By Robyn Parets
Launching a small business can be exciting – even exhilarating. For many entrepreneurs, your new business is the culmination of a dream and comes with a mountain of perks. On the other hand, if you aren’t mindful of your work and life habits, your new career path can lead to an unexpected destination: disillusioned burnout.
Burnout is certainly not something any business owner wants to deal with. Often described as a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by stress, it can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. Over time, burnout can lead to a lack of motivation and energy.
To help you avoid burnout and maintain work-life balance, here are our 4 top tips:
Delegate and trust your team. Your company may be your baby, but it can take a village to raise a business. It you try to do too much yourself, you may find yourself working all the time – leaving you stressed out with little time to enjoy the fruits of your success.
There are many other benefits to delegating, namely: You can now tackle new projects, be more readily available to your team, or even skip out of the office to take a stress-free lunch break. It’s likely that you had a hand in hiring your employees, so why not empower them while easing up some of your own workplace pressure?
Take vacations. With your company growing and so much to do all the time, it may seem impossible to take time off. You’ll have every excuse in the book not to take a vacation: There’s too much work to do, you’re needed for upcoming presentations, or you have an important meeting you can’t miss. You name it and the excuse will be there.
But, at least once a year, taking a vacation is key to your well-being. Time away allows you to recharge your batteries and re-ignite your passion for your small business and mission. A vacation also gives you time to decompress and enjoy your days off with loved ones. Chances are you’ll return to the office with newfound enthusiasm and energy.
Exercise. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. You come to work early and get home after dark. When do you have time to exercise? Here’s the truth: You probably don’t have time, at least not Monday through Friday. You’ve got to make the time. This is key because a lack of exercise can make you feel run down, according to the American Psychological Association. Regular exercise, in turn, will help you deal more effectively with daily stress and this is important if you’re trying to avoid workplace burnout.
The Mayo Clinic recommends carving out whatever time you can to exercise. Some other suggestions include taking walking breaks during your workday and even investing in a treadmill desk.
Unplug. This is a challenging one, especially when you’re accustomed to checking your phone constantly. But, you may find renewed energy from setting boundaries and not being beholden to your emails and text messages after a reasonable hour, say 7 pm when you sit down to dinner with your family.
Likewise, it’s important that, if possible, you commit to unplugging from technology and work emails during the weekends. This will give you time to reboot and spend time with people you care about. You can also focus on a hobby, read or simply enjoy some downtime.
Stay Balanced. There are indeed other steps you can take to reduce your stress and maintain balance, like getting more sleep, eating healthy, and taking up meditation. Regardless of what you do, remember not to let your small business take over your entire life. Motivation is likely what helped you jumpstart your company. You certainly don’t want to lose this by burning out
Robyn Parets: Robyn is a journalist and business writer based in Boston. A former writer for Investor's Business Daily (IBD) and NerdWallet, Robyn is also the founder and director of Pretzel Kids, a children's fitness brand and online kids' yoga teacher training school. You can follow her on Twitter@RobynParets and @PretzelKids