You’ve burned the candle at both ends for months – skipping meals, overdosing on the computer screen and kidding yourself that the crazy, coffee-fuelled ride will pay dividends.
But all you’ve ended up with is mental and physical burnout, loss of motivation and fear for the survival of your treasured business.
Most small business owners would recognise this scenario. There’s only so long you can go on pushing yourself to the limit.
So have a break before your mind does, and work out a way to make your business life more sustainable.
Here are some useful tips on firing up again after a burnout.
Stop and recover
You need a rest, however short it might be. We all have to accept the limitations of our bodies and minds. Willpower can only do so much – there’s a tipping point beyond which we simply can’t function.
You don’t have to wait until it gets to this point. If you’re seeing and feeling the warning signs – headaches, muscle tension, anxiety, mental overload, irritability – catch it early and head it off at the pass!
Work out a more sustainable strategy
Be realistic about your goals – work on achieving key things each day, rather than completing a long, totally unrealistic list. Get good at prioritising. It’s far better to accomplish a set number of things – and feel gratified – than never managing to complete even half of your list, which is completely demoralising.
Get your work-sleep balance right
Rather than staying up late and waking up early to achieve your goals, try switching it around. Go to bed early and get up as late as possible until you’re feeling better. This will allow you to catch up on much-needed sleep and truly rejuvenate.
Albert Einstein apparently described insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Which is pretty much what we all do day after day in our work and home lives, always hoping it will come out right.
Sometimes it pays to ring in the changes – to reset our lives in a different groove, gaining inspiration from new sources.
Take some more attractive walks, listen to more relaxing music, read different books, see the world with fresh eyes.
You might think this has nothing to do with business. But the health of our mind and body is generally reflected in the health of our enterprise.
When we feel rested and inspired, we make far better business decisions and relate more positively with customers and staff.
Take stock of mind and body right at the source. Now’s the time to start a daily regime of healthy eating, moderate exercise and at least a minimum of inbuilt rest and relaxation.
How can you feel motivated to carry your business to the next level if your body is run down and your mind is depleted?
Boost energy levels and improve blood flow to the brain with wiser lifestyle choices, and your business will benefit.
Okay, so you’re back on deck and firing on all cylinders. How can you streamline your business processes to minimise workload and stress?
Concentrate on using cloud-based technology wherever possible, giving you easy access to your documents, data and customer records via mobile wherever you happen to be.
And go virtual with your phones too. A company like Zintel can offer a host of call management features, freeing you from the office phones.
Divert your virtual 1300 number to your mobile. With clever options like call routing and voice-to-email, 1300 numbers are a great choice for a small business owner who simply can’t be everywhere at once.
So don’t let stress and long hours wipe away your business dream. Regain your focus with smarter ways to rest, work and live.