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Does this sound familiar?
Joan is a busy mom who works full-time with a side hustle as a party planner. Some days, she feels overwhelmed and pulled in twenty different directions all at once. She’s started sleeping less and skipping meals so she can get it all done. Although she may not realise it now, Joan is on the fast-track to burnout.
Unfortunately, burnout can be more likely to hit entrepreneurs, especially those who are trying to balance a family. But it doesn’t have to be a guarantee. There are many preventative actions you can take to avoid burnout in your life and business.
Get Clear on What Matters
Often, burnout is the result of trying to do too much at once. Pause and ask yourself what it is that you really want to accomplish. Are you trying to build a side business to ultimately replace your full-time income? Or do you merely want an extra income stream for the short term?
Consider if your timeline is realistic. For example, if you’re hoping to leave your job in six months and you’d like to start a party planning business you will plan your time and focus differently to if you want a little extra cash for the holidays.
Depending on your goals, you may need to revise your timeline to avoid burning out.
Have a Plan
The more you have written down on paper (or stored on your phone), the less information you’re trying to carry around in your brain. I know when I have a busy schedule, I keep running through what needs to be done over and over again. Once it is written down it leaves my conscious thoughts.
When you have methods in place to store your data, you can show up in every area of your life calm and focused. I know, easier said than done, but I guarantee that having it written down helps to make sense of it all.
While you can’t account for everything in life, the more you can plan, the less stress you’re likely to experience. So go ahead and take a couple of hours to plan meals for your household, map out a chore chart, or break down your workload into manageable bites.
Take Off the Cape
Stop trying to do it all yourself. Look over your tasks and see if you can’t outsource some of your to-do list. For example, can your spouse handle dinner twice a week? Will your mum watch the kids for an afternoon so you can handle those errands?
Asking for support is hard and this is something I struggle with. But when you do, you release stress and anxiety.
Accepting help when help is offered can be equally difficult. You invite more joy and simplicity into your life when you let others show up and help you carry the load.
Say ‘no’ when you really can’t manage to do something. Joan says ‘yes’ to family, friends, work colleagues and bosses as she thinks ‘no’ is a sign that she can’t cope. She doesn’t want to let anyone down. Her own needs and desires went to the back of the queue. Practice saying ‘no’ more where it matters and where you have already planned your time and effort.
Plan for Mini Rest Stops
You wouldn’t go on a seventeen-hour drive and not include a break for the bathroom or time to refuel. Yet many women do this when they plan their days. I know that I work like crazy whilst the kids are at school. The truth is you need moments of refreshment and time out built into your schedule.
These refreshing moments can be simple – a nutritious snack, a cup of tea, a couple of quick yoga poses, a power nap, a stroll around the block or a mini meditation session.
Activities like these help you reconnect with your inner self and can calm your inner chaos.
Burnout doesn’t have to be part of your story just because you’re an entrepreneur. If you have planned it properly you can have moments to slow down and take the time to care for yourself.
You’ll feel better and be able to accomplish more when you protect your own mental (and emotional) health.