Last week, I told you about a time where I BURNT OUT. It was not fun. In fact, it was physically painful. I learned so much from that experience. I do not think I would be the business owner I am today without having gotten to that low-down point.
Looking to learn more about recovering from entrepreneur burnout? Dig into our Instagram post about it.
Recognizing the signs of burnout is essential in preventing it. Being self-aware will help you show up for your business and your clients. Understand what burnout feels like FOR YOU. Everyone has different signs of burnout and overwhelm, but for small business owners, many of these experiences overlap.
These are 6 behaviors I recognize in myself that are a tell-tale sign I am getting close to being burnt out…
- Overthinking excessively
Tasks that should take just 30 minutes end up taking me hours to complete. I get stuck on the smallest (and probably meaningless) questions. I start to second guess all of my actions. It’s like my decision-making confidence just leaves my brain.
I start to worry about my decisions and action steps. Did I misspell anything in that client email I sent? Did I send that invite for the right time? Do I look too stiff in the video I just posted? Questions and doubts often fill my head.
I also start to feel on-edge. I start to question if I’m moving in the right direction of my goals and I can feel very detached from my dream.
I notice myself starting to get easily irritated with people and projects. When things don’t work out, I get ANNOYED. Things that I normally wouldn’t think twice about are suddenly ruining my day. Every day starts to feel stressful for no apparent reason.
I think this one holds true for a lot of us. Procrastination is not just stopping work. Procrastination can be…
- Completing low priority or easy tasks instead of the high priority ones
- Cleaning your house or running personal errands instead of completing work projects during your set work hours (I mean they all have to be done anyway right?)
- Completely freezing with overwhelm and just sitting on your phone watching Reels
- Acting hella serious
This usually comes out in social settings. I have a hard time being present with friends and interacting outside of work. Jokes literally go right over my head and I struggle with loosening up. I’m not tuned into the people talking to me or my surroundings.
- Unexplainable craving for comfort food
Home-cooked meals? No time! When I am getting overwhelmed I find myself craving foods that are easy and simple (…and not always the healthiest). I find myself DoorDashing a ton and eating heavy carb-filled foods that are comforting. If that’s not a sign of stress… IDK what is.
Recognizing signs of burnout in yourself is essential in preventing yourself from getting to a “breaking point”. So, how do you take that knowledge and put it into action?
Whenever those 6 signs of burnout start to creep into my life, I know it’s time to apply a few anti-burnout tactics. Here are some strategies to implement when you feel like you are burning out…
In order for me to manage my business overwhelm I have to hit PAUSE. I push back meetings that I can and take low priority items out of my schedule. I try to simplify my work load as much as possible.
I do a lot of self reflection and focus on the root cause of my overwhelm. What projects are causing me stress? Why am I having a difficult time completing them? As a business owner, self-reflection is crucial. You run the show! It’s crucial to be aware of what you need to show up as your best self.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to do this. I try to commit to writing just one page about how I’m feeling. You’d be surprised how much you can find out in one page.
- Take care
Go eat lunch! Take a quick nap! You don’t have to be stuck at your computer forever. Changing up your work day by doing a simple act of care for yourself will make all the difference.
- Find an accountability partner
Communicating your feelings instead of internalizing them is the skill of a true leader. Find someone you can communicate your overwhelm to.
My EA keeps me accountable because she depends on me for her projects as well! When I start to feel like I’m not maintaining my commitments, I know it’s time for a break.
If I’m really overwhelmed I can also express that to my EA. She often will help take things off my plate or can sympathize with me about pushing deadlines. Having someone supportive to communicate with makes a world of difference.
Your accountability partner can be anyone! Maybe it’s a fellow business owner or a friend, or a personal trainer. Find someone you feel comfortable talking through projects with.
It’s a blessing to have a team and to want to be your best self for your team.You don’t want to be the person who others have to walk on eggshells for! Showing up as your best self is not only vital for your business growth, but also for the development and optimal performance of the team around you.
Entrepreneur burnout is very real, but the good news is it is preventable! Incorporating these strategies will get easier and become second-nature over time. Don’t forget to go easy on yourself, remember you are only human!