Tiroune Raburt Oates on How to Avoid Burnout as a Startup Founder

Being a startup founder is hard work, but don't let it lead you to burnout.

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Starting a new business can be exhausting and stressful. About half of entrepreneurs claim to work over 50 hours a week, and some work as many as 80 hours per week. This schedule, combined with the pressure of entrepreneurship, can easily lead to burnout.

What is Burnout?

Simply put, burnout is a state of sheer exhaustion caused by chronic stress. It’s critical to avoid burnout because, when it hits, you can lose the motivation to work on your business. You will also lack the energy and focus necessary to succeed. You might start feeling cynical and even think about quitting. Even if you stick with it, you won’t enjoy it or be as successful as you might have been if you had avoided burnout in the first place. 

Fortunately, even for the entrepreneurs starting a new business and working horribly long hours, there are steps you can take to avoid burnout. Here are three of those steps.

Delegate

As soon as you can, you should start delegating responsibilities to your startup. You might think that you need to handle everything yourself, but that’s a surefire way to burn out. If your business is just you, consider hiring a bookkeeper for the financial aspects. You can also hire a virtual assistant to help you with online tasks such as email management and social media marketing. If you have employees, train them well and trust them to do things on their own. Delegating effectively will free you up to focus on the tasks that only you, as the owner, can do. 

Maintain Boundaries

As a business owner just starting out, long hours might be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t maintain boundaries. No matter how busy you are, take daily breaks. Step away from your desk to eat meals. Set work hours and stick to them. Furthermore, don’t let work-related stress take you away from the people you care about. When you’re not working, and you have the time to spend with your friends and family, be present and avoid talking about your business constantly. 

Recharge

Self-care is another important aspect of avoiding burnout as an entrepreneur. Find activities that recharge you and put them on your to-do list so that completing them is non-negotiable. Some outlets that you may enjoy include running, writing, meditating, or yoga. Think of yourself as a business asset, and don’t make excuses about taking care of yourself. If you make self-care a regular part of your routine, you and your business will flourish. 

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