October 22, 2016
Working at a startup can mean long hours with no breaks: 18 hour days, granola bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even a makeshift bed in your office. While many entrepreneurs think this is the best way to get things done, they’re not exactly right. A rested mind is better than an exhausted one, no matter how many hours you spend working.
Taking a few minutes out of your day to relax your mind can calm your body and help you power through the remainder of the day – and night. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to burnout.
Symptoms of Founder Burnout
Finding that work-life balance is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish as a founder, but if you are showing one of these burnout symptoms, it might be time to review your health priorities.The key to solving any problem is identifying it. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have founder burnout, take a look at a few symptoms below:
You’re angry at everyone
You’ve been too restless lately. You don’t feel happy anymore and always worrying about how your startup will turn out. Little things are making you angry and you just can’t think of ways to lay off that negative energy that’s been accumulating.
You’re lethargic most of the day
No matter how hard you’re trying, the decrease in your productivity is quite apparent and noticeable. You are working long hours, but surprisingly, you aren’t really getting any work done. And all these things are definitely affecting your team too.
Your personal life getting crazy
You aren’t getting proper sleep, your diet is a mess, and you aren’t giving proper time to anything. You can’t focus on things anymore and your attention span has dropped dramatically (not that it wasn’t short in the first place, but it dropped a little more). This is likely causing all your personal relationships to falter.
Work isn’t fun anymore
The things which you once found exciting aren’t exciting anymore. You’re delaying your work and procrastinating important duties. You know that sooner or later, you have to do the work, but you are scheduling it for a later time just to create that illusion of escape.
You’re occupied and overwhelmed
If you you can’t remember the last time you’ve laughed your heart out or enjoyed living in the moment, your weekdays are likely becoming a burden. If during the weekend your brain is becoming weak, and you’re not productive anymore, then you are probably headed for burnout. Try some of these effective tips to help stop the path to burnout and get your health back on track.
How To Avoid Burnout
Health and Fitness
Running a startup is not an easy job. Make sure to get proper sleep and set yourself up with a fitness routine. If you have to get up in the morning and go for a jog, that 1-hour workout in the morning will keep you energized throughout the day. Remember, workout makes hard work a little easier.
Take a Vacation
You probably haven’t taken time out for yourself in a long time. You need to take care of yourself before your business. Schedule it now and go to the mountains, the valleys, the highest point of your city, or on a beach to watch the sunset. The feeling of happiness will be a great investment towards your health.
Take time out for your friends and family, and not talk about work. When your personal relationships are healthy, you truly feel that inner satisfaction that enhances your productivity at work too. Moreover, meeting new people and socializing can really refresh your mind and get you out of a rut.
Sitting quietly and listening to your breath can be reviving and calming. Quiet your thoughts and let your soul speak to you. Meditation will help you stimulate your mind, bring that inner-strength back and let your mind and body heal at the same time. Schedule it on your calendar each day and start your new routine.
Take Some Alone Time
It’s okay to take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of startup life. Find a quiet place you can go for at least 15-20 minutes and reflect upon yourself and your actions. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you should head for the mountains and sit on a rock to experience a moment. You can also go for a swim, go for a walk, or just sit alone in a quiet room. You just need a good time to think in peace.
Burnout is a real problem in the startup world, and it will take a certain amount of time to get out of this phase, so stay strong, stay focused, eat well, get proper sleep, have new experiences, and try to live life. Because in the end, it’s the good memories and the good times that you’ve had that really matter.
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