As a business owner, how do you make sure you are avoiding burnout?
Tempting as it is sometimes to work long hours, make the most of potential opportunities, and run from one thing to the next…
…I’m also mindful that I need to take care of myself.
As a business owner I need to be in the ‘performance zone’ as much as possible, thriving rather than merely surviving, and definitely avoiding burnout!
Recently I wrote about cutting myself some slack and trying to:
“Stop worrying what everyone else is doing!”
Another aspect of taking care of myself as a business owner is managing my energy levels, factoring in some recovery time, recharging my batteries…
Take a break
In a recent guest blog I suggested that business owners should:
“recharge your batteries in a way that suits you
(with some time alone if crowds make you tired; time with friends if you work alone and crave company)…
even if you feel you can’t afford to be away from your business – can you afford to burn out?…
after a good break you should come back refreshed and raring to go!”
I know that this can be easier said than done…
Taking my own advice
With the above advice in mind, a few months ago I decided I needed to replenish my energy levels and to take a few days away.
I had been busy with the business and my family and wanted to recharge my batteries with some time alone.
I decided that for the first time ever I would have a break away from business/work, home, family and even friends! I’ve had a break from one or two of those at a time before of course – normally a family holiday away or a weekend away with friends but this time I decided I wanted some extreme me time!
So I planned a 2-day break where I could eat when and what I wanted, sleep when and for as long as I wanted, walk on the beach, read, sit in the sun and watch the world go by!
Feeling guilty as a business owner
I felt a little guilty planning the trip – it felt a bit naughty to take some time off work, even though half the trip was at a weekend…
As a self-confessed introvert and having been busy networking and meeting lots of people and talking about my business – the idea of two days alone felt like a real luxury!
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking) reminds us introverts to factor in recovery time alone to recharge our batteries, particularly if we have been ‘performing’ or ‘on stage’ – literally or, in my case, mainly figuratively speaking!
(Time alone works for me but if you find that working alone can be hard work and makes you crave company – in order to boost your energy levels, you may prefer to recover by seeking time with family and friends.)
Feeling guilty as a Mum
Even though it was a short break away I felt pretty guilty about leaving my family behind – for two whole days by myself!
I’ve found it hard to do this ever since my children were born…
Many years ago my husband gave me a gift of spa vouchers so I could enjoy some pampering and ‘me time’. I felt too guilty about taking time out to use them – and consequently have never used them and the spa has since closed down.
And now I feel guilty every time I drive past the former spa building…
I ‘confessed’ to a friend (a fellow business owner with a young child) that I was taking a few days away.
I was worried what she might think about me escaping all my responsibilities for a couple of days; she said it sounded amazing and she was jealous!
And so having planned to eat what I wanted when I wanted, sleep when and for as long as I wanted, to read, walk on the beach, sit in the sun and watch the world go by…
It was fab!
I did all the things I wanted to – and more. Time away, time to ‘play’ and let my mind wander, helped me to think creatively and plan some new and different things to try in my business. I was able to do the kind of stuff that’s hard to do when I’m busy working, meeting people, talking to people…
And so last week, after a hectic September, I did it again – after presenting at a networking meeting in the morning, I headed off to the beach for a couple of days…
Particularly with it being World Mental Health Day earlier this week, I’ve been having lots of conversations with business owners about the importance of taking care of our mental and physical health and therefore avoiding burnout…
What about you?
How do you renew your energy and recharge your batteries?
How do you make sure you are avoiding burnout?
Please let me know your thoughts by adding your comments below…
To find out how I can help you manage your energy, help you thrive rather than merely survive and help you in avoiding burnout as a business owner, please get in touch via the contact form or call me on +44 7526 740486.