A national study indicates that more than half of U.S. professionals are burned out.
For some reason, when discussing employee burnout, people tend to think that small business owners are somehow exempt. Sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Small business owners work very hard—in many cases, harder than they should.
When you are building a small business and operating in the trenches every day, it’s easy to burn out—even while “living the dream” as an entrepreneur.
If you have recently lost the spring in your step when dealing with matters related to your small business, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. It’s perfectly natural for small business owners to get tired after falling into a seemingly never-ending routine for several reasons.
Maybe you commit to far too many activities. Maybe you’re busting your tail while still struggling to pay bills at the end of each month. Maybe you haven’t been taking care of yourself and don’t have the energy to move forward.
Whatever the case may be, there is good news—it’s entirely possible to overcome small business owner burnout. You just have to know the right steps to take.
Go on Vacation
Small business owners are known for rarely taking vacations. While this work ethic is commendable, research suggests that working year-round is a recipe for disaster.
Taking off extended blocks of time will enable you to recharge your batteries. When you return from vacation, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to work even harder to grow your business.
Vacations also give you an uncluttered mind, making it easier to come up with new ideas and look at your surroundings from different perspectives.
Do Something New
Even the most talented and dedicated workers get tired of doing the same thing over and over.
This is an easy fix: Switch things up. It's up to you, whether that means launching a new website, establishing a presence on social media, blogging, or sponsoring a local event.
Change Your Physical Location
If you work out of your home office every day, you can avoid burnout by working from new locations, such as the neighborhood coffee shop or the local library. Alternatively, it could mean tackling some work during the middle of a hike.
Learn How to Manage Your Time Better
While you may be tempted to take care of everything yourself, you hired employees for a reason: to delegate some responsibilities. If you constantly find yourself showing up to work early and leaving long after everyone else, chances are you are either taking on too much or you’re relying on inefficient tools and methods to finish the work.
Take a step back to review all of your responsibilities. Consider whether you, alone, should be the one taking care of each responsibility. At the very least, you should be able to offload one or two things from your plate. On the other end of the spectrum, you might find that much of your job can be delegated—freeing your schedule to focus on the bigger picture.
Similarly, if you haven’t updated the way you do business recently, it may be time to reassess your tech stack and company procedures to see where improvements can be made. For example, investing in a business messaging platform like Slack can help you and your team in moving projects forward even when you’re not in the same office.
If you’re like many small business owners, taking work home on a nightly basis comes with the territory. But if you’re working too much without any downtime, it’s all but certain you will burn out sooner rather than later.
Set clear boundaries. If you need to take home some work , force yourself to put everything down by a certain time—say 8:30 p.m.—so you can spend the rest of the night relaxing.
Don’t let small business owner burnout stunt the growth of your company. By recognizing the warning signs and taking proactive steps to make changes, you can avoid burning out while increasing your energy and enthusiasm. That’s the recipe for sustained small business growth.