Avoiding burn out
You probably don’t have time to read this, because after all, you’re busy running a business, spinning many plates and thinking of the next job you need to do! But take a moment to read the blog inspired after having two to three very busy weeks, I found myself in a state of exhaustion with a constant headache and not knowing which way to turn. I know I’m not alone. After speaking to business contacts in similar situations, we sole traders and entrepreneurs do everything for our businesses. Answering emails at all hours of the day or night, solving problems, phone calls to make….. the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong – I love being busy but I needed to get a grip on my workload and develop an effective work/life balance to avoid it happening again. It’s not always that easy to take some time out and even less easy to down tools and have a holiday.
So what are the signs of burn out?
Exhaustion; could be mental or physical. Do you find it difficult to get moving in the morning? Are you making silly mistakes you wouldn’t normally make? Are you finding it difficult to concentrate or have a lower attention span than normal? Are you forgetting to do things or find your mind wandering? Are you struggling to get to sleep or sleep for a short time and find yourself staring at the clock in the early hours?
Solving burn out
For me, I sought help with a particular problem I was having that I just couldn’t solve on my own. It wasn’t for the want of trying, I’d spent days and days trying to sort out how to create a brochure good enough for print; a job I hadn’t done before. Being a perfectionist, my problem was that I was determined to solve it myself, no matter how long it was going to take. Alongside this, I had other tasks vying for my attention like little devils sat on my shoulder. In the end I had to admit defeat and enlist the help of a professional printer.
With the best will in the world, sometimes we just need to get some expert help to take over and solve our particular problem. Once I’d handed over the project I knew that it was in capable hands and I could rest easy and concentrate on other things.
Avoiding burn out – top tips
Looking after ourselves has got to be first on our daily task list. Here are my top tips to avoid burn out.
1. Turn off technology an hour before bed and allow your body to wind down ready for sleep. Answering that email can wait until morning.
2. Eat a healthy diet to give your body energy and resilience to deal with everyday life.
3. Take some regular exercise to build up stamina and allow your brain to disengage for a short time.
4. Do something you enjoy. Factor a little time in your diary to do what you enjoy; whether it’s watching a film, reading a book, or participating in a hobby/sport.
5. Share the responsibility and get some help. If you’re stuck with a problem or have too much work, there will be somebody that can help you get through it.
What are your tips? How do you avoid burn out?
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