When you’re an entrepreneur, burnout can come hard and fast.
Overwhelm, feeling dejected and frustrated, feeling like you’re constantly striving and never achieving can unfortunately be part of the job-description.
You must find ways to combat these or you may just give up on your dream and settle for a J-O-B.
While you were busy setting your new goals for 2018, did you build in ways to combat overwhelm so you can actually make it to the end of the year with energy and enthusiasm to keep going?
5 Ways to Combat Entrepreneurial Burnout
1. Quarterly: Re-evaluate & Re-adjust
We’ve all heard about setting annual goals and working toward those. While I believe this is an effective strategy, I also believe in listening to your intuition.
If something is pulling you in another direction or feels like a struggle, it’s worth re-examining.
Every quarter, re-evaluate your annual goals. Examine your last quarter results and re-adjust your plan of action.
There’s no right or wrong when you own your own business. It’s “your own business”. Make it feel right for you.
Re-evaluating your situation quarterly (or more frequently if you wish), will help you move forward with enthusiasm because you’re course-correcting as needed and doing what feels right which will lead to more fulfillment overall.
Following your gut will never steer you wrong. It may mean making some difficult decisions and changes, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Monthly: Make a play date
Remember when you were a kid and you and your best friend would get laughing so hard your stomach hurt? I remember one time I made my friend laugh so hard, Jell-O came out her nose! (That still makes me laugh just thinking about it. Is that wrong?)
They say laughter is the best medicine so – doctor’s orders – plan a play date with your best friend(s).
Make it a monthly occurrence (at least!) and enjoy doing things you enjoy. Meaning, forget your worries while you’re together and enjoy the experience.
Plan things in advance so you can look forward to the day. But also let spontaneity play with you; don’t be too rigid with your plans.
The important thing is to allow yourself some fun.
Think of your energy like a balloon. The more stress and pressure you have, the more the balloon is compressed and the air is forced out. When you decompress, the balloon can fill up again and bring a smile to your face.
It’s the same with your energy.
Make plans to have fun, follow through, enjoy the experience and you’ll be filled up with energy to have more fun in your biz.
3. Weekly: Acknowledge your accomplishments.
I usually start my week with a fresh outlook and a plan for a few things I’d like to accomplish by Friday. Over the years I’ve learned that if I set no more than 1 big task per week, with no more than 3 small tasks per day, I usually get to Friday feeling like I’ve been productive.
Some weeks, I find my weekly goal was too large and it needed to be split into smaller chunks. Other times, other tasks pop up that take priority. That’s life (and business).
Rather than feel like I’ve failed, I acknowledge all I did accomplish.
At the end of each week, find one or two things you’re proud that you accomplished, achieved or overcame and celebrate them. Yes, actually celebrate them!
Create a routine where you share your weekly accomplishments with someone else and treat yourself to something special. It can be a favourite dessert, a celebratory drink with a friend, a hot bath, a morning of alone time to read that novel that’s been calling you…anything at all as long as you acknowledge and actually celebrate our achievement.
Consciously acknowledging your successes, even the tiniest ones, will create positive energy and momentum toward achieving all of your goals, big and small.
Create a Weekly Wins page in a notebook. Refer to it when you need a boost of confidence.
Start this Friday so by the end of 2018, you’ll have plenty to look back on and be proud of. Won’t that be inspiring as you head into the next year?
4. Daily: Honour your energy.
I’m a solo-preneur. That means I only have myself to depend on to get things done. I do all the technical website stuff, the social media, the sales campaigns, the networking, the outreach, the client work, the blog posts… I’m sure you understand, right?
Even if I had a business partner or staff, I’d still be giving this advice. In fact, I would give this advice to anyone (and I do!), regardless of whether they are an entrepreneur or not.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is only so much I can do in a day, a week, a month, a year and a lifetime. I’m no good to anyone if my energy is drained.
I’ve learned the best thing I can do for me, and ultimately my clients, is to listen to my energy.
When I’m frustrated by writer’s block, or anxious that I’m not hearing back from someone, or exhausted because, well, life can be tiring, I honour my energy.
Sometimes that means I have a 20 minute nap at 2pm. Sometimes that means I go for a two hour walk mid-day. Sometimes it means I go to the movies on a Tuesday afternoon, or gift myself with Friday off. Because I’ve learned that when I try to push through, I only get more frustrated, more anxious, more tired and sometimes very sick.
I also know that when my creative muse reappears, I may end up working a 14 hour day simply because the hours fly by unnoticed. Or I may work through a weekend because I choose to; I’m excited and inspired again with an unstoppable energy.
It’s a balancing act. If I listen to my body and let it set the rules, I end up getting more done in the long run.
Thankfully, I’m able to set my own schedule so this is easy for me to do. If you’re tied to working certain hours, cancel dinner dates that you’d rather not attend, reschedule appointments, take long baths, go to bed early, sleep in on weekends. Acknowledge when your energy is telling you to slow down and heed its message.
The trick to honouring your energy is to do it on purpose, with love for yourself and entirely guilty free!
5. As Needed: Ask For Support
Being a entrepreneur is hard. You’re thinking about your business 24/7/365, regardless of whether you’re good at taking weekends off or the occasional holiday. You’re always thinking about your next strategy. Ideas will flow to you any day, and when they don’t, you get frustrated that they’re not. (Refer to point #4)
It’s important to have people to talk to in order to keep you motivated, to support you when you’re down, and to help you flesh out your ideas so you don’t waste time and energy on something that doesn’t work or could have been tackled more easily.
A close friend, a colleague, a coach, a mentor, a networking group are all great ways to keep you from burning out.
Having people in your life who understand what you’re going through and who can help you take the next step is crucial to your success.
Don’t burn out before you finish what you’ve set out to do.
Plan ways to combat burnout before it hits and you’ll not only achieve your goals, you’ll get there with a smile on your face.
photo credit: Pixabay
Originally published at joyfulscribe.com