Avoiding Executive Burnout and Finding Balance

There is an infinite number of business growth strategies out there for founders, C-suite members, and entrepreneurs to choose from. However, the most important may be a solid approach to finding a way to avoid burnout and maintain a work-life balance. Lack of motivation, physical fatigue, and even anxiety about running your business can directly impact growth and revenue.

Research from Harvard Business Review shows that 25% of entrepreneurs who responded felt moderately burned out at some point in their careers. Feeling this way doesn’t mean you’re not prepared to run a business or should give up. Instead, it’s important to make a few changes to your routine at work and home. 

Start With Prevention

It’s far easier for entrepreneurs to take steps consistently to prevent burnout in the first place. While we know that nobody will have the same passion for your business as you do, and while your journey comes with stress, it doesn’t have to lead to executive burnout.

Get enough sleep: This is a common piece of advice, and for good reason. Enough sleep means that you have the temperament at work to better deal with stressful situations in rational ways.

Set boundaries: It’s okay to say “no” when others request your time. Prioritize where you want to allocate this resource and turn down meetings or other obligations that don’t directly help you meet a goal of balance.

Pick up a hobby: Not everything you do daily needs to be directly related to your business. Put your creativity to good use with stress-relieving activities that allow you to take a mental break from thinking about work. 

Stay healthy: Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and set aside time every day to relax — try yoga or meditation, to begin with. Physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing have a long-documented, proven connection.

Know the Signs of Burnout

Even the best-intentioned entrepreneurs can fall victim to burnout from time to time. Recognizing the signs early on means you can take actionable steps towards finding a better balance.

Physical symptoms

  • Feeling constantly tired or drained
  • Getting sick often (lowered immunity)
  • Frequent headaches or chronic body pain
  • Change in eating or sleeping habits

 

Emotional symptoms

  • Feeling like a fraud or failure
  • Sense of helplessness and defeat
  • Detachment and isolation
  • Loss of motivation and satisfaction with work

 

Behavioral symptoms

  • Taking your frustration out on others
  • Procrastination or taking longer to complete tasks
  • Withdrawing from professional and personal responsibilities
  • Skipping work, leaving early, or coming in late

Burnout is a gradual process so you won’t notice these changes overnight. The symptoms above may be subtle at first. Think of them as red flags that something may be amiss. Don’t ignore them or write them off as simple stress, which is far different than actual burnout.

Treating Burnout

Prevention and stress control are great ways to avoid the onset of burnout, but sometimes it simply can’t be prevented. When this happens, it’s time to look for outside support. This can come in many shapes and sizes, but the easiest way to begin finding a balance again is by seeking out a network of peers. Developing friendships at work can counter the monotony you may feel daily, relieve stress, and even boost job performance. 

You also need to reframe your thinking when it comes to the business. Changing careers isn’t always the best way to find job satisfaction nor is it always a practical solution. Instead, think about the value of your role or your business and how what you do helps solve your customers’ problems. It also may be a good time to schedule time off to remove yourself from the situation, even if you don’t go on a vacation.

Hiring a business coach or consultant can also be a wise investment. Executive burnout can leave entrepreneurs without a clear perspective, and a coach or consultant can offer fresh eyes. You’ll also get a better idea on which daily, mundane tasks you could delegate to help refocus energy on the activity that helps you maintain passion and motivation for growth.

The feedback and instruction we provide as part of our coaching services take into account your specific needs, especially if you’re trying to avoid or even dealing with burnout. Our team has experience with running businesses of our own, and we understand the difficulties you face as an owner. We use this experience to better serve our clients, regardless of what type of coaching they require — get in touch.