George Laczko on Burnout and the Entrepreneur

George Laczko shares why it's important for entrepreneurs to be aware of burnout and how they can prevent it.

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Entrepreneurs are part of a work-class that is particularly susceptible to experiencing burnout. Entrepreneurs are passionate, driven, and notorious for working around the clock. While this dedication is admirable, it can also be dangerous. Here is an overview of the relationship between entrepreneurship and burnout. 

What is burnout?

The World Health Organization has officially recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It is defined as a state of exhaustion resulting from chronic stress and can lead to feelings of overwhelm and ineffectiveness, as well as cynicism and detachment. 

The symptoms of burnout also include fatigue, insomnia, impaired focus, anxiety, depression, anger, and loss of appetite. There are also physical symptoms that can consist of illness, as well as headaches, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, and stomach problems. Sufferers may also become less productive and feel more irritable, pessimistic, or ineffective. 

How can entrepreneurs avoid burnout?

Entrepreneurs who want to avoid burnout must first recognize the symptoms. Then, they must take steps to ensure they are working in a balanced way that does not lead to chronic stress. Here are three key ways entrepreneurs can avoid burnout.

  • Set work hours.

As your own boss, you may feel like you don’t need to set work hours. But entrepreneurial drive often leads to working around the clock, which is not sustainable or healthy—set office hours for yourself. Be focused and work hard during those hours, and then give yourself time to rest and decompress when those hours are over. 

  • Take care of yourself.

It’s also critical that you remember to take care of yourself as an entrepreneur. Think of yourself as a business asset if you must. Schedule in time to exercise at least four times a week. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and get full nights of sleep. Don’t expect to treat your body poorly and still function at your best. Taking care of yourself will help you manage your stress levels and prevent burnout. 

  • Don’t neglect your relationships.

Many entrepreneurs, especially in the beginning stages, focus all their attention on their businesses and neglect their relationships. This neglect is a mistake for obvious reasons — our and friends deserve better, and so do we. Plus, if we continue to neglect our relationships longterm, we will only be adding to the stress we are experiencing. Instead, we should be making our relationships a priority in our lives. Schedule in time to spend with friends and family every week. Even during the busiest weeks, we can still send quick messages to let our loved ones know that we’re thinking about them. Small gestures can make significant differences — both in the quality of our relationships and in the prevention of burnout. 

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