Even the toughest entrepreneurs will fall to burnout if it’s not handled. You may be working on your passions, but the daily routine will inevitably turn into a grind. You’ll get tired and restless, and your performance will begin to suffer. If not handled, burnout can reduce you to a shell of your former productive self. Here are some things you can do to fight burnout and stay productive.
1. Ask “How” Instead of Saying “Can’t”
One of the worst effects of burnout is that it makes you low-energy. Getting out of bed is a chore, and you may start wondering how you were ever excited for this start-up. You’ll wonder how you can ever get anything done; but instead of thinking you can’t do something because you’re low energy, ask how. How can you get your energy levels up? How can you get those reports in order?
Asking “how” puts you in a problem-solving mindset, while saying “can’t” puts you in a negative mindset. The latter will keep your energy levels down, while the former will often pique your interest and get your mental engines running, which helps keep the burnout at bay.
2. Develop Strong Habits
One of the best ways to fight burnout is consistency. Having a consistent schedule and strong habits can keep you in the game, even when you don’t feel like working. You’ll keep eating right and exercising daily, even if you’re low energy, because it’s part of your routine. The idea is to have a habit so ingrained into the day that you do it automatically. Doing this removes burnout as a factor for your performance.
3. Break Things Down into Manageable Chunks
Burnout can result from many things, such as facing tasks that seem too big. Facing a massive task can and will often stress you out. Make that goal more manageable by breaking it down into readily achievable tasks. The overall goal remains the same, but things seem easier because you’ve made a step-by-step to-do list. Things are far less stressful when the road to the goal is clear.
4. Make Things Easier on Yourself
It’s easy to get overwhelmed as an entrepreneur, since there’s so much to do. The solution is to do less. A fat to-do list can take the wind out of your sails; trim things down to what you absolutely need to do. This can help you to prevent burnout or deal with it if you already find yourself listless. Limiting the list makes things more manageable, but if you find yourself capable of doing more, don’t hesitate.
5. Get Outside Opinions
Being burned out affects your perspective. Tasks seem overwhelming, and it may feel as though nothing you do will matter. If you stay stressed long enough, you may even consider throwing up your hands and quitting the start-up entirely.
Talk to someone outside of the business before you do anything rash. Get a second opinion from someone you trust. They’ll be able to give you the fresh perspective you may currently be lacking.
6. Change Where You Work
Inspiration can come from anywhere. You may have been inspired to become an entrepreneur by a bad boss, a good movie, or even seemingly from thin air. It’s likely that you’ve designed your workspace as a place of inspiration. Charming posters on the walls, everything ordered just so, can help to maximize your comfort and productivity.
Burnout can take that inspiration, comfort, and productivity away and make your workspace dreary. So change where you work. It can be anywhere — a library, your favorite coffee shop, or even the park. A change of scenery can help fight burnout by changing your stimuli. This can lead to inspiration and a sense of newness, which can fight off the disinterest and re-energize you.
The moment you think you’re getting burned out as an entrepreneur, take steps to combat it. Don’t let it become a real problem. Get inspired by changing where you work. Ask for an outside opinion to double-check whether or not burnout is affecting your perspective. Think about solutions instead of getting down on yourself. Deal with burnout, and it won’t take you and your start-up down.