Are you teetering on the edge of burnout? We have some hard-earned wisdom to help you steer clear of burnout!
It’s highly likely you’ve experienced burnout as a business owner. When burnout hits, you feel exhausted, demotivated, and probably want to set your computer on fire. In this article, and accompanying video, we want to help you break the burnout cycle just as we’ve (FINALLY) done!
Why the heck is burnout so prevalent?
Burnout is, sadly, an all too familiar experience for entrepreneurs, and its symptoms include sheer exhaustion and a complete lack of motivation.
If you think you’re alone in feeling burned out, you’re absolutely not! A survey by Quickbooks found that 29% of small business owners admit to feeling constantly stressed, and a staggering 41% of entrepreneurs report heightened anxiety levels, often linked to burnout. Another survey by ZipDo uncovered that 80% of entrepreneurs consider their workload to be overwhelming and stress-inducing.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that puts high praise upon hard work, “hustling,” and putting in long hours to try to achieve some arbitrary financial milestone — one that probably isn’t even necessary for living a great life.
3 Ways to Avoid Burnout With Proactive Rest
We realized that waiting for burnout to strike wasn’t a viable strategy any longer (after the umpteenth time of experiencing burnout).
We decided, instead of letting burnout creep its way into our lives yet again, we would prioritize proactive rest early in our business cycles.
Proactive rest has been fully integrated into many facets of our lives, including:
- Daily routines
- Project planning
- Entire months we take off of work 😱😱😱 (shocking idea, WE KNOW!)
Starting small with proactive rest: The importance of scaling back
While our proactive rest practices have been transformative, we also learned the importance of scaling back at the earliest signs of overwhelm.
We’ve developed strategies to ensure that we never reach the point of burnout. By building in buffer time, regularly assessing deadlines, and avoiding the perfectionism trap, we maintain a healthy work-life balance.
This is the old way we would go through a project cycle, always finding ourselves in the Land of Burnout at the end of the project:
This is the NEW WAY we go through projects, proactively PLANNING in rest periods throughout the entire project lifecycle, even small ones!
Set clear restful boundaries to avoid burnout
To effectively implement proactive rest, you must set clear boundaries and expectations with your audience and team. Things like:
- Setting email autoresponders (GASP, shocking!)
- Informing your email list/social following you’re taking a break (HOW COULD YOU!?)
- Planning for other people to cover you while you’re away (IMPOSSIBLE…. isn’t it??)
We can attest that setting restful boundaries IS possible and that you’re business will NOT completely crumble to pieces while you take a break.
Our proactive rest journey began with our first-ever month-long break in December of 2015. Then, the next summer we took another month off with our first summer sabbatical. Since that time, we’ve continued to take off the entire month of December and as many as 3 months off in the summer! In that time, our businesses have continued to thrive and grow 💪🧘♀️💪🧘.
Taking proactive rest isn’t just month-long breaks, it’s also the small, daily and weekly choices you make to carve out time to recharge your batteries.
Defining your own rest routine
Creating a proactive rest routine involves deciding when, how, and what activities to undertake. You can start small with daily rest periods, gradually extending to full weeks or even month-long sabbaticals.
The key is to select activities that genuinely recharge you, like taking walks, reading fiction books, spontaneous mid-day movies, etc. You want to define and plan for activities that remove you from your business tasks and give your brain a much-needed break.
Don’t forget that a good rest routine works when you pre-plan for how your business will continue to operate
Whether it’s through delegation, automation, or having a team member or two cover your tasks, if you don’t ever pass the work-torch to another person (or robot), you’ll always be stuck working.
Proactive Rest and Burnout Avoidance Wrap-Up!
Avoid burnout by embracing proactive rest as a fundamental part of your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t wait until you’re a floppy panda (if you watched the video 😘) or ready to set your laptop on fire.
Start incorporating rest into your daily life and projects. With the right approach to proactive rest and a commitment to scaling back when needed, you can maintain a balanced, healthy, and thriving business.
Remember, a truly calm business values your physical and mental well-being above all else. What’s all the work for if you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and on the verge of burnout?