Running your own business is great but anyone who thinks that it is easy or less of a hassle than being an employee is fooling themselves.

Most employees can finish their work and go home and relax but someone running their own business cannot switch off so easily.

Trust me – I’ve been there. You never stop worrying about the business and the people you employ. It is hard to switch off.

Because of this at some point or another, anyone who owns their own business will face some degree of burn out. Instead of learning to cope with such burn out it is better to learn how to avoid it in the first place. I didn’t and I learnt the hard way so I’m trying to avoid it now.

Below are several ways you can avoid business burn out.

1. Organisation

Staying organised is one of the first steps in avoiding burn out. utilise all the resources at your disposal, computer or manual, such as filing systems for accounting and taxation recording, advertising, marketing, etc. Keep your paperwork in order and easily accessible and you will have less stress.

Also make sure your work space is well organised. Whether this is your home office or a rended one, a workshop, retail shop, studio or any other type of work place if everything is well organised and can be easily located you will find life much less stressful.

2. Time Management

For most people – myself included – time management is their biggest challenge. When you work from home it can be especially easy to get distracted from your work. Although working from home allows you a lot of flexibility, which is a good thing, it can also present challenges in regards to remaining focused. You should set up a daily schedule for your self. Keep a daily task list and manage your forward calendar to keep yourself on track. At the beginning of each week write out what you need to accomplish for the rest of the week. Keep the list handy in case you need to add to it as the week progresses. However make sure that you allow for unexpected interruptions such as last minute doctors appointments or a trip to the office supply store.

Some people find it useful to set aside certain days of the week to deal with specific tasks. Perhaps Tuesday for marketing issues and Fridays for accounting and credit control.

3. Hire Help

If you find that you are overwhelmed most of the time or getting close to being overwhelmed, it may be time to hire some help. Help can come in the form of a virtual assistant, a bookkeeper, marketing manager, mailing list manager or simply from setting up an auto responder. Any task you can automate the better. But for those you can’t, consider hiring someone to do them for you. You may find that even the small, menial tasks like sending out an email to your mailing list, is a task that you could hire someone else to do. Even all the small tasks that seem relatively simple add up and before you know it, you are spending a great deal of time on these things.

4. Joint Ventures and Partnerships

If you have a large project or new business idea, consider looking into establishing a joint venture with another business owner in a similar niche. The benefits of sharing the work load can be enormous. Also consider partnerships with other similar businesses in the areas of cross promotion and marketing. This could be in the form of exchanging web site links, mailing list advertising or other types of partnerships where the results benefit both of you.

5. Work Ahead

It is so much better to be ahead then to be behind. The pressure you begin to feel when due dates for finished work is upon you can be stress inducers. Avoid this by working ahead if you can. One example of work that can be completed in advance is article or report writing. When you have completed your daily tasks, consider taking a few moments to work on an article, perhaps for your  blog posts (and if you don’t have a blog you should have!). The nice thing about most blogs is you can write a post in advance and save it for later.

6. Take a Break

One of the best things you can do to avoid burn out, is to take breaks. Don’t wait until your in desperate need of one either. Take breaks regularly. Each day you should take breaks throughout the day. Also you need to set aside breaks that consist of either an actual planned holiday, day trip or a certain day of the week that you set aside for some needed “me” time. During this time, work is not allowed.

7. Get Yourself a Personal Development Plan

You need a life outside of work. Time to chill out but in a positive way. Chilling out by drinking wine or beer isn’t the answer. Although most people will have some form or work related development plan, possibly guided by their employer or their career path, you really need to draw up a plan to develop your personal, non business life in meaningful ways. Not only will this make you happier in yourself – and probably delight your family – it will have a positive effect on your working life too.  Here are some suggestions about how you should go about this.

I know that all this can be difficult but you have to learn to allow yourself to organise yourself and, most importantly, to take regular breaks. You will find you are better focused and refreshed when you do return to your work.

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2 Responses to “Avoiding Business Burn Out”

  1. James Green says:

    Thanks for your comment. I know from personal experience how easy it is to get burnt out.

  2. ArnieJ97 says:

    Good article which everyone should take on board.

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