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How to Prevent Business Owner Burnout

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Worker burnout does not only affect employees; business owners suffer their fair share of this challenge as well. According to a recent survey, 48% of entrepreneurs experience business owner burnout every month, emphasizing the seriousness of the issue.

Work burnout can cause physical and emotional exhaustion, extending to anxiety, lack of sleep, depression, and more. This article discusses some ways to prevent entrepreneur burnout and how to get rid of it if you are currently struggling.

What Is Burnout in the Workplace?

Burnout is a syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed, leading to reduced productivity and loss of personal identity. It’s fast becoming a workplace pandemic, as new research shows that 41% of U.S. employees feel burnout. This is a significant increase from the 23% recorded in a previous survey.

Individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, can influence anyone who experiences work burnout. When you start feeling uneasy, you need to consider the following questions to know if you’ve got work burnout.

  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?

  • Do you find it hard to focus?

  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?

  • Have you become impatient with your co-workers or customers?

  • Have your sleep habits changed?

  • Have you become cynical at work?

  • Do you get to work and have problems with getting started?

  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to alter or numb your feelings?

From stress to the inability to focus on a task, there are various symptoms of burnout. Here are some ways to avoid burnout from work before it gets out of control.

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

One major reason a leader will experience entrepreneur burnout is a prolonged feeling of nonachievement. If you set unrealistic goals, you are not making your job any easier.

Take time to define clear goals and allocate more achievable objectives. You will feel very happy as you accomplish your little goals, which will counteract negative emotions.

Recognize the Signs of Burnout

If you feel like you seriously can't avoid burnout at your workplace, it's best not to ignore those feelings. People fail to quickly associate symptoms like loss of appetite, self-doubt, fatigue, and procrastination with worker burnout. These symptoms are early pointers of a potential breakdown, and acting on them when noticed can prevent extensive pain, anxiety, and depression.

Establish Boundaries Around Your Work-Life Balance

Business owners or employees with high levels of obsessive passion tend to experience work burnout more than those who work with harmonious passion. The obsessively passionate worker easily feels emotionally drained.

It's important to strike a balance to maintain the passion for work while living a satisfying life. Not having sufficient time for family and loved ones can lead to burnout in the long run. You need to pay attention to your work but still have time to take breaks and breathe.

Practice Activities to Stay Relaxed and Focused

As an employer, you can still take vacations away from work. You may not even have to visit an exotic place or spend much money to enjoy one. Go as far as setting boundaries during the vacation to avoid running to your laptop to check work group chats.

Some engaging activities to prevent burnout from work include meditation, getting a massage, exercising, sleeping, movie time, or hanging out with friends. These activities will leave you feeling relaxed and free from stress.

Delegate or Outsource Tasks

Most business owners may not find it easy to delegate tasks because they want to be in charge at all times. They want to ensure that everything turns out well, which requires taking time to micromanage employees.

There is no harm in wanting everything to go as planned, but this can be bad for you. Without delegation, making the right decisions for your business is difficult. If you are not certain that delegated work will be done effectively, invest time in training employees to achieve your goals.

Manage Your Time Right

Time is essential for every entrepreneur, so you should create a schedule to determine when you are most productive at work. Use your productive hours to solve any tasks requiring energy and brainpower. Start with the smaller tasks when you feel less motivated. Using the 80-20 rule, you should reduce unnecessary activities that produce few or no results and focus on the most productive ones.

Network With Other Business Owners

When you’re going through challenges in the workplace, it’s normal to think no one understands because you’re probably surrounded by your employees, who might not have had first-hand experience running their own businesses.

A good way to unburden yourself when facing leader burnout is to connect with other business leaders who have faced similar challenges. EO Boston is a great community of business owners in Boston that creates an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in all industries to meet, share ideas, offer mentorships, discuss challenges, and grow.

It’s an exclusive opportunity to learn practical entrepreneurial tips and connect with some of the world’s most experienced and influential entrepreneurs. With EO Boston, you can find all the support you need to circumvent your business owner burnout. Check if you qualify to join the network.

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