Burnout is a serious problem affecting today’s workforce. It’s a serious form of stress that can leave employees feeling physically and emotionally exhausted and with a short fuse. Doctors are seeing more and more patients with burnout symptoms; many say it mimics acute depression and can lead to sleep problems for the sufferer.
The worst part? Burnout seems to affect more and more employees who are actively engaged with their jobs.
This is a scary finding; knowing that your most engaged employee might be the one to fall is something no manager wants to think about, but what about if you are that manager, and you’re also that employee? What if you’re an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs seem to be at an even higher risk of burnout because of the nature of their role. The passion they feel for their calling is the same drive that leads them to work 80-hour weeks, accept every contact going, and ultimately end up curled up in a ball under the blanket unable to move through sheer misery.
The risk of burnout is real, but there are ways we can plan for the stressful times and try to avoid it as much as possible.
Use The Right Tools
One of the things that drives a lot of small business owners to burnout is trying to do everything and be everything that a business needs. This is impractical, and it can actually harm your business.
Bite the bullet and use the right tools to make life easier, whether it’s a payroll tool like Zenefits, a custom-designed CRM to manage clients, or even hiring professional services. Use the right tools (and the right people) for the job.
Plan to Fail, Enjoy Success
Small business owners tend to be very ambitious people. Entrepreneurs have a hundred great ideas a minute and can become very emotionally attached to each one, so when they fail, this is seen as a personal failure rather than a fact of life or statistically probable.
Always remember the wisdom of PayPal Co-Founder Max Levchin, who outlined how his first company failed miserably, his second failed slightly less, his third even less – though it still failed – and his fourth company was PayPal.
Delegate and Prioritize
Finally, and most importantly, learn to delegate. Running a business can be stressful and extremely hard work, but not delegating (or even saying no to) tasks is a failure on you, not your company.
Learning to let go can be incredibly tough, but sometimes it’s not just delegating that is tricky, sometimes it’s deciding which task to do and when that can become a problem. Using a time management tool like the Eisenhower Matrix can be a great way to learn which tasks to do, which to delegate, do later, or delete altogether.
There you have it: three tips for avoiding burnout as an entrepreneur.