Suffering from Business Burn Out? Fight Back with these Six Tips
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: December 14, 2010, 4:52 am
- Updated: June 3, 2011, 2:43 pm
Do deadlines rule your life? Is time your worst enemy?
More than ever the pace of business is changing, and while new tools and technology claim to help us keep pace with evolving demands, they often work to the contrary.
For business owners and entrepreneurs in particular, the sense of urgency to get as much accomplished in as little time as possible can become all consuming. Whether i;s answering every email the instant it hits your Inbox, pre-empting every deadline, or getting into a sheer panic over the volume of work you need to do. Throw in the added pressure of maintaining a realistic work / life balance and you might just be looking at a serious case of business burn out.
Unchecked, burn out hampers your ability to make smart decisions, kills creativity, and even leads to medical issues.
Here are six tips that can help you fight business burn out and put a kick back in your step!
1. Identify the Triggers
As business owner, you are responsible for all aspects of your business, and realistically speaking this is no mean feat for any human being. So i-s no surprise that certain aspects of running your business can quickly become sticking points that weigh you down with anxiety and inertia.
Start by taking stock of tasks and situations that regularly cause you anxiety or stress. Does your Inbox rule your life? Do you dread business presentations or sales calls? Working with difficult customers can also be extremely stressful. Once yo-ve identified these you can start to tackle them.
2. Reframe your Reaction
In most instances, humans over-react to stress, to the point that they distort the object of the stress, whether i's a harmless grass snake or a deadline that really is't life or death. Experts advise us to try to counter our reactions to an uncomfortable situation by stepping back and telling ourselves that i's not the object of your stress tha's crippling you (whether i's a difficult deadline, or a tricky customer) but what yo're telling yourself about the stress.
So instead of thinking'If I do't meet this deadline, I'll surely lose this customer/investor? try to reframe your reaction. Then walk through some steps that can help you get a better grasp of that stress-catalyst. In this case, is the deadline is realistic? Work with your team/client to reassess workload/priorities, and so on.
The same applies to answering emails, no one will die if you don't answer all your emails the moment they come in. Try to allocate blocks of time during the day to take care of pressures like managing your Inbox, making collection calls, and so on.
Delegation takes an enormous strain off your shoulders; it also empowers employees to take a vested interest and role in your business success. Consider shedding some of your responsibilities to employees who have specific skills, are quick learners or who are showing leadership potential. This article features tips on how to balance delegation with a need to be there as a business owner: Growing your Business as a Team: 10 Team Building Tips from the Real World of Small Business.
If you are a solo entrepreneur, it might be time to get help. Read Staffing your Business - Four Flexible Options to Consider as you Start-up and Grow for some options including help from family members, temps and independent contractors that you might wish to consider to support your short- and long-term needs.
4. Schedule Me Time
This is easier said than done, especially when you feel you responsible for being there for your customers and your employees 100 percent of the time. Even if you're not at it 100 percent of the time, simple interruptions such as taking calls or answering emails after hours, can disrupt quality me time.
If you struggle to find time for yourself during the week, try to manage your me time in blocks. Whether it's an hour at the gym or a Friday afternoon game of golf, mark it in your calendar and manage your business around those times. Friday's tend to be light on meetings and, let's face it, productivity levels are not at their highest - maximize this time by blocking it in your calendar, you'll feel surprisingly refreshed for it.
5. Find New Challenges
Take your mind off stress factors by finding new challenges! Shake it up a bit and reinvigorate your business by exploring new markets, new sales strategies, or new products. Alternatively, focus on making simple changes such as team-building exercises with employees, a new lick of paint to your home-based office, or getting out on the road to meet more customers.
6. Learn from Others
Whether you are networking at a local Chamber of Commerce event or catching up with fellow business owners over lunch, getting out there and sharing your experiences and concerns with like-minded entrepreneurs can provide a sense of connection, motivation and well being.
If you need confidential advice or counseling to help you manage your pressures, organizations such as SCORE* and local Small Business Development Centers, offer one-on-one counseling for free. Get more information on local small business support groups here.
If you've suffered from business burn out, what coping strategies have worked for you? Leave a comment below!
- Six Tips for Juggling Home-Based Business Success with Home Life Busy-ness!
- 5 Tips for Finding and Working with a Business Mentor
- Get More from Your Team - 5 Employee Incentive Program Ideas that Pay Off
- 10 Tips for Turning around Flagging Sales and Boosting your Small Business Revenues
*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government website.
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