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Tips on Avoiding Burnout as an Entrepreneur

Posted on January 25, 2013 by

If you’ve ever tried starting your own business, you may have noticed that it’s easier to get burned out. That’s because entrepreneurs are driven individuals that set high and sometimes unrealistic expectations of themselves. Want to keep your stress to a manageable level? Follow these tips.

Tip #1: Define your stressors

Figure out what stresses you out most and then nip it in the bud. For instance, if you always get peeved during the tax season, then establish ways that would help you better cope with it, such as preparing your tax returns early, hiring an accountant, and keeping complete and accurate records.

Tip #2: Establish reasonable goals

You may have lofty plans for your burgeoning company, but they need to be realistic. It’s not that you shouldn’t aim high—you just need to break down these objectives into smaller, more manageable goals so that you won’t get too stressed out while trying to achieve them. For instance, aiming for a turnover of $100,000 for your start-up may not seem as exciting, but you need to reach it before hitting larger figures.

Tip #3: Manage your time

Staying for long hours at the office doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive. Try to schedule all your tasks, set priorities, reduce time you spend on non-priorities, and stick to your plan. Without proper time management, you’ll have difficulty completing tasks and meeting deadlines, and this if this persists, it will burn you out.

Tip #4: Get dependable help

Working hard and doing things alone is common among entrepreneurs; unfortunately, so is burnout. To keep stress from consuming you, hire remarkable people: consultants, freelancers, a virtual assistant—whatever works for you, as long as they can complete projects dependably without much supervision. Take note of the adjective "remarkable", however. Yes, they may cost more, but the upside is worth it.

Tip #5: Look after your health

You should already know this: eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. These are the best ways that your body and mind can cope with stress. They also make you better equipped to handle more tasks effectively and be more productive overall. Start looking after your health and you’ll see that the difference is night and day—you’re much stronger and sharper, and so is your business.

Tip #6: Connect with other people

Another crucial step to avoid burnout is to connect with other people through social activities, as long as they have nothing to do with your company. You can spend time with your family, watch a movie with friends, or just go out and have fun with other people. What’s important here is that you have a support network to turn to outside your work.

Tip #7: Take regular breaks

While you devote many hours of your time for your business each day, you also need to take a couple of hours’ worth of breaks to recharge and help you deal with the little stresses that can accumulate. See to it that you really do rest and distance yourself from your work while on your break so that you’re refreshed when you return. Your business will survive during this time, especially if you have dependable help (see above).

Tip #8: Turn off the gadgets

Remember to turn off your smartphone and/or tablet when you’re on break, weekends, holidays or spending time with your family. With the prevalence of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, we sometimes get so wrapped up with our gadgets that we forget the important stuff.