If there is one thing that you learn quickly as a business leader, it’s that stress is unavoidable. You will be in the hot seat steering your business from its beginnings to its success, but if you’re not concentrating properly because you’re not looking after yourself, how can you expect to hit that success?
Your staff are relying on you to be on the ball and know what you want from each stage of your business development. You cannot hope to have a successful future if you are dragging because you are burning the candle at both ends. Of course, every single business owner has an element of working very late and starting again every morning before the birds are even awake. However, how you manage those hours you’re working will help you to avoid that newbie burnout that comes with it. There is a big difference between being a little stressed out and feeling so under pressure that you’re going to cave in and be unable to work at all.
A lot of leaders experience burnout at some point or another, but if you want to minimize the impact, then take a look at all the ways you can avoid it as a leader of a company.
You could have the best quality glasses around, but staring at a screen all day (and night) is exhausting for your eyes. The right glasses are a must if you need them, but when you spend excessive amounts of time at the screen, you can experience headaches and eye strain at a level you are just not used to anymore. You can improve your exhaustion by setting yourself times to be at the computer, and times where you should come away from it. Regular rest breaks away from the screen can make all the difference to the way that you feel.
It’s so easy to be distracted from your tasks, but the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion often comes with feeling like you’re looking at a mountain of work. Realistically, that mountain will only take you a few short hours, and yet distractions stretch out a four-hour work day into a sixteen-hour one! So, you need to get organized and start making lists of all the things that you want to achieve and make sure that you are achieving them in the timeframe that suits you. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in your efficiency when you set a timer.
You are a business owner, but that doesn’t mean that you have to say yes to everything and everyone. If you are being coveted by clients, this is great news. However, piling on meetings and workloads isn’t the smartest way to ensure that you are something to everyone. Instead, you need to create some boundaries and take a step back. If you have scheduled four meetings in one day, don’t add a fifth one. Choose another date and give yourself a limit. Boundaries are so important in business but they’re only relevant if you actually use them!
We just talked about boundaries for accepting work, but this includes the boundaries you set yourself for your emails and phone calls. The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to unplug and take a step back. Don’t answer every notification instantly, and if your working day is due to finish at 5pm, add “Do Not Disturb” to your phone. You need to know when to unplug from screens, including the small one in your pocket.
Pushing your business to success doesn’t happen overnight. So, you need to do what you can to take as many breaks as are feasible through the day. You may think vacation days are important, but so are the smaller breaks that you take during the day. If you’re going for lunch, leave your screen and eat outdoors or in a local cafe. You do not need your work to support you through your lunch break. Getting outside and into the sunshine will offer massive benefits to your health, too.
You may be at the forefront of a new company, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all yourself. Business owners often start out by themselves, but there are so many freelancers out there just waiting to give you a helping hand. You don’t have to pay for a permanent member of staff if you just need someone to help you with a new task for your business launch. Asking for help will make a huge difference to the productivity levels you have, and your business will be instantly improved when you ask for some support. You can do it all alone with the added dress, but why should you have to?
The easiest way to avoid burnout is to make sure that your business is about something that you love. Enjoying your work makes it feel less stressful, and it makes you want to get things done without feeling unmotivated to do it all. Enjoying what you do makes you feel good, which makes you want to put the work down and listen to your own boundaries in place.
If things are feeling overwhelming and you’re worried about how to steer your business in the right direction, then you need someone to talk to about your stress. You cannot hold in all of the worry alone, and if you do you’re going to feel it spill over – which is going to make things work far better for you and your business.
Burnout is not something that you should consider to be a joke. In fact, you need to do what you can to avoid it – especially when you are at the helm of a brand new company. Your mental health is important, too, so stay on top of it.