I felt like a failure. I was bummed and really didn’t want to do anything. I was burned out…
You don’t always see it coming. Sometimes it just hits without notice. Other times you know you are headed for it. What am I talking about? Burnout. Entrepreneurs face burnout often if they dont’ take care of themselves and their businesses. It’s no wonder with all that they must juggle. I know because I am an entrepreneur. I have faced burnout a couple of times while running my business. But it doesn’t just happen to entrepreneurs. Burnout is prevalent in the nonprofit realm. Nonprofit employees give so much ot themselves that they don’t always stop and refuel. Burnout in service industries is high. Here are some tips to stop the burnout in its tracks.
1) Always learn new skills – You are probably thinking how does this stop burnout especially when I am overloaded? Your mind needs stimulation and it craves learning opportunities. If you are learning new skills then you keep your mind stimulated. This is a must for me. If I stop learning and growing then that is the sure fire way for me to burn out. Webinars, mastermind groups, classes, forums, books, dvds, podcasts. We all learn in different ways and it doesn’t matter what your style of learning is as long as you are always learning, always growing. And this isn’t just learning focused on your business or profession, let’s face, it we are people and we have to grow personally! I listen to podcasts about mindset and blocks. I read books about how to rid yourself of negative thinking. Whatever I can pour into me that is encouraging and uplifting is going to help those that I serve. Because I can’t pour those things into others if I am empty.
2) Take care of your relationships – Don’t neglect them. It doesn’t matter if it is a relationship with your spouse, your kids, friends, colleagues, whoever. Block off time in your schedule for the people that are most important to you and spend time on those relationships just like you do your business or career. This may require that you turn off the phone, the notifications from social media, the email, whatever it is that distracts you. We have a no phone/tablet rule at the table in our house. We don’t sit down at the table with each other every night but when we do it needs to be to talk, to spend time together, without distractions.
3) Renew your mind – For me this means redirecting my focus back on the things that matter and the reason I started doing this in the beginning. I have to get out of my own head and throw out the things that are stressing me and refocus. This weekend I was walking through a training exercise that I do with my coaching clients. It focuses on the their financial benchmarks from the last year they just finished, 2 years ago and 3 years ago. I have had some setbacks lately and have been feeling really beat down and burnt out. I took the time this morning to do the very things I mention in this post. I am a big believer in “practice what you preach”. And in doing this exercise this morning I realized that my 1st quarter revenue for 2018 was equal to my annual revenue the year I started my business. WOW! That stopped me in my tracks. Here I was feeling like a failure because of some recent setbacks when I had lost sight of just how far I had come from the beginning. Sometimes we need a reset and a great way to do this is to look at all we have accomplished so far instead of looking at all we haven’t done.
4) Meditate, exercise, sleep – These three are so important to my well being and since I am my business it is vital to the business health as well. I need my mind to be clear and focused. My body needs to be relaxed and not stressed and I simply need sleep. Well, I could add one more to this list – coffee! Whatever it is that fuels your body and mind then do it. Make time in your week for these things. I know that sometimes we can’t exercise every day but we can get up and move. I place high importance on sleep. I learned long ago that I make really poor decisions if I don’t get the sleep I need. I can’t afford to make poor decisions as they usually cost me money. So sleep is a high priority.
5) Take a break – With the fast paced world we live in it seems that things will never stop. I know that I typically take on too much work which requires me to work alot more hours than I want to work. But, I have learned that the work will still be there and that it will never be finished so I might as well take the breaks that I need. Some days that is simply a 10 minute walk outside with the dog. Others it is ending the day early to spend with my family and the best break is those vacations away! We all need breaks so schedule them just like you would anything else.
Many of these things overlap or can be done together. They are much more powerful when done on a regular basis. Preventing burnout not only keeps us happy but it also ensures that we are operating at our best. We were made to thrive in this life, not just survive. To thrive you have to enjoy not just the destination but the journey to get there. When we get burnout it is because we aren’t enjoying the journey. What are you going to do this week to protect yourself from burnout?