Burnout is a very real problem, especially for solopreneurs and small business owners. These professionals feel the entire weight of their success on their own shoulders. Small businesses have been facing the most uncertainty and loss during the pandemic. Trying to figure out what your “new norm” is can be overwhelming in an already high-pressure situation. Burnout is on the rise as business owners easily work 16+ hours a day trying to recover from the ‘lost year’. According to WebMD, “burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress.” I think we can agree that pretty much everyone has been experiencing burnout lately.
Pause for a moment and honestly answer these questions:
Are you missing out on spending time with your family and friends?
Do you feel a lack of focus, motivation, or control?
Are you questioning if you have what it takes to keep your business going?
While it’s better to avoid getting to a point of burnout in the first place, small business owners often find themselves dealing with the symptoms before they’re aware it’s happening. As soon as you start to recognize these signs in yourself, it’s time to hit the pause button, evaluate your situation, and do what you do best: come up with creative solutions.
5 Signs and Consequences of Burnout
- Insomnia. If your brain can’t shut down because you’re consumed with work and worry, your sleep pattern gets disrupted. This leaves you overtired, lacking energy, and possibly lacking the mental energy to make wise business decisions.
- Procrastination. Do you cringe at how long your to-do list has gotten? Did some of these tasks once get you excited about your work but now, they make you want to crawl under a rock? Procrastination leads to missed deadlines and lost opportunities to promote your business. Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed is another sign of burnout.
- Fatigue. The human body is only capable of handling so much stress on limited sleep. You’ve heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends”? This happens when you work long hours and don’t give your body and brain enough time to recover before starting another high-stress day. At some point, your body will want to give up, causing severe fatigue and possibly other illnesses that will keep you from getting any work done.
- Changes in appetite. Stress causes some people to overeat; for others, stress reduces their appetites. Neither extreme is good for your body. For optimal health and mental clarity, take lunch breaks away from the desk and choose natural, healthy food choices instead of fast food items as often as you can.
- Anxiety. High stress causes anxiety, which can cause crippling fear and other physical symptoms. Keep in mind: there’s a big difference between the anxiety you feel when stepping out of your comfort zone to accomplish something amazing versus the stress-induced anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away. Stress-induced anxiety can freeze you in your tracks and your business along with you.
Think about this: as a solopreneur or small business owner, if you are not physically or emotionally able to run your business, what could happen to it? You may have to close your doors and lose any streams of income you worked so hard to build. Let’s keep this from happening!
Give Yourself an Hour…or more…
Remember what the flight attendants say during their safety briefing: put on your oxygen mask before helping the person next to you. Why is this important? Because if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you won’t be able to put a mask on someone else – or worse, help them escape the airplane during a crash. The same is true in your daily life. If you have burned out, you will not be able to take care of your business. You won’t be helping your clients, your family, or your friends. Instead, your family and friends will be forced to take care of you and your business will suffer. You have to make it a priority to take care of your whole body, mind, and spirit. Take quiet time to relax. Get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air. Unplug for a whole weekend and live in the moment with your family. Reconnect with old friends. Start a hobby. The choices are limitless.
How I Can Help You
I started my business, Task Tiffani, with the goal of helping other professionals find a better work/life balance for themselves. I have experienced the crushing effect of burning out in my career when I pushed myself beyond my physical and mental abilities to keep up that pace. I also discovered how to tweak my daily priorities so that I can take care of myself, spend time with my family, and also have a successful business. Through Task Tiffani, I offer administrative, business operations, and project management services that are designed to help you check off some of your to-do’s by putting them on my task list.
Let’s chat about how I can help you smooth out your daily operations or take some tasks off your to-do list. You deserve a thriving business AND a great work/life balance.