Overcome Entrepreneurial Burnout! 5 Tips From a Certified Coach

Balance has become a novelty to find in our professional lives. We always seem to be tipping to one extreme or the other, thinking there’s no way to find equilibrium. 

Because of this struggle, burnout in the workplace is the latest phenomenon. While it hasn’t been coined as an official medical term, burnout is becoming a common word in our vocabulary and the statistics are pretty grim.

Considering this trend, we’ve pulled together insights from throughout my career to help you identify your burnout triggers and help you break the cycle. 

What Causes Entrepreneurial Burnout?

In every professional’s life, there is a set of factors that make up their work routine. It’s what they do, how they do it, and what they receive in return. Any problems in these areas result in a fatigued, and often demotivated, individual. But when you add on the pressure and anxiety many entrepreneurs face, these symptoms of dismay are intensified. 

Here are three points that can contribute to your feeling of burnout:

Overworking

Entrepreneurs are no strangers to taking on extra work and constantly going the extra mile to see their dreams come true. But there’s a price they have to pay here. When they’re taking on responsibilities that are normally divided among a few employees, they’re bound to feel like they’re at their wit’s end by the end of the day. 

Balancing your workload is necessary which is also why a team you can trust is crucial. Learn to delegate and identify impactful support that doesn’t break the bank. You should be able to pass tasks onto your team and rely on them to produce the results you want.

Poor Schedules 

Parkinson’s Law is the notion that work expands to fit the time you give it. It’s easy to turn an 8-hour workday into 12+ hours – a recipe for burnout. We assume that it’s a necessity in the early days of our startups, but forget to regulate later on. Prolonging your work day once every fortnight is easier to recover from, with a weekend off making you good as new. 

But consecutive long hours for a year? Two years? There’s no way a long weekend is bringing your energy back. 

That is why most advisors harp on about working regular hours and avoiding staying up throughout the night. We have a full series on the importance of balance! If you find yourself investing extra time, make sure you give yourself adequate downtime to recharge. 

Lack of Recognition 

A key factor for internal frustrations is a lack of external recognition of your efforts. Whether it’s from investors, board members, fellow employees, or even third-party stakeholders; a lack of appreciation for your hard work can cause resentment and low self-esteem. It is also a major factor in those leaving their job at a company or giving up on their work. 

Don’t forget those in your social circle – this can feel like some of the harshest commentary when it comes from family and friends! We’ve heard the question “When are you going to get a real job” more times than we can count. When you break away from the norm, others may not understand what they don’t know or haven’t experienced. Take any comments, advice, criticisms or eye-rolls with a grain of salt and trust that you’re on the right track.

While recognition is a great extrinsic motivation, cut yourself some slack as well. Oftentimes our perception of ourselves is much harsher than that of our peers, which adds internal pressure rather than inspiring you to work your best. Find ways to feed the recognition you need – join a mastermind, create an accountability group, go to meet-ups with likeminded professionals, or work with a coach! Find the support you want and need.

Five Effective Tips to Recover From Burnout

There are some tried-and-tested ways to overcome burnout, but prevention is also key. I’ve put together a few steps you can take to make a full recovery and get back into work with a pep in your step. 

The first order of business is getting the rest that your body needs. Being burnt out leads to great mental and physical fatigue, which can compound into illness, irritability, and poor overall health.  Take time to focus on your well-being. Some recommend vacations, but you don’t have to add the stress of travel into the mix. Take a few days to get your sleep schedule right, eat well, and take care of pending tasks at home. Do some self-care you’ve been missing out on, whether that be a massage, spending time outdoors, or whatever else helps you recharge. Once you’ve covered ground here, you’ll feel healthier and more organized.

The key to keeping yourself healthy after the initial jump-start is maintaining your progress and being consistent. One efficient way to do this is by building a routine that structures your entire day but is flexible enough to cater to any hiccups.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a routine is your key to success. Once you’ve created the habit of your daily tasks, you’ll be more focused, centered, and accomplished with the completion of each task. Having those small wins throughout the day will help motivate you towards more taxing ordeals, and allow you to set specified time for focus on the hard stuff. 

You may end up with a heavy workload because of tough circumstances or your own doing. In the latter situation, it can happen because it’s hard for you to turn down others needing help, you may badly want to meet a deadline, or you just can’t say no. Setting boundaries will set you free from unfair expectations, and help you prioritize your peace of mind and work. 

You aren’t bound to help everyone or take on someone else’s workload. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup! When it’s time to show team effort, you can step up. But during your daily runs, it isn’t wise to add more onto your plate when you have your own designated tasks to complete.

It’s far too easy to take work home with us, especially if your home and your workplace are one in the same! This is where we talk about boundaries again.

Boundaries are unique to each individual and how you decide to limit your work stressors will be unique to you. I tend to think of it as flipping a switch in my brain – I move from client work to company work to personal tasks, self-care, fun, etc. Create whatever buckets you want for your switches! Whether work related or not, don’t allow your stressors to spill over from bucket to bucket. If you do, you risk constant worry, overthinking, and anxiousness.

Focus on what is in your control and prioritize what’s most important. Time box your tasks and hold yourself accountable. Factor in the time you need to take a rejuvenating break, eat a healthy meal, and get a good night’s sleep. It’s your choice whether you live to work, or work to live. Make conscious decisions and give yourself the time and space to disconnect from stressors.

Focusing on personal decisions and self-accountability is a good step, but it’s best to scrutinize your professional decisions as well. It provides a holistic analysis and helps you plan a shift to better support your improvement. 

You may believe that you’re working most efficiently and prioritizing appropriately, but an unbiased third party can provide important perspective. You may be efficient, but are you effective with choosing the right tasks? Are you prioritizing the necessary fire drill or can you prevent the fire from occurring in the first place? Are you too close to the task at hand with the risk overlooking important factors? Or are you overwhelmed by it all and just don’t know where to start?!

As a professional coach, I’m trained and practiced in helping my clients to identify areas requiring minor changes and major readjustments. We look beyond the immediate for lasting, positive change. Beyond that, I’m an experienced project manager, product manager, high performing corporate employee, solo-preneuer, coach and advisor, with early phase start-up success! Having an experienced eye like mine helps to assess your workload and routine, and provides necessary validation, ongoing support, and long term success.  Reap the benefits and contact us today!

Feeling Motivated?

Our team at Simply Hudson is committed to making you feel empowered in your work. We understand the effort you’re investing into your business and the returns you’d like to see. So if you’re looking for guidance or an experienced eye, feel free to reach out to us!

Hi I'm Nicole

Struggling in your work environment? Need to streamline your processes? Is your work-life balance unbalanced?

We’d love to help you overcome any work challenge you’re facing! Contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss how we can help.

Nicole Hudson Signature

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This