing the best thing for ourselves and our business and that is to take a break.

Small business owners are ‘on’ 24/7 so it is even more important that you take breaks from business.

READ: Why you need to start planning your end of year break

Holidays give you the chance to recharge those batteries, keep perspective and renew your enthusiasm for what you do. I recently took the longest holiday I had taken in 20 years. It was only five weeks, but it was the best thing I have done for me and my business.

I completely relaxed, which I understand is difficult for business owners. Prior to that, I’d only taken a maximum two-week holiday.

But as you know, it’s pretty hard to recharge in just two weeks – you are only just starting to feel like you are on holidays and then you are back at work.

My advice is to schedule in a decent break every couple of years and to regularly take breaks, of one week at least, throughout the year.

It takes practice to put yourself first in business (clearly it has taken me 20 years), so start now.


2. Identify and remove stressors


Take note of what things really stress you out in your business and see if you can remove them.

It might be an annoying customer who never pays on time, or a particular supplier, a dodgy printer or wasting hours of every day sifting through spreadsheet upon spreadsheet.

Remove as many of these things as you can because they generate stress every day.

Consider sacking the customer, change suppliers if possible, and ditch the spreadsheets for an online accounting software package.

READ: 7 steps towards saving your precious business time

Making change can make your business day more enjoyable, thereby reducing the chances of burnout.


3. Take action! Don’t procrastinate


Putting off the things you don’t want to do is understandable, but it isn’t great for running a business.

There are always going to be things that we don’t really want to do that we have to do as business owners. Avoiding them doesn’t make them go away.

They are still there, but they now create a real burden of guilt and anxiety that can make it hard to face the business day.

Set aside some time every week or every month to just tackle the things that need to be done. It might be contacting the Tax Office, sorting out your technology, updating your database or making those follow up phone calls.

Reduce the torture of the never-ending to-do list and just start getting stuff done.


4. Engage a coach


You may have heard the quote ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ that’s the power of getting a professional to come and work with you.

Many business owners are working in isolation which creates its own challenges.

Engaging a coach can be the perfect antidote to business burnout.

READ: Why a business mentor is worth their weight in gold

Having a coach can help you:

  • Feel less alone
  • Feel supported
  • See your business through a fresh set of eyes
  • Feel more motivated
  • Be more productive and reach your goals faster

5. Review regularly


Highlight the positive outcomes you’ve achieved on a weekly or monthly basis and regularly review how you are tracking towards your business goals.

This keeps you focus on why you are in business and what you are hoping to achieve. It gives you a moment to get off the treadmill, take a breath and reset.

Focusing on the positive can help lift your mood and give you’re a more positive perspective. It can help to keep you clear on why you are in business.

When you remember why you are doing something it helps you keep motivated.

Business burnout can spell disaster for businesses and business owners so it’s really important to take steps to avoid it at all costs.

Choose at least one of the five suggestions and start implementing it today so you’ll last the distance and reach those small business rewards that only come with time.