5 Ways To Handle Burnout As A Business Owner
The struggle of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, running on Starbucks lunchables, and rushing to meet deadlines.
Coffee was always within arms reach and exhaustion knocking at my door.
Running a successful business is not for the faint of heart. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself collapsing onto my bed with an armful of chocolate and my weighted blanket, with only the desire to watch my favorite reruns of Mad Men.
Burnout is a common issue among entrepreneurs. We think we need to do it all and the pressure we feel is not only external but internal as well. After all, our hustler-mentality is what got us to where we are in the first place! Taking steps to practice some much-needed self-care is what has saved me.
Here are the 5 things I do to avoid burnout as a small business owner:
Managing your time is crucial to keeping burnout at bay. I use my planner religiously, noting my tasks for the day (including a reminder to take a lunch break!). My trusty journal is not the only tool I use to stay organized. In this ever-evolving digital world, there are so many convenient ways to manage time right at our fingertips.
Here are some tools that Ouu I Love uses:
Google Calendar ~ Our team uses Google calendar to schedule in-person and virtual meetings, block out time for crucial projects, and notify others when they will be out of the office. We love that we can access our calendars from the convenience of our laptops or cell phones!
Notes App ~ The Notes app on Apple devices is a lifesaver. It takes the place of my planner when I am away from my desk. Whether I am running around looking for new props or on-set for a client, I use this app to jot down my to-do’s, client notes, reminders, and even shopping lists. Often it is when I am in the middle of traffic when my next business idea pops into my head. You never know, this app may just be where my million-dollar venture starts!
Trello for Project Management ~ In a post-Covid world where we aren’t always in the same room, our team has loved using this tool to keep us connected and communicating throughout our workdays. Here are some of the ways we use Trello:
- We stay tracking client projects 24/7 (Monday through Friday only of course…)
- We keep ourselves organized through built-in checklists
- We send reminders by dropping a comment (Millennial & Gen Z approved)
- These 3 tools make it seamless for our team to make magic!
02. Find your Work/Life Balance
As business owners, we’ve all been there. Working late into the night, rising earlier than the rest, and letting work seep into the weekends. If you are anything like me, you are chugging your fifth cup of coffee, churning out edits in record time to meet your client’s rushed deadline of 24 hours. But this only works for so long. Eventually, the exhaustion catches up, and you find yourself out of fuel.
Balance is the key to avoiding burnout. I have found that it is imperative to my mental and physical health to set boundaries where my personal life and business intersect. Both are important and having a plan set in place to keep the balance is necessary.
These are a few of the boundaries Ouu i love implements to create a healthy structure:
Establishing office hours and relaying them to clients ~ We may be a growing small business, but that does not mean we share the hours of a 7-Eleven. We make sure to communicate when we are accessible to our clients to avoid built-up frustration and stress.
No weekends except for special projects ~ As starving creatives, we have that drive that tells us to keep going, but in order to light the fire within us, we must remember to unplug and reconnect with the things we love to do. Afterall, that is when creativity tends to strike the most! I make it a point to set realistic expectations to my clients in order to meet deadlines and keep putting out quality work. Quality over quantity!
03. Take A Break
We can easily get caught up in our projects and growing our business. While this is what makes us successful, we must also remember to take care of our mental health. Our mental health is just as important as the health of our business, and structuring your work flow in a pace that is comfortable for you is the key. So take the time to unwind, binge your favorite show or travel to that country you’ve always wanted to see. It can be as simple as giving yourself a facial or browsing the isles of your favorite store. Take the time to do the things you enjoy and you will find yourself inspired and refreshed with new business ideas. This is how you refuel the magic in a creative business owner.
04. Get Active
For the days when my frustration and stress feels like it is going to boil over, I hit the weights. Some days a grueling session with my trainer is all that can save my peace of mind. I find that exercising helps me relieve the tension that gets built up as a small business owner. Getting active not only keeps me physically healthy to meet the demands of my hectic schedule, but also helps me maintain a clear mindset. Hit up your local gym or make it a goal to close your exercise rings by taking a walk around the block. With an active body and mind, we are laying the groundwork to be our best creative selves.
05. Connect With Others
Being a small business owner can make us feel isolated at times. We don’t have the time we once had to meet with friends or family. I enjoy creating relationships with other business owners who can relate to my struggle. Not only are we able to lean on each other for support, but connecting with other business owners is a great way to network. Growing together fuels us, gives us energy, and strengthens my resolve in my own business. Slide into a business owner’s dm or hype them up. It is more than okay to fan-girl another creative! Set up a zoom coffee date or invite them to check out your creative space. You may just find yourself making a life-long friend.
Did you find these tips helpful!? Remember! Taking care of YOU is just as important as growing your business. Without you, there would be no business! So take care of yourself, set good boundaries, and create a healthier mental and physical space. When you are healthy mentally, physically and emotionally, you are able to tackle growing your business to the best of your ability!