How to avoid burnout as a small business owner
As small business owners, we’re often juggling a lot more than we should be. This usually means that at least one aspect of our lives (friends, family, physical/ mental health) will be unintentionally neglected. Physical health is the first to be forgotten, followed by our emotional health, then our social and intellectual health – where we place dire importance. This mistreatment of ourselves, is more times than not the result of burnout.
Burnout is something everyone experiences when we ‘bite off more than we can chew’ in more than one sphere of our lives. Usually, the work sphere is the monster behind it. In this blog, we will discuss how important it is to tend to every growing aspect of your life, in small and easy ways, to deter the villain that is burnout. This will make growing your business and taking care of yourself, WHILE enjoying life feel a little less like work.
Physical health is often the first aspect of our lives to fall victim when we get busy. How great would it be if you outsource going to the gym? Get someone to burn the calories for you? When it comes to staying physically healthy, you don’t have to add anymore pressure on yourself by imagining a 6 day a week, heavy workout routine at a gym. Looking after your physical health in small ways is the first step. It only takes 20 days to form a habit after all.
Begin by stretching 5-10 minutes every time you complete a new task. Or better yet, going for a quick 15-minute walk around your block after an hour of straight work. Not only will you be refreshed, but you will have completed a simple task that will help boost the rest of your workflow!
We’re all constantly busy and sometimes our down time outside of work is spent nurturing our partners, children, or animals. However, just a few little mental check ins at the end of each workday will keep you accountable for some personal downtime and reflection.
Take a few minutes when you’re in the shower, cooking dinner or getting ready for bed. How did you feel today? Do you think you were overly busy? Are you at all overwhelmed? Do you feel as though you are on top of or under your tasks?
These questions and answers will allow you to make small changes to your workflow/ load, so you can better understand what you are able to realistically handle in an average day of work. Here are a few more tips on how you can minimise feeling overwhelmed in your business:
- Don’t overload your to-do list(s)
- Outsource tasks in your business that you don’t need to be doing
- Build a community around your business
- Talk to people around you about how you are feeling
- Reach out for help when you need it
Social health may not seem important to many business owners, but it covers a wide range of social aspects in our everyday life. Good social health will allow you to interact and form meaningful relationships with others, in and outside of the work sphere. It is important to have time put aside for working on your social relationships, as they have the biggest impact on your physical and mental health.
A few ways that you can upkeep good social health include:
- Take steps towards creating good self-esteem. This will allow you to present the best version of yourself to people and customers. It will also increase your likeliness of being social and adapting to new social environments.
- Try new things and meet new people. Even joining a few business Facebook groups or forums will increase your social health and expand your circle. Finding people with similar interests is a great way to increase your social health!
- Communicate. Everyday. Reach out to real life people or online people to make sure you are socially exercising daily.
Intellectual health is the ability to effectively open your mind to new ideas in order to gain insight and creative knowledge. Without the desire to increase understanding, you wouldn’t be able to push forward, be open to new ideas, improve skills, learn, and navigate life. How often do you pay attention to current events? Or find new and intuitive ways to adapt to unexpected changes? Here are a few ways to increase your intellectual health:
- Read a little bit every day. This may be difficult for our workaholics out there, but doing non-work reading every day you are stimulating your intellectual health in new ways. Try reading a few news articles in the morning, or a few pages of a new book on your break!
- Play a board game or do a puzzle. At the end of a workday, it is great to relax and use your brain absentmindedly. Board games and puzzles are great relaxing and intellectually stimulating activities to try.
- Improving your skills. Find something you wish to improve, and work on it little by little, each day. This is best when it isn’t work related, like learning a foreign language or instrument!
However, our old friend Mr Burnout can always find a way to return! It is up to you as a business owner to try your best to overcome burnout, and make sure every sphere of your life is healthy enough so that you can be the best version of yourself on the daily.