Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout With Self-Care Measures

Self-care is essential to helping entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls of excessive stress and burnout. While startups and small businesses require a lot of time and effort to get off the ground, over-working and trying to manage every business function on your own can take a toll. If you go too long without giving yourself a break, you run the risk of not only getting run-down and overwhelmed, but your business could suffer as well. Here’s how you can chart your best path forward.

Get Organized and Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to use your time effectively is to get organized and stick to a schedule. For entrepreneurs, business planning is essential. This means planning out operational functions, marketing plans, and budgets. If you haven’t already formed a limited liability company, or LLC, this is a good first step. It will protect you against some forms of liability, give you flexibility, reduce paperwork, and be helpful at tax time. You can do the paperwork yourself, pay hefty fees to an attorney, or preferably, use a formation service to do the work on your behalf. The laws around California LLC formation differ from other states, so do a bit of research before you get started.

Hire Out Work

Regardless of how hard you work, it’s just not feasible to think you can run every element of your business operations on your own. Look at where hiring an employee, freelancer, or independent contractor can help you save time and money and reduce stress. It’s wise to consider where you have skill sets, and where someone else might be better suited to lead key tasks. For example, you may be a creative genius when it comes to web design, but crunching numbers is another story. In this case, an accountant or bookkeeper is a good investment.  Also look for ways to reduce time spent on non-business tasks. For example, you could hire a personal shopper or housekeeper to free up extra time.

Plan Alone Time

When you’re building a business, you’re always “on,” so it’s critical to carve out alone time to recharge. Even 15-minute increments can make a difference, especially if you learn relaxation techniques, meditative breathing, or can hop on a treadmill between phone calls or meetings. According to Psychology Today, these mental and physical breaks will allow you to reset and come back focused and more energetic. Don’t look at these brief respites as “unnecessary” or selfish breaks – both you and your business need them.

Stop Eating Junk

It’s really easy to live on fast food and caffeine when you’re an entrepreneur. According to Southgate Medical, poor dietary habits can impact your energy levels and your overall ability to function at peak levels. Fuel your body with whole foods, reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, and commit to regular sleep and wake times. Get your physical activity in wherever you can – consider a standing desk or a gym membership, or take phone calls while you walk around the block. Keep healthy snacks and water with you at all times to ensure you aren’t tempted with less-healthy options, and don’t skip meals as a way to “save time.”

Manage Your Stress

Stress and anxiety can sneak up and overwhelm you if you aren’t careful. Conduct regular gut checks to ensure you’re creating a healthy work-life balance, and if you find yourself getting over-burdened with work, step back and ask for help. Letting things get too far out of hand will be detrimental to your health and to your business operations. Maintaining a schedule can also help, particularly if you can shut off work at a certain time every day and maintain other interests outside the office.

Launching an entrepreneurial venture is exciting, stressful, and often all-consuming. Getting organized, managing your time, asking for help, and taking care of yourself can all help ensure a successful long-term operation.

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