There are few feelings worse than being completely burned out with your job. For entrepreneurs, it’s a very dangerous thing. There is no one who is going to pick up the slack for you if you lose the urge to keep doing business, and there is no corporate bureaucracy to hide in until the frustration passes. This is a serious problem because being burnt out can easily drag down your business.
When you’re burnt out, your work will take a hit. You’ll be giving your customers lower quality, and losing the enthusiasm that helped you build your business in the first place. Your lack of concern and confidence will be evident whenever you try to expand your business or develop new leads.
You know it’s a serious problem, but as a small business owner, you’re used to taking drastic steps to improve your life. There are a lot of big and small ways you can beat the burnout, and we’re going to suggest some that may help you.
Know When to Take a Vacation
Many people pride themselves on how much work they can do without taking a break, but that isn’t always the healthiest way to go about a job. The consequences of never taking a break may not be evident until you’re already completely burnt out. By then, it may be too late.
Take a vacation whenever you reasonably can, even if it’s only for a day. It will help you come back fresh and ready to face your job again. Taking a vacation is also a good way to put your work in perspective. Not only will you burn out less often, your work may improve in unexpected ways from taking a moment to step back.
Build a New Workspace
Sometimes all it takes to cure a case of being burnt out is changing the scenery. Your workspace can have a powerful effect on how you approach your work. The problem could be as simple as a setup that is uncomfortable for working.
Consider changing things like your chair or desk, or the position of your monitor. If you’re feeling particularly burnt out, you may just want to take the proverbial axe to your home office and start from scratch. If this is the case, then you should consider changing your wallpaper, lighting, and the decorations in your room. You may also want to adding something like a fish tank to give an office a real flair.
Change Your Schedule
Sometimes a change of schedule can really help when you feel burnt out. The routine can become monotonous and painful, which makes it hard to get any work done. You may notice an immediate improvement if you start messing with your schedule.
Do you work during the mornings? Try doing some of that work in the evening. Do you like to work in the evening? Try seeing how you do when get most of your work done in the morning. This will rearrange your work schedule, but more importantly, it will rearrange your off-work schedule. You’ll be opened up to an entirely new set of activities to do in your free time. If you start taking the mornings off, you’ll have more time to enjoy the sunny parts of the day. If you take your evenings off, you’ll have more freedom to enjoy the night life.
Do More with Your Downtime
Sometimes it feels good to just collapse and do nothing at all with your downtime. That works for some people. For others, it just makes the problem worse. Many people have found that having more substantive hobbies can help make coming back to work easier. You may want to try developing more skilled hobbies.
Painting, woodworking, and active hobbies like boxing and dancing are popular options. There are also interesting things to do at home like cooking, home brewing and sewing. Having an involved hobby can be hard but it can also make it easier to return to work, and give you a greater sense of personal satisfaction about your life.
Aim for an Advancement
If you’re feeling burnt out, it could just be because you’ve reached the peak of what you can accomplish with what you’re doing right now. You could be sticking to less than you’re capable of just because you’ve become used to it. Your next step should be to aim for some way to advance in your job. This usually means taking on some new responsibilities or even changing your field.
You should focus on trying to find out if boredom is your problem. You should also examine if you actually have any trouble doing your job, so you can measure whether you’re capable of more. There are always more ways to do business if you’re looking for them.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle
It may surprise you to find out that a lot of problems with your motivation can be linked to your health. If you can’t figure out anything else that could be wrong, you should start looking there. It is not at all uncommon for entrepreneurs to develop unhealthy habits. You should fix them if you want to feel burnt out less often.
Try to eat less junk food. Cut down on alcohol if you notice that you drink a lot. You should also make sure you are getting a decent amount of exercise. Finally, make sure you are getting a lot of sleep, because that can also have a major effect on your ability to work.
Devote more Focus to the Parts You Enjoy
While there may be parts of your job that you don’t enjoy, there are probably at least a couple things that make you feel good about your abilities. If you don’t want to experience being burnt out, you should try focusing on those parts whenever you can.
If possible, develop them to the point that you can do that part as much as possible. If you are successful enough, you may find that it is very helpful to hire some people to do the parts of the job that you hate the most. That way, you can focus only on what you feel passionate about with your work.
Learn about the New Developments in Your Field
If you are getting bored with what you’re doing, you may find out that you don’t really need to do it anymore. Most jobs are changing very quickly these days, and new developments can turn an awful job into one that you learn to enjoy doing again. There may be a lot more to learn out there, if you look for new developments in your field.
You should check out the trade magazines for your job if you want to find out if there are any new developments. Also poke around online and see if new ways to do your job are being developed and adopted. You may find out that you can bypass some of things you used to hate.
Look for New Ways to Challenge Yourself
Looking for new ways to challenge yourself is a great way to avoid getting burnt out. Don’t stay satisfied with what you can accomplish now. Challenge yourself to do better if you find that it doesn’t take much effort to do what you do now.
Of course, challenging yourself to do a little better won’t mean much. Instead you should focus on developing specific goals. Try to aim for the fringe of what you think you can handle. You may surprise yourself with how much more you can accomplish when you challenge yourself.