How to reduce Burnout as an Entrepreneur

60-80 hours work weeks. Critical decisions. Thought leadership and emotional intelligence. All these are the expectations of society from an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are first human beings that have needs. After some time, it becomes really difficult going at this pace and this is where that mental and physical exhaustion known as burnout sets in. But then, this can be avoided to an extent. Entrepreneurs have become wiser in trying to secure the bag and staying sane while at it. So, if you belong to this category and want to know the best way to reduce burnout as an entrepreneur, here are six ways to go about it:

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance  

3. Learn through the failures 

4. Delegate

5. Know when to give up

Let’s explore this further, shall we?

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos: As an entrepreneur, sometimes you feel that you need to come up with that perfect strategy. The defining factor when it comes to burnout as an entrepreneur is stress. Now, you can easily relate stress with hard work, that is in the physical sense. But stress can also be mental, which in return kills your mental state. 

A simple cause of this is over-thinking, planning, and all the overkills. Most times, entrepreneurs fall into that trap of over strategizing in their quest for perfection. This shouldn’t be so. The simple but overlooked solution therefore should be focusing on the journey, tweaking the process as you go. The more time you spend as an entrepreneur thinking is the more time you miss out on productive acts. Over time, you end up stressed for achieving nothing.

Remember the simple trick; focus on the to-dos, the goals will fall into place along the way and the burnout from mental stress will be reduced.

As Jas Bagniewski puts it “don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.” 

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance: remember when I mentioned in the beginning that entrepreneurs tend to work 60-80 hours. Now that equates to 12- 16 hours of work daily, out of 24 hours in a day. Some even work during weekends. At this rate, burnout is bound to come up since the little time they have apart from working is geared towards resting.

If you fall into this category, believe me, the burnout will most likely be the short term effect of your schedule. As time goes on, you might develop terminal diseases from the unhealthy lifestyle you’ve embraced. At the end of the day, you end up with a lonely and boring life with its own consequences. The point is that since the life of an entrepreneur is demanding, create a balance because therein lies your full success.

Taking up a hobby, joining an association of friends is a good way to go. Also, embracing technology and using the tools as much as you can help make life easy.

Another way to create a balance is by going on a Workcation. It’s simply a type of vacation which also involves you working. The benefit here is the change of environment which can do amazing things to your mental state of health. You can even take your team along with you. This way, you all get to work in a relaxing atmosphere.

3. Learn through the failures: this can be your past adventures or from that of others. Just ensure you use previous experiences as a blueprint to fight your fear of failure and get through to the next stage. The mistakes you made when starting or the ones other entrepreneurs make, are not things you should repeat. Having repetitive failures is enough to demoralize you and make you burnout. Understandably, some things are beyond control but the ones you can control, ensure you control them.

4. Delegate: set up a system for getting results. There’s a reason why startups hire the best talents to accelerate their growth. There’s also a reason big companies can employ a large size of workers who can all work towards achieving a common goal.

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Here is the secret to delegating:

– if another person can get 80% of the work done, hand it over 

– delegating is effective when there’s a system in place. An easy way to set up a system is by documenting those practices that worked in the past for you. This way the idea and processes can easily be passed down. So to the extent that you can delegate certain tasks, and still get the job done, do that. You might be an entrepreneur, but you are still a human being. Constantly unusually pushing your human limits will lead to a breakdown.

5. Know when to give up: uhhh, this sounds weird right? I mean, entrepreneurship involves risks and staying put till the end right. Yup, this point doesn’t invalidate all that. Giving up here means not engaging in a wild goose chase. So, there’s a particular area you’re exploring for your business and you are not making headway, giving up might just be the solution.

Oh, wait, giving up sounds too final. Consider this a way of you putting a hold on certain aspects or closing the chapter on an aspect of your business. But if we’re being sincere, giving up is the best way to avoid pursuing a dead end. When you can identify the point in your life as an entrepreneur that your idea stops being viable or a plan is not going to work out, then kill it already. What’s the need passing through that mental and physical exhaustion for that flimsy reason stopping you from drawing the curtain.

Is this me discouraging you from chasing your dream? Yes, but just in the instance, the dream is obviously useless.

Remember, that as long as you can:

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance  

3. Learn through the failures 

4. Delegate: set up a system for getting the result

5. Know when to give up

Your chances of burning out as an entrepreneur will be greatly reduced. 

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Written by Blessing Onyegbula