Whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur or self-employed, you will sometime find yourself at risk of burnout. Here are a few tips to avoid burnout.
Having been self-employed now for four whole days, I think I am in an excellent position to comment on this!
I have already experienced the sensation of wanting to work every second under the sun (and before and after the sun as well). I have been getting up at 5am each morning – I’ve been a very early riser ever since reading Laura Vanderkam’s excellent book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.
I work for 3 or 4 hours, then I have been going to the gym. Whilst working out at the gym, I’ve been thinking of new ideas. Instead of finishing my full workout, I’ve been excitedly rushing home to act on them. I’ve been working all day and then some more at night.
Whilst I’m enjoying this, I’m a little concerned that it will lead to two possible issues:
I don’t want my new career to end as quickly as it started because I end up resenting it taking up too much of my time. Not working hugely long days was a driver for giving up my previous employment and, whilst I will definitely enjoy this work more, I don’t want to fall into bad habits.
2) Getting too tied to the detail
My other concern is that I will end up focusing too much on the detail. When running any business, it is absolutely integral that the leader remains at a high enough level to be able to see the bigger picture. If I get too stuck in the minute detail of the day-to-day tasks, I think it will be all too easy to lose focus on the strategic aspects.
What can entrepreneurs and self-employed people do to address this?
I think the most effective tips to avoid burnout and avoiding getting tied to the detail is to take some time away from the computer and “switching off” from the detail. Some of the things I have trialed so far, with varying degrees of such have been:
- Taking a shower
- Eating meals away from my workstation and watching TV or listening to the radio
- Going for a walk
- Going to the gym
- Popping into local businesses for a quick chat to broaden my understanding of the local business landscape
- Meeting friends for coffee or a glass of wine to discuss
The beauty of all these tips to avoid burnout is that, whilst you are not actually in front of your computer, the bigger picture ideas actually come to you. By switching off, you somehow actually switch on to the more strategic aspects of your business.
And this is true on an even longer term. Many business owners and entrepreneurs find it difficult to take holidays away from their businesses. However, this downtime to recharge the batteries shouldn’t feel like a waste.
A recent statistic, for example, highlighted that 19% of entrepreneurs dream up their new business venture while on summer holiday.
Need some inspiration? Easy, our tips to avoid burnout can be summarised into one piece of advice: just take a break!