With entrepreneurship comes many challenges, like reaching profitability, hiring the right team, and keeping your customers happy. However, the biggest challenge can also be the hardest to identify and prevent: entrepreneur burnout.
Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive or prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”
Burnout can be especially difficult for entrepreneurs to identify because many of them consider stress or fatigue to be part of the job description. This is a dangerous preconception that is only fueled by the increased likelihood of entrepreneurs to experience burnout. Some evidence suggests that entrepreneurs are more at risk of burnout because they tend to be extremely passionate about their work and more socially isolated, have limited safety nets, and operate in high uncertainty.
How to Avoid Entrepreneur Burnout
Entrepreneurs do experience more stress and pressure than the average employee, but that should not naturally lead to burnout.
Delegate: Don’t get stuck working on and stressing about projects you don’t enjoy. If you force yourself to constantly complete tasks that don’t appeal to you, you’ll lose motivation and interest in doing what you actually love! Instead, hire someone who enjoys the tasks you don’t.
Optimize your schedule: If you feel productive and fulfilled during the workday, you’re less likely to feel stressed and over-work after hours. Make sure to optimize your calendar to coincide with your peak productivity. For example, if you know you’re the most productive in the mornings, save your emails, calls, and meetings for the afternoons so you can have uninterrupted time to focus.
Build a network: Find other entrepreneurs to connect with and share your highs and lows. Building a community of people who are going through the exact same thing as you will make you feel supported and understood.
Unplug: Make time for yourself, away from technology. Get away from your desk, turn off your phone, and do something completely unrelated to work. For example, spend time with your family, go on a hike, or exercise.
How to Recover From Entrepreneur Burnout
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to prevent burnout, it’s impossible to avoid. You may be going through a particularly stressful period in your life, and once you get through it and on the other side, you realize you missed the warning signs of burnout.
While it’s not normal to regularly feel burned out and stressed, it is common for entrepreneurs to experience burnout a handful of times. They key is to recover from it quickly and positively, making it a priority to invest in yourself.
Here are three ways to recover from entrepreneur burnout:
Take a break: While it may not be possible for you to leave your current work, you definitely should take a break and gain perspective, away from the office. Find a way to schedule an extended vacation or sabbatical, or if nothing else, take at least five days away from the office. You need the physical time away from your business to really think about your priorities.
Start small: Focus on small tasks and habits rather than tackling your never-ending to-do list. Set realistic expectations and prioritize the small, incremental changes you can make without stretching yourself too thin.
Learn to say no: Understand your limits and say no to meetings, events, or projects that will add unnecessary stress to your life. This is also a change in your mindset; stop thinking that you need to accept every single opportunity and instead seek out the ones that will do more good than bad.
How Keap Can Help
Burnout isn’t always the result of a single stressful experience. Rather, burnout is usually the culmination of a lot of small, repetitive tasks that slowly take their toll over time. These small tasks may seem achievable in the moment, but they gradually suck all your time and energy away from projects you’re actually passionate about.
Here are four ways that Keap can help you streamline your work and prevent burnout:
Get paid faster: Create invoices and connect your bank with Keap to help you get paid faster and get out of the cycle of bill collecting. Using an intuitive invoice editor, you can upload your logo, choose which contact to bill, set the due date, and add line items. Then, when you connect your bank and use Keap Payments, you’ll be able to accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover directly through our app.
Hassle-free scheduling:Schedule and manage appointments by sending an online link that allows customers to choose from your available meeting times. This reduces back-and-forth coordination, syncs with your existing online calendar, and sends out auto-reminders so clients are prepared and on-time.
Stay on track: Centralize your to-do list and manage tasks so you never forget an action item again. Add new tasks to the app by adding a task title, due date, notes, and associated contact. You’ll see all your tasks in one place and you can check each corresponding box when the task is completed.
Connect your favorite tools: With more than 230 native and supported integrations, Keap works with the tools you use on a daily basis. For example, you can integrate with QuickBooks or Xero to make sure your records are automatically reconciled — no more double data entry! Visit the Marketplace to browse hundreds of our integrations.