Owning a business is hard work. Before the stress of work harms your emotional and mental well-being, make sure to take these important steps to prevent burn out.
1. Adopt Good Habits
Set working hours – especially if you work from home. This doesn’t only mean that you need to leave your desk and walk around from time to time. It also means you need to put your phone away! If you fall asleep and wake up with a smartphone in hand, you are probably not doing your best work.
Speaking of falling asleep, go for it! Research shows that sleep has the single largest impact on stress reduction and concentration levels out of any human activity. Running a company is hard work, and sleep allows you to recover on a daily basis from the physical and emotional costs of high stakes decision-making.
You are what you eat, so feed your body and brain for optimal functionality. Healthy fats and protein provide an even energy supply throughout the day, and getting the right amounts of fruits, vegetables and supplements can keep your mind clear and body strong.
Happy leaders are better leaders. Clear your mind with meditation to significantly lower stress levels, increase concentration and improve your creativity.
No pain, no gain. Sure, getting to the gym can be a hassle, but the decision to get up and go is rarely one you will regret. Exercise is not only good for your appearance and strength, but has endless psychological benefits. Working out stimulates your endorphins, lowers your cortisol (stress) and helps regulate sleep and digestion.
2. Embrace Balance
Spend time with family and friends. These people will remind you what you are working for, and help you keep perspective on what matters in life: longevity, health and happiness.
Keep up with your hobbies. Nurturing interests outside of work keeps you interesting and passionate. Plus some of your biggest breakthrough moments will come when you’re on the trail or reading a good book. By making time just for you, chances are you’ll be more fun to be around and less likely to harbor resentment towards your work and the sacrifices it might demand of you.
Give back. Nothing helps you appreciate what you have more than giving to others so get involved with a local charity. Donating your time can make you appreciate what you have and your work even more. And it’s likely you’ll find some inspiration too!
Know what you don’t know. This is not a flaw, this is a strength! Part of being a successful leader is acknowledging your weaknesses and finding talented people to supplement them.
Prioritize your time and efforts. Hire employees or contractors to efficiently achieve tasks that would otherwise take you hours or days to complete so you preserve your time and energy for the things you’re really good at.