You are not able to sleep properly. You have become forgetful. You have lost appetite. You are constantly suffering from anxiety, depression, and anger. And the worst thing is you have lost the zeal to achieve anything.
Well, my friend, these all are the telltale signs of burnout.Image Source: Pixabay
Now, you must be thinking what burnout actually is.
The word ‘burnout’ was first used by German-American psychologist Herbert Herbert Freudenberger in 1974.
Oxford dictionary defines it as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
Does burnout affect startup owners? The answer is a big resounding Yes.
When you are running a startup, you think about it 24x7x365. So, at some time or other, you might feel that you don’t have any fire inside anymore. Your passion becomes work, and work starts to drain you. And the end result is burnout. Most of the successful people understand this vicious cycle, and leave no stone unturned to keep the burnout at bay.
In today’s post, I’m going to share 7 proven ways to avoiding startup burnout. After reading it, you will be equipped with the best practices to fight startup burnout.
Without further ado, let’s dive in:
#1. Set Practical Goals
Needless to say, burnout is a result of disappointment and/or fatigue. And where does disappointment/fatigue come from? Yes, you guessed it right. It is the result of chasing unrealistic goals.
“The solution is to set more conservative expectations for yourself and your business, in terms of your goals, hopes, daily tasks and everything in between”, says Jayson DeMers on Entrepreneur.
However, it doesn’t mean you should not think big. The point here is to set practical goals that you can achieve without taking too much stress. There is a fine line that you should know. The safest way is you should divide bigger roles into smaller ones that can be easily achieved. And once you complete a small goal, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate to do more. This way you will keep burnout at bay.
#2. Have Boundaries
Being an entrepreneur is never easy. You need to take care of both personal and professional life. And my friend, you need to make a balance between home and office. Too much time in your office can create friction in your personal life, and too much indulgence with home affairs can make your business suffer.
So, my friend, you need to set boundaries, such as not checking business emails after a certain time, keeping the office at the office, and restricting the use of digital devices during off hours. Believe me, setting boundaries will help you fight burnout.
#3. Delegate Non-core Tasks
You are not a Superman. So, you should stop acting like one. Though you try to do each and every task yourself, as many startup owners try to do, you cannot do all the tasks with the same efficiency.
So, my friend, you should do the only tasks that move the needle and the tasks that are not directly related to the ROI should be delegated to another person.
“Delegate more of what you don’t have to do yourself. This frees up your time so that you can spend it where it is really valuable”, says Thomas N. Hubbard in his article on Harvard Business Reviews.
So, my friend, what are you waiting for? Start delegating non-core tasks from today itself to free up some time.
#4. Find Your Motivation
Even if you have planted the seed of your startup and you love your startup like a baby, you might be stuck sometime or other. There might be many reasons like your products are not creating enough buzz in the market, you are not able to get the desired return on the investment, or you are bogged down with the fierce competition.
To overcome this situation, you need to think about why you have started at the first place. You have launched your startup because you believe in something. You believed in your idea and wanted to turn this idea into the reality. Thinking about the cause why you started your journey as an entrepreneur can give the much-needed push to overcome the startup burnout.
#5. Eat Healthy Food and Sleep Well
My friend, when you are suffering from burnout, your body needs more nutritious food and good night’s sleep so that it can restore your body and mind. So, you should start eating super healthy stuff like, veggies, lean protein, and fruits.
Also, you should spend quality time outside your work life. You can play a game of chess or cards with you family members, you can join a fitness class, you can hang out with your friends.
The point here is,
You should get a life outside your work. Eating healthy food, sleeping well, and playing with buddies can really keep burnout at bay.
#6. Join a Support Group
Believe it or not, joining support groups helps a lot to fight startup burnout. You should look for organizations that offer help. Look for the top startup blogs that offer mentoring to entrepreneurs.
If you cannot keep your head above the water, you should not hesitate to take the therapeutic help.
#7. Pack Your Bag for a Vacation
Most of us suffer from a common guilt – feeling bad when not working. You should get over it.
“Ditch any guilt you might feel about stopping work”, schedule some you time in your planner and “make this relaxation time a priority”, says Richard Branson.
Many scientific studies suggest that vacations are good for health. After spending quality time with you family on a vacation, you will feel rejuvenated. And you will take on the professional challenge with lots of enthusiasm.
What are you waiting for, my friend? Plan a vacation avoid burnout.
Startup burnout is as real as it gets. However, if you set practical goals, have boundaries, delegate non-core tasks, find your motivation, join and support group, and go for a vacation, you can keep burnout at bay. Also, eating healthy food and sleeping well helps a lot in fighting burn out.
What about you? Do you have any tip on avoiding startup burnout? Do share it in the comment section. I’d love to hear about it.
Image: Author’s Own