Tips to Help Avoid Business Burnout
This morning, you woke up to your earlier alarm feeling well rested and optimistic about your day. You pulled on a pair of tennis shoes to hit that mat, the pavement, or the gym. The clock slowed down to give you enough time to soak up a relaxing shower, cook a quick breakfast, and prepare for the workday. Sitting down at your desk or office space, a clearly defined to-do list already awaits you with the right balance of work to keep you busy without adding stress. You sip your coffee, smiling, at the bright, productive day ahead.
Let’s be real, mornings like this are hardly a dime a dozen. We all experience a few, and when we do, those prolific sunrises are magical. They often show up in monthly spurts before old habits sneak their way back into our schedules. But, that level of drive rarely greets us next to our shrieking alarm. Even if you woke up one of the lucky ones today with a morning to Instagram about, factors in your work hustle could jar your current mood as the day progresses. I might sound like a negative Nancy, but we all experience the tougher mornings, often more than that of the Superman or Superwoman variety.The career driven or entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t all about perfection or even steady success. Business rides like a roller coaster and often the tiniest bumps leave us feeling worthless or like failures. The more we come together as a community to realize this truth, the less pressure we put on ourselves. Take steps or moments in your day to not only set yourself up to achieve, but to avoid a burnout in your spark.
Allow yourself to wake up
Resist the temptation to snooze. I know your bed feels way too comfy right now, but a highflier attitude rarely stems from drowsiness. Give yourself 30-45 extra minutes in the morning to avoid the early morning rush. You don’t have to exercise, (although a short relaxation yoga routine truly improves the day) but at least allot yourself enough time to ease into the sunrise with breakfast, picking up a book instead of your phone, or even simply indulging in the silence.
Write a realistic to-do list
Lists exist for the purpose of organizing your life and managing stress. If your to-do list looks crammed with ink, you might be doing it wrong. Stop expecting yourself to get it all done in one day. Break down your tasks by smaller items you can accomplish quickly and medium tasks that are a piece to a larger whole. The majority of companies set quarterly goals for their initiatives. That might be to slow for your pace, but try to plan your projects in chunks. Start from the top down and try to map out goals into monthly and weekly tasks instead of daily. Overwhelming yourself is completely unnecessary and opens up the possibility for you to break down, which leads to zero productivity. Judge daily tasks on what your mind says you can positively accomplish that day.
Find a constructive outlet
The creative or logistic juices don’t flow 24/7 whether you’re a CEO or an entry-level employee. When a client call goes awry or your muse appears to be taking the day off, allow yourself to step back and take a moment. Take walk to cool off steam. Open up Word, create a blog, or purchase a journal to write freely and creatively when the grind gets you down. Pick up a medium completely unrelated to your work, such as a paintbrush, and escape for a second. Shift gears towards a personal project to remain productive, but clear your focus. Identify your own outlet for those tougher moments in the day.
Contrast, don’t compare
Finding inspiration from valuable resources and companies is great idea, until we start trying to be them.Focus on your brand; what makes your business or the work you bring to the table, well, you. Learning only remains constructive when the focus lies on your persona, not someone else’s. Did your social post not reach as many likes today? Who cares?! You can’t continue beating yourself up over minute details that don’t truly matter at the end of the day. A supportive group of like-minded, career driven individuals might help you stay focused on your business’s true potential.
Listen to your body
Chances are that when exhaustion is about to hit, your body knows it. The fault lies on you for ignoring your own signals. Pouring an extra two cups of coffee or scheduling work over friends and family time does not do your business or life any favors in the end. You’re not putting your best foot forward if you’re working until you collapse. Instead of reaching your breaking point, tune in to what your body is trying to tell you. Plug in enough hours of sleep, eat a healthy lunch, say no to an extra project, and step out of the office for a little fresh air. If you can, pick a designated end time to your day and hold yourself accountable to that clock out. It CAN wait until tomorrow.
Smile at your reflection
You’re an adult and your mom shouldn’t still be your biggest fan. If you didn’t let out the smallest chuckle at that line, stop taking yourself so seriously. You might be your worst critic, but you also have to be your biggest advocate and motivator. Your detail-oriented work mode is good until becomes obsessive. Don’t aim for perfect, or in your own eyes, you’ll fail every time. Success isn’t about never failing; it’s about never giving up. You’re a determined individual who always presents your best self in your work and you should be proud.