Tired. Exhausted. Burnt out. If you’re an entrepreneur (or a human), you’re likely very familiar with those feelings. You might even feel them right now. Burnout is a natural part of life, and it can zap your energy and halt any forward progress you have in building your business or advancing your career. The key to success as an entrepreneur is to learn how to work through those feelings of exhaustion we all face.
Start by building self-awareness. Before you can fix the problem, you have to understand why you feel burnt out. There are numerous factors and activities that zap our energy. For me, it includes fighting the need to be perfect. For Jacob, meetings, calls and maintaining trying relationships can lead to serious burnout. But once we’ve established what zaps our energy, we can work to find a solution.
It’s also helpful to understand how exhaustion and low energy manifest themselves. Again, this is different for everyone. Some people might feel depressed or angry when they’re tired, and other people have a short fuse and are easily agitated. When you’re exhausted, don’t make big decisions. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Watch how you interact and speak with other people.
Once you’ve noticed patterns in what causes burnout and how it manifests in your life, you can work to find the right solutions. If people and projects pulling you in multiple directions is burning you out, work on setting boundaries and learning to say no. Take care of your body with healthy habits like getting enough sleep, drinking water and eating a balanced diet. Jacob and I have both learned that we feel groggy and irritable when we eat late at night or drink alcohol, so we’ve adopted healthier habits that put us in the right mindset every day.
I fight feelings of burnout and overwhelm by being careful about my time and delegating to my team. I look for personal and professional tasks I can outsource to take things off my plate. Jacob could work all day and night, so he has to acknowledge when he’s tired and take time to relax. Being self-aware also means realizing how much you’ve been working and stopping when your energy levels are low.
Burnout is a natural part of life, and it doesn’t ever truly go away. The key to succeeding, especially when you set out on your own, is to control your energy. Look for the triggers of things that cause you to feel burnt out and exhausted. Set boundaries and proactively take care of yourself so that you can be in your best condition to not only build your business but also to be a good friend, spouse, parent and member of society.
We go into depth on these topics and more about exhaustion and burnout on this week’s episode of the BYOB Podcast. Give it a listen!