Have you noticed you aren’t looking forward to work anymore? Are you exhausted? Are you feeling on edge? Many people go through this experience at some point, especially entrepreneurs. You work hard for your business: long hours, few/no breaks, blood, sweat, and tears. But all this work often results in burnout. It’s easy to experience burnout when you work for yourself because everything falls on you. You don’t want to lose passion for something you've worked so hard for. That’s why it’s important that you protect yourself and take the steps to stop burnout before it even starts. So, here are a few tips to keep you from falling into the pit of burnout.
Identify the cause
There are actually a couple different types of burnout. Some burnout stems from being overloaded and overwhelmed, having too much on your plate. Maybe it’s time to start delegating some of your responsibilities to others. Of course, there are certain things that fall in your lap specifically, things that only you can do, but there are more than likely some tasks you can hand off to someone else–even for just a few hours a week. Then, there’s burnout that is the result of boredom; the type where you’re just tired of doing the same things over and over again every day. If this is the case, focus on finding ways to switch things up. Maybe you add in a seasonal service different than your normal offerings. Maybe it’s time to look into adding anew modality you’ve wanted to try. Or maybe a schedule change is in order, and simply working in a lunch date or extra breaks here and there will be enough to keep you going. Switch things up!
Stay focused on your end goal
When you’re burned out, the smallest tasks can seem frustrating and time-consuming. So you put it off, avoid it, and often don’t get the things done or done as well as they should be. However, if you look at those tasks as an important part of the big picture, it can help you work through it. Focus on those big dreams. If you’re still working for someone else, is it to go open your own business? If so, every client you see now is going to get you to that goal. Is your dream to expand your practice to where you can focus on the business aspect and hire more therapists? That requires saving and planning. All your behind-the-scenes work and all your clients are helping you get to that goal. Whatever your goal is, looking at your current situation as an important part of reaching it can help you overcome that burnout and motivate you to get there.
Stop being a perfectionist
Of course, we want to do an amazing job. With our clients, practice, marketing, products sales, you name it. But you can’t be perfect at everything. Remember, if a promotion you put a ton of effort into fails, you’ve learned a valuable lesson and can apply it to future efforts. Trying to make sure everything is just right doesn’t just get in our way it puts unrealistic expectations on us and makes an easy task daunting. Make that call, send that email, approve the promotional offer. Mediocre work that’s out into the world is better than perfect work that never sees the light of day.
Take time for you
This is one of the most important steps. You put everything into your business. You sacrifice often. This is your dream this is what you want and have worked so hard for. If you’re going to be able to achieve that dream, you have to take care of yourself. If you don’t it will build up so much that you will be second-guessing everything. Schedule time in your crazy week to check in with yourself. Whether it’s a cup of coffee by yourself, meditation time (away from the office), a walk-in to your favourite nature spot, a hot bath, or a massage, you have to step away and get back to you. You’re the one driving your dream and if you’re off track, your dream is. You don’t want to arrive at your end goal beaten and broken down, resentful of the entire thing.
While burnout is a real threat and inevitable in any business, a few changes to your thoughts, choices, and actions can help you prevent and overcome it.