Almost everyone experiences it during their entrepreneurial odyssey: burnout. During my transition from working in counter-terrorism to creating my own multi-million dollar company and ghostwriting publishing house, I experienced a burnout of epic proportions and nearly worked myself into the ground. After doing some research, however, I found that I was not alone. Each day, nearly one million people miss work because of stress, and beyond that, burnout can cause loss of sleep, anxiety, frequent illness and constant fatigue.
Here are a few methods that both entrepreneurs and business owners can help eliminate burnouts from the workplace.
- Consider making the workweek flexible Generally, large companies tend to be complicit in ignoring their employee’s mental health and driving toward the bottom line. Fortunately, though, trendsetting juggernauts like Amazon have announced 30-hour workweek initiatives to add some flexibility into their scheduling. Smart moves like this, which give the employee more freedom and sense of independence, are not only good for reducing stress, but they increase and maximize productivity. A study done by the Harvard Business Review showed that most people working beyond five to six hours a day will start to see a decrease in both concentration and productivity.
- Write down your core values. One key indicator that you’re heading toward a career burnout is if you’re starting to feel like you’re losing yourself to your work. If you’re putting all of your energy into a business but leaving no time for self-expression, social gatherings, and self-care, then I suggest taking some time to sit with yourself and reflect on your core values. If you’re not sure where to start, I have a handy sheet right here! While this is by no means a magic wand solution to burnout and fatigue, it is by far one of the most powerful places to start on your journey toward fulfillment.
- Reflect on fear. Most of us tend to push away fear as soon as it comes up, but to be blunt, fear will almost always dismantle any temporary success if you don’t address it. If you enter your new business venture full of fear, then in the long term, that fear will catch up to you and leave you with nothing but the stress you’ve embodied. Starting a business can definitely be scary, so use fear as a motivator and resource in the short term to push you out the door. Fear is nothing but a figment of our imagination, so instead of clinging to fear, flip it and reverse it into an inspiring tool like love and watch your business flourish.
There is a fine line that we walk between success and obsession. It is good to have healthy motivating factors that continually push us forward, but we can’t forget to nurture ourselves and take an occasional break to stop and smell the roses. Don’t forget to check in with yourself from time to time, and keep pushing forward with love and fearlessness!
This first appeared in Forbes.