How Small Business Owners Can Avoid Burnout
Running a small business is never easy. Even when things are going well, there’s always a stressful curveball lurking in the shadows. Although running your own organisation can be very rewarding, stress is often part and parcel of your life. When stress levels are constant, people can experience burnout – a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. And right now, it is very commonplace amongst small business owners in the UK. Indeed, a recent study showed that 51% of them had suffered burnout since the pandemic began. We certainly live in unprecedented times; but there are steps you can take to help. Here’s how small business owners can avoid burnout.
Understand The Importance of Your Wellbeing
Your wellbeing should never take a back seat. If you work yourself into burnout, then your business will suffer and possibly even come apart. Whatever work we do, all of us need to get the right amount of exercise, rest, and eat properly to maintain a good mental and physical state.
Make sure to find time for these activities, regardless of whether you have a lot of work on your plate or not. Diarise them and ensure you stick to them! There are so many benefits to looking after your wellbeing – you’ll feel energised and more positive. You’re likely to find that your productivity will rise substantially, despite taking time out from business duties.
Disorganisation can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for those that own small businesses. Keeping a sense of order can really help, so spend a small amount of time tidying your workspace daily. File your paperwork well so key documents are always in easy reach when the time comes to use them. There’s science behind this too – boffins at Princeton University have found that clutter causes stress and negatively affects your wellbeing. Although maintaining an orderly workspace may feel counterproductive when other tasks are calling for your attention, it will certainly help in the long run.
All of us have certain tasks that we detest doing. Unfortunately, procrastinating only leads to the time when these chores cannot be avoided any longer. Everything then must be done in a mad rush, causing even more unnecessary stress. Procrastination is an avoidable stress trigger. There are two solutions; firstly, you can elect to discipline your mind to make sure you don’t avoid handling unpleasant or boring tasks. Secondly, delegate where possible! Managing tasks promptly is always an effective way small business owners can avoid burnout.
No business ever wants to reject work, especially when they’re trying to grow. However, when too much work is taken on and the business doesn’t have the capabilities to process it effectively, they’re asking for trouble. Not only are they likely to end up with missed deadlines and a dissatisfied customer, but the increased stress can lead to small business owner burnout! You need to take control over workload. One of the best ways is to set boundaries with your clients and customers. Ensure you agree sensible deadlines and prioritise tasks. There may be times where you need to answer queries or handle issues outside of work hours but try to stay within defined and agreed work hours as far as possible.
Set A Work Timetable
Working all hours of the day may seem like the only way to stay on top of everything when owning a small business. But it can lead to your mental and physical health being adversely affected. It can hurt your relationships with your family and friends too. That’s why it’s best to separate work and personal time so a healthy balance can be made, helping to prevent burnout from happening.
This can be achieved by setting a work schedule. No matter if it’s 9 am to 5 pm, 12 pm to 8 pm, or something else entirely, having a schedule to divide time spent working and doing all the other important stuff can help massively.
Find Some Help
There are only so many hours in the day. If you’re bursting at the seams, expanding your team can help alleviate the stresses and help boost growth even further. Certainly, it always helps to have numbers to call on if work starts to pile up. However, you need to look at this as a long-term solution. Recruiting the right people takes time and you have to give them adequate training!
Keep in mind that getting assistance when trying to complete tasks doesn’t mean you always have to internally hire someone. There are various options available to reduce the workload, such as finding a virtual assistant. You can also outsource many business processes to third party companies or agencies. A good example of this would be leaving your marketing duties in the hands of a professional agency.
Work From Different Locations
Many small business owners have pivoted to home working during the pandemic. Meanwhile, countless thousands of startups launched from a domestic setting. Although doing so avoids the stress of the dreaded commute, working from home isn’t all a bed of roses. It’s way easier to maintain a work/life balance from an office, and many small business owners (as well as employees) have found it difficult to unplug from their job when working from home. Cabin fever can also be an issue! Taking time off is usually difficult, but a great strategy can be to a change of environment. There are many social spaces with free WiFi where you can get a change of scene while working for an hour or two. Coffee shops are a great example. There are also many excellent organisations offering co-working spaces and private offices to fit your requirements at competitive prices.
This break from your usual environment can do wonders. It will help you keep going while reducing the impact work has on your mental state.
Remember How Far You’ve Come
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your business is not reaching its potential and more must be done to propel growth. While it is always good to grow, sometimes things just take time. You always need to learn to walk before you can run! Try looking over all the accomplishments that have been made this far, along with how much additional experience and knowledge in the industry has been gained. And never forget – celebrate your successes and learn from your failures.
This can help refresh your perspective of the business and give you a shot of renewed energy. A great way for small business owners to avoid burnout.
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