7 actions new business owners can take to prevent burnout

Take positive action

As a business owner, freelancer or entrepreneur, it’s highly likely you share a common reality -  you work your socks off each day!  It’s also very likely that you enjoy the majority of what you do. This is important as it can often lead to the potential dismissal of the possibility of occupational burnout being something that you might be at risk of experiencing. Unfortunately, even if you enjoy your overall work, you are still as vulnerable as anyone else.  In these cases, it can be useful to know what signs to look out for that will help alert you to recognising when you need to start taking positive actions to overcome potential burnout.

Signs of Burnout

Insomnia

Poor concentration or forgetfulness

Increased illness

Anxiety

Low mood

Fatigue

Irritability

Preventing business burnout

Set realistic expectations

Perfectionism is something that affects many of us, it can have great benefits in business but as with most things, it also has its downsides as may cause you to put unnecessary pressure on yourself to achieve these unrealistic, high expectations. Reducing these self-imposed pressures can go a long way to supporting your general wellbeing at work.

Pause and be mindful

Whenever you feel a sense of overwhelm or pressure, simply stop, breath and observe your surroundings. Take in every little detail, what you can see, hear, feel and smell etc. Do this for as long as you need and until your breathing is steady and your muscles are relaxed. The external awareness will take you right out of your current emotional state and return you to a more connected and resourceful state where you can be truly productive.

Add ‘doing nothing’ to your to-do list

If you find it extremely satisfying to tick a completed task off your to-do list, this one is for you.  Try scheduling ‘doing nothing’ time and you can just relax and enjoy that time as much as crossing it off the list once you have finished!

The art of delegation

If you are running a small business with very few staff, it can be easy to think that you can’t delegate any more work to them or indeed, if you don’t have any specific roles there to support you. Now might be the time to think about hiring an assistant. There are lots of low-cost support options available nowadays meaning you can find support that is flexible and meets your needs, for example, a pay by hour virtual assistant.

Once you have the right resource in place, if you don’t already know, then learn to delegate ‘effectively’. The reason for using the word ‘effectively’ is because delegating ineffectively can lead to as many problems as if you didn’t have any support in the first place! As a leader, you need to set clear expectations and goals to ensure the work you are delegating will be completed as you need it to be.

What is within your control?

We all have our triggers but are you aware of what yours are? Do you find yourself irritated but not quite sure why? If this is you, you may benefit from paying attention and keeping track of when your mood changes from relaxed to frustrated or annoyed, for example. Ask yourself, in that moment – what caused me to feel like this? What happened directly before I felt like this? What was the catalyst for these feelings I am experiencing? Once you’ve established the triggers, you can take steps to incorporate some coping strategies, as after all, you can’t fully control any external events, but you can, of course, control how you respond to them.

Share and express

Utilise your close friends and relatives. It is true what they say – a problem shared is a problem halved. You may think they won’t understand or know what to say, but you certainly won’t know if they might have helped if you don’t give them a chance to.

Benefit from meditation

If you have not meditated before or you have tried and not found it particularly easy, you might want to consider learning how to meditate with a professional meditation teacher or by attending a meditation course in London

Adding meditation to your daily activities might just be the thing you need to balance your mind. Choose the best time for you, in the morning to put you in the best mindset for the day ahead, at lunchtime to give you a break from your day or at the end of your day to help you unwind, whichever works best for you.

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