from Forbes Zine 01/15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Are you Prone? Running your own business takes a tremendous amount of time & energy. Entrepreneurs are often prone to burnout This makes for a bad combination that can have a dangerous result – Burnout. Most entrepreneurs don’t like to think about this the huge consequences burnout can have for both the business and you – its founder. They invest little in preventative measures and address the problem only once disaster has struck. But there’s a better way. Here are 10 strategies to help ensure business success by avoiding burnout in the first place—and 10 things you can do to get started.
1. Get in the Right Mindset. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Long-term success depends on your ability to maintain your stamina. You won’t get far, if you only sprint out of the gate. Instead, pace yourself, respect your limits, & keep the whole “race” in mind.
To Do: Pick three dates over the next month that you want to be at 100%. In order to make that a reality, adjust your schedule leading up to those days so that you will be fresh, focused, & prepared.
2. Establish Fair Expectations. There is no such thing as an “overnight” success. Good things take time, plenty of research, & lots of tweaking. So be generous—not overly aggressive— when you do forecasting, project planning, & goal setting. Remember that things always take longer than you anticipate.
To Do: Pick one goal that you are working towards. Set yourself up for success by checking its feasibility with the other ambitions on your plate, and adjust your timeline accordingly.
3. Make Progress with Small Steps. The big picture is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when the path from here to there is unclear. But keep in mind that progress comes from moving forward with small, persistent steps.
To Do: Pick one current project that you feel stuck on. Break down your tasks into smaller chunks to make them even more actionable. For bonus points, put each smaller task on the calendar to ensure you give yourself enough time to get them done.
4. Keep your Goals in Mind. It’s easy to get off-track and distracted, and to take your business in a direction that doesn’t work for you. As you build your business, remember “why” you became an entrepreneur and be sure to prioritize these motivations. That way, your work always be rewarding for you, both now and in the long run.
To Do: Compare each of your current goals against your motivations for being an entrepreneur. Are there goals that aren’t aligned with the rewards you want? If so—modify or scrap them.
5. Prioritize what you Do Best. In the early days of a business, everyone has to do a little bit of everything. But, in order to end up with the work you love, you need to focus on your best talents from the beginning. Don’t hoard bad tasks or give yourself a job you don’t like. Instead delegate to others and deliberately plan for the job you want.
To Do: Look at your To-Do list for the week and identify your least favorite task. Figure out how to out-source, streamline, or otherwise minimize it. Use the time saved to do your favorite task instead.
6. Create a Support Team. The people in your organization or network are your greatest assets. Not only do they offer support, but they also provide a wealth of information, wisdom, experience, & resources. They can help lighten your workload and prevent you from re-inventing the wheel. Remember, you don’t need to learn all your lessons the hard way.
To Do: Select your most pressing business question. Think about who in your network might have valuable insight on this challenge. If its simple call them, if complex ask for a meeting.
7. Set Strong Boundaries. A chief complaint of many entrepreneurs is that they are “always working.” Avoid this from the beginning by setting (& sticking to) clear boundaries—no one else can do this for you.
To Do: Pick a firm closing time for your work. Honor it by doing other things (ie, with family & friends) after that time.
8. Shake up your Routine. Nothing’s more exhausting than monotony—if your work seems the same each day, you’re sure to tire quickly. Change up your routine with some rejuvenating work-related tasks such as research, or meeting a supporter to discuss the status.
To Do: Give yourself a few minutes to do something rejuvenating during work hours this week – take a short walk, do some exercise. Use it as a reward when you finish a task.
9. Indulge Guilty Pleasures—Daily. It’s easy to get caught up in the “What must be done next?” mode. It’s great to be efficient & productive, but all work & no play can only last so long. Instead, create a sustainable routine by integrating small mental or physical breaks into your daily grind.
To Do: Watch or read something funny as a brain break between tasks.
10. Take Time Off. Aside from regular daily breaks, plan to take some legitimate time off, too. An escape from your work, allows you to get out of a stale-mate and gain perspective on the business—even if you don’t explicitly think about work. Taking time off also forces you to put systems in place, so the business can continuing running in your absence—a critical component of a successful & sustainable business.
To Do: Think about a few things you can do before your next day off. to make that day more relaxing and stress-free. Schedule them.
Comments: In the long run, taking pro-active steps to prevent burnout is absolutely crucial for your health & relationships + the success of your business. So, what are some of the things you do to accomplish this?