You must have gone through that stage in your life where you felt totally drained and exhausted. You’re almost there at the top. Your mind tells you to keep on going, but your body is too weak. You are physically and emotionally drained. You’re absolutely knackered and you feel totally helpless. Welcome, my friends, to burnout.
So, how do you beat burnout and get your life back on track?
First up, slow down and take stock of your life. You’re exerting too much of your energy and time working, but a lot of this energy actually goes to waste. It’s a fact that nobody is truly ‘productive’ after around nine hours of work in a day. So, pulling those huge fourteen hour work days is a) just plain crazy and b) pretty much a waste of time. You may not realize it, but a lot of the tasks that you perform, as a business owner, are actually unnecessary and your multitasking doesn’t make you more productive, as you think it might.
Working long, late hours doesn’t help at all. The main reason behind this is because it will fundamentally play havoc with your sleeping patterns. Depriving yourself of sleep has serious consequences. It’s time to change that bad habit of working late into the night until you tire yourself out. It takes conscious effort to get enough sleep every day, but you’ll eventually develop that good habit. Although you’ll have to work on it.
Why I Used to Work 300 Hours a Month!
I remember when I first set up my company, I would pull 13-14 hour days like they were a regular requirement. After all, I was the captain of the ship, and had to make sure that I was busting my balls each day to catapult the company to where I wanted it to be. However, when I sat down and calculated that I had worked close to 300 hours one month, it was like a light bulb went off above my head! Also remember the wisdom behind Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week. So talk about a wake-up call (sleep – wake-up call, get it!?). I forced myself into a sleeping cycle that took around 3 weeks and 5mg of melatonin each night to finally level-out and feel ‘natural’ again.
Ask yourself if your goals are realistic and achievable? The pressure of setting yourself a goal and focusing on achieving it can lead anyone to burnout – especially if it’s not achievable within a reasonable time period. Break down your goal into small, but achievable units and work your way up slowly, but surely. Put it in black and white to help you keep track of your progress. Sooner or later, the goal will be achieved and you can move on to the next one.
Start to Achieve Work / Life Balance!
As busy entrepreneurs, its hard sometimes to not let yourself get burned out by letting your work affect your daily living. Achieve work-life balance and avoid burnout by establishing a clear boundary between your work and daily living. The reason why the Virtual Business Lifestyle is so achievable is because it gives you the chance to separate different locations from work and relaxation, etc.
Last tip – exercise. Physical activity is a great way to channel out excess energy. So, instead of picking up a copy of Fitness Monthly or Women’s Health, reading it and saying “I must get around to that, but I don’t have the time…”, MAKE THE TIME! You have to.
In closing burnout is a drag on anyone’s life, especially if that someone is the person in charge of running a small, but growing ship. You cannot expect the ship to sail safely and gradually pick up speed if the captain is too tired to focus on the horizon properly.
Have an awesome, productive, but above all, enjoyable week ahead everyone!