How to Prevent Burnout as an Entrepreneur

It happens to the best of us. Here's what to do when burnout strikes.... and how to prevent it from happening

Think back to the day you birthed your brilliant business idea. What were you like? How did you feel? What were you most excited about?

Now come back to the present. Is that excitement still coursing through your veins at the same rate? Are you still excited to complete your daily checklist? Are you still IN it?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, first of all, I commend you for your honesty. And second of all, I want to encourage you. These feelings are normal, and we actually have a name for them. It’s called burnout. 

Burnout: "physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others. " -APA Dictionary of Psychology

Burnout may cause you to doubt yourself, your ideas and your business. In the midst of these feelings, you may feel like you're failing, but that's not true! You are experiencing very real symptoms of burnout, and there are techniques you can use to overcome them.

Whether you’re feeling burnt out or trying to maintain your great attitude, the following tips and tricks can help.

Set Boundaries

Boundaries are ultra-important in this business. When you’re working from home, you may feel like you’re always on call, but you don’t have to be. Clearly communicate your office hours, and push any non-urgent matters that arise outside of that timeframe to the next available day. 

designate a specific area for work

If you can, define a specific area of your home or room for work. Don’t work from bed or relax at your work desk. Physically separating work and home will aid in mental separation, and therefore prevent burnout.

create a routine
In an interview with CNBC, Anna Dearmon Kornick, a time management coach, suggested creating a start-up and shut-down routine. “Your routine can be as simple as reviewing your calendar, updating your to-do list, and shutting down your laptop,” she said. “Repeating these actions at the end of each work day will trigger a mindset shift that tells your brain it’s time to rest.”
make a schedule...  and stick to it

When it feels like you have endless tasks in front of you, schedules will help you stay organized. Tackle one thing at a time, and be realistic about how long each task will take you.  

For example, if you need to create an Instagram account, but you’ve never done it before, schedule at least an hour for the task. That way, any obstacles you encounter will feel manageable and you won’t feel the pressure of needing to do other things. That hour is for your Instagram account. Get it done then.

procrastinate often? schedules can help.

Sometimes procrastination is caused by not knowing when or how to start an assignment. Try breaking up your big project into bite-sized chunks. List how and when you will accomplish each piece, so later, you can focus on one task at a time.

expect the unexpected

Things come up. Whether it’s your kid crying, breakfast burning, or a complaint from a customer, you can’t prepare for every moment of the day. 

When a problem arises, you may feel like it's an emergency. But before you act, evaluate the issue’s urgency. Does it need to be done right now or can it wait until you’ve finished what you’re working on? Repeat the mantra "your urgency is not always my emergency"  to yourself. 

Prioritize the week’s most important tasks so they always get done, even after tons of distractions have arisen. Schedule less important tasks for the end of the week so you know it’s okay if they get pushed back.

Schedule time to rest!

Once you start scheduling things, it can be tempting to fill up every minute of your life. But trust me on this one: between work, family time, meals, exercise, and events, you need to schedule chunks of time for NOTHING. I know it sounds insane, but you will benefit mentally from knowing when your next break/ flex time is coming. 

be kind to yourself

Maybe your business isn’t where you want it to be right now. Maybe you’re not as productive as you think you should be. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay.  

When you start to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated, take a moment and remember the wide-eyed dreamer you were when you started this Print on Demand journey. Think about how far you've come since then. You should be proud of yourself for all you've accomplished.

You are doing the best you can. The sooner you relieve yourself of the burden of perfection, the sooner you can stop feeling burnt out. 

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