Burn out has been a buzz word lately, everyone seems to be burnt out from something. But burn out is real and can turn into severe health issues if not taken care of.
I know because I suffered from burn out and adrenal exhaustion and fatigue. It affected my work life, my social life, and my health.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to know the signs of burn out and how to prevent it so that it doesn’t affect us.
What does it mean to be burnt out?
When you get to the point that you just don’t have the passion you once had for your business or life that you once have. You start to feel like you haven’t created anything new in your business and you are feeling a loss of creativity.
You can even start to feel resentful of your business or maybe your personal life because you are just exhausted, tired and have no motivation or inspiration.
What does burn out feel like or what are the signs?
Feeling of exhaustion, being tired no matter how long you sleep. You can have the feeling of anxiety or constant stress. Worried about the future or not knowing what to do next.
A loss of motivation or inspiration, sad lonely or depressed. Moody and snappy at people and feeling drained emotionally or physically.
All things that don’t go well with having to run your own business!
How does one get burn out?
There are many ways that a person can get to the burn out stage, such as not taking care of yourself, trying to do everything for everyone, skimping on sleep so that she can get work done at night or get up early to work out, skipping meals or “forgetting to eat” and not letting yourself rest or take breaks.
Committing to too many things, trying to be the best at everything and not hiring people to help you do things in your business or life that they can do better or for less money are all ways to find yourself in the burnout.
As you can see the feeling of being burnt out can affect your life and your business in many ways that it is important to know the signs of burnout and manage our lives by trying to prevent burn out with these top tips.
Practice Self Care
Self Care gets a bad wrap sometimes, people think it’s just all about taking bubble baths while sipping on champagne and eating chocolate but there is so much more to it than that!!
Self Care is about honoring who you really are and taking the time to put yourself first. So many times as women we put our needs last and take care of everyone else first. By doing this it can lead us to the feeling of burn out and resentment.
Say no. As an entrepreneur, we can feel like we need to do all the things all the time, say yes to every opportunity that comes across our plate and then we wonder why we are exhausted and burnt out all the time.
Practice self-care by putting yourself and your health first and not feeling the pressure to attend every event and say yes to every opportunity that you come across. Be a little more selective with what you say yes to.
Entrepreneurs tend to put our own self-care behind the needs of our business and yes, we need our business to come first sometimes, however, when we always put our business first over our own self-care we tend to burn out.
Take some time away from your business, sometimes you just need a little break, whether it be a few hours, a few days or a few weeks.
It’s important to set boundaries as an entrepreneur to prevent burn out.
You should have a set time that you start work and end work daily and also scheduled in days off and downtime.
When we are running our own businesses it is very easy to work all day and night to get the things done we need to succeed, however, when we don’t set boundaries for a work/life balance it will learn to burnout.
As an entrepreneur we want to protect our energy and set boundaries around it. Try to avoid tasks and events that drain your energy and participate in things that inspire you and increase you energy.
Avoid people who take advantage of you and pray on your energy and set boundaries around the people you work with. As an entrepreneur you can choose who you work with so be sure to honor the boundaries you have set.
Eat Well Balanced Meals and Exercise
Ever notice that when we feel depleted and run down we can’t care for anyone else let alone ourselves. By eating healthy foods and moving your body regularly we can instantly start to feel better about ourselves and fill ourselves with energy. We are in charge of our own wellbeing and the most basic way to take care of it is by eating healthy foods and exercising.
Start your day with a large glass of water. I know you hear about it all the time but being hydrated is very important. Water is needed to help your body do all the work it needs to keep you moving and energized! When you are dehydrated, and usually we are without even knowing it, you can experience headaches, feeling tired and mentally sluggish. So it is important to start your day with a big glass of water and continue to drink throughout the day.
Add protein to your first meal. Your first meal of the day should include some lean protein like eggs, chicken sausage, or smoked salmon along with some complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa or mixed berries. Balancing your first meal of the day with some protein and complex carbs can help to keep your energy and productivity balanced all day.
Drink a shake. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we are busy, running from meeting to meeting or working with clients all day with little no breaks in between sometimes can lead to little or no time to eat during the day. When we go for hours without eating we can become lethargic, suffer from brain fog or feel light headed which can lead to decrease in productivity. If you find that you are too busy to eat during the day or make a full meal then work on adding shakes to your day. Protein shakes, some protein powder mixed with some frozen fruit can help to keep your energy up during the day when you don’t have time for a meal.
As busy entrepreneurs, we can easily fall into the trap of relying on coffee and sugar all day to keep up our energy. However, when we fall into this routine it can affect our productivity. When we drink too much caffeine we can sometimes feel too anxious and can’t sit still to get work done and be productive. When we rely on sugar to keep our energy up we can find ourselves having highs and lows in our energy levels.
By eating meals that contain lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and dietary fat every few hours throughout your day can help to keep your energy and productivity levels increased all day long.
Exercise not only helps to improve brain function, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase your mood but also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. As a business owner and entrepreneur, we have so much on our plate that we can feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out. Exercise can help not only keep our body healthy and active but it can also help to keep our mind right.
Get Quality, Restful Sleep
I’m sure you have had some nights where you don’t have a good night’s sleep or you have been sleeping deprived and you feel horrible the next day. It is hard to think efficiently, you tend to have more sugar cravings, you gain weight, and you can’t perform optimally at a high level when you don’t get enough sleep.
As an entrepreneur if we don’t set boundaries that allow us to get good restful sleep, we stay up late and get up early every morning to get more work done we can suffer from burn out.
When you are sleep deprived your brain also gets deprived of glucose. Our brain needs glucose so when we deprive our bodies of sleep and glucose it will actually make us less effective. One study took a group of doctors and gave them a task to perform. Then it gave them the same task but deprived them of sleep, the sleep-deprived group were 20% less effective and had 10 times more mistakes when performing the tasks. So, you could say the less you sleep the dumber you become!
If you want to learn more about how to set up the perfect sleep schedule you can read about it here
Always Go Back to Your Why
When we forget why we are doing something, the reason behind our entrepreneurial journey we can lose our passion and feel burnt out.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it is sometimes tough and overwhelming and makes you feel like you want to throw in the towel and give up.
When you are feeling this way go back to the reason why you have decided to be an entrepreneur.
Is it because you want more free time or maybe you wanted to spend more time home with your family, or you wanted to be able to truly follow your dreams.
Whatever the reason is that you truly want your business to succeed, the real why behind being an entrepreneur is something you should connect with daily to help prevent burnout. Or when you are feeling burnt out lacking inspiration connecting back to your why can help to find your passion again.
Set Up Systems and Strategies
Systems and strategies are the things you can set up in your personal life and business that will help you to stop your burn out dead in its tracks.
By setting up systems and strategies you will be able to get more work done, in less time and still make the same amount of money if not more!
Setting up systems in your personal life to help run your life more effectively to get more done with less energy so that you can prevent burn out.
What are some systems that you can set up in your personal life to make your life easier and more efficient? Think of simple things that you can do, can you plan out your meals in advance and have a shopping list of what is needed and have groceries delivered to save time and energy?
In your business set up systems and strategies to help streamline things that need to be done in a more organized, easy flowing system to help conserve energy and get more done.
For example, setting up content creation strategies that help you build a system to produce content for your business in an efficient way.
Or setting up a Facebook ad to get potential clients on your email list and putting them through a sales sequence to make a sale or get them on a discovery call.
Hire Out When You Need/Outsource
I’m a firm believer in outsourcing anything you don’t enjoy doing that you can pay someone less than you make an hour.
For example, if you don’t like uploading your content to your blog, finding pictures, making captions, connecting links, etc. and that time can be used more wisely like coaching people or working with clients to bring in money that that is something that you should outsource.
Some ideas for setting up strategies in your personal life like getting a housekeeper, maybe someone to do meal prep or cooking for you, laundry service, a tutor to help your children with homework so you don’t have to struggle.
Whatever it may be in your personal life that you can outsource or set up a system to help save you time and money to help prevent burnout.
For your business, you can hire a VA, Social Media Manager, Launch manager, or anyone else you can pay to help make your business run more smoothly while using less energy from you and making more money and preventing burn out.
Add additional revenue streams
By adding additional revenue streams to your business and incorporating passive revenue streams you will be able to make more money with less energy helping to prevent burn out.
Everyone wants their business to be profitable and we know building a business takes time and energy.
The more revenue streams your business has the more money you will make. Making more money, which is whatever successful entrepreneur wants, will allow you to work a little less and therefore lead to less burnout.
You can add additional revenue to your business and build some passive income by selling a downloadable ebook, putting together an online course, promoting another person’s product and setting up affiliate sales.
Network marketing is also another way to add an additional revenue stream to your business that will help to make more money month over month.
Manage Your Time Efficiently
Every entrepreneur wants to be more productive and get more things done in less time. Being more productive means having a bigger reach, making an impact on a wider reach of people and making more money.
When we are unproductive and don’t manage our time efficiency we tend to waste time, work harder then we need leading to burning out.
Time is more valuable than money. If you are not spending your time wisely then you are wasting money and time!
You need to evaluate your time before you can manage it. So take a look at where you spend your time during your day.
Spend a typical day logging every minute of your day. Take a sheet of paper or use your calendar on your phone.
Write down what you are doing every minute of your day. From the moment you wake up till you go to bed.
Take your time log and total up the time of the day you tracked and then try to categorize all of your activities.
Then, do some basic calculations to determine the percentage of time you spend on each activity.
The goal here is to find the areas where you're spending way too much time.
Categories to consider are Email, Phone Calls, Meetings, Breaks, Errands, and other nonproductive tasks.
What are your biggest time wasters?
What are things that are productive/making you money?
What are things that you are doing that you can pay people less money to do that they can do better?
Where are you the most effective in your time? How can you become more productive?
You can read all about how productive hacks for entrepreneurs HERE and how to manage your time efficiently.
When you can make the most out of your time then you will be able to prevent burn out as an entrepreneur.
Investing in Your Business
One of the best ways to prevent burnout is to invest in yourself and your business.
Yes, there are a ton of courses you can take and different programs you can invest in but I think the best use of your time and money is to hire a coach to work one on one with you.
As entrepreneurs we are always thinking of new ideas, have a million different projects we are working on and sometimes our thoughts are all over the place. Working with a business coach will help to increase productivity because they will help to organize your thoughts and projects and hold you accountable for reaching your goals.
A coach that works closely with you and knows exactly what you need to improve your business, understands you why and your passion behind starting your business and will help to keep you accountable and keep an eye out for burnout.