Job burnout is a very real thing, even for those of us who own our own business and love what we do. It usually starts gradually, you may start hitting the snooze button or you procrastinate about starting projects. Maybe you suffer from writer’s block when it comes to creating products or you just don’t look forward to your day. It may seem to come on suddenly but these easy-to-miss signs start slowly and snowball until you question if you still want to continue in your business.
No one is immune to this dilemma but there are ways you can prevent it from happening.
Interview prospective clients carefully.
The interview process is crucial for weeding out high-maintenance clients and to eliminate those who aren’t a good fit for you. I like to call them vampire clients: they suck the energy right out of you with their constant complaints, excuses, and questions. Trying to get a handle on this type of client in an interview process allows you to reject their business up front or to express your boundaries and expectations right away, allowing them to decide if working with you is the right decision for them.
Automate, delegate, or eliminate time-consuming tasks.
Running your own business alone can be time consuming and stressful. Not only are you serving clients but you’re in charge of your billing, your monthly newsletter, your social media marketing, your real life networking events, and product creation. And this isn’t even a full list of all the background tasks you probably do! Taking some of these tasks off your daily to do list will free up time and eliminate some stress. For example, allow your clients to schedule their calls online with an online scheduling program. If you have a budget, hire a virtual assistant and/or a bookkeeper. A VA can also help you streamline your processes so you might be able to combine or eliminate some tasks that are unnecessary.
Plan your days to Avoid Burnout.
Use the time blocking method to focus on your projects during each day. At the end of each day, create a list for the following day. Write in a journal about any negative events that happened and how you can handle these situations better in the future. Knowing exactly what you have to do the following day allows you to leave work at the office (even if it’s just closing the door of your home office) and enjoy the evening with your family and friends.
Calculate your prices carefully.
When you pull random numbers out of thin air because they “sound good to you”, chances are you’re underpricing your time and devaluing your services. And if you happen to let an energy vampire slip through onto your client calendar, you’ll quickly start to resent them because they under paid and you’ll feel like you’re losing money every time you talk to them.
Self-Care Will Prevent Burnout
Self-care is very important when running a business because if you’re out sick, there’s no one else to take over. Remember to set and stick to office hours! If you’re stated hours are Monday – Friday 10 – 5, don’t answer emails or respond to texts after those hours. Entrepreneurs tend to work 24-7 and this is a major source of burnout.
Burnout doesn’t have to be inevitable. Get proactive by following these steps and learn how to relax and enjoy the special moments in life.