As enjoyable as being your own boss can be, it’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll suffer from a bit (or a lot) of business burnout.
All of us have experienced it at one point or another, and many of our fellow freelance friends have as well. It’s completely normal, even if you love what you do.
There are only so many hours in a day, and it can be difficult to balance the demands of life along with trying to make a living from your business.
If you’re self-employed full-time or side hustling, here are our best strategies for dealing with business burnout productively.
Go Back to Your Goals
When I feel like things are getting out of control with work, I go back to the reason I decided to freelance in the first place. I’m betting for most of us, it was increased flexibility and freedom with our schedule.
However, when we get caught up in saying “yes” to everything that comes our way, our goal can often get pushed aside. It’s easy to justify it when you tell yourself you still have the luxury of working from home whenever you want, but that’s very much a double-edged sword that needs to be managed correctly.
If you feel like you’re putting clients and projects before yourself, you need to take a step back and reevaluate. Is this workload sustainable? Is it what you want in the long run? Are some clients taking advantage of you? Do you feel resentful at all, or just totally drained?
Then make a pros and cons list for your clients and work. Figure out what’s causing most of the energy drain. You need to make sure your business goals align with your personal life in a way that’s productive. If they’re not aligned, then create a solution that will bridge the gap. You may need to cut clients or negotiate a different workload, but remember, you’re the boss, and you must do what is necessary for your business (and sanity).
Take a Break When You Need One
In the podcast this week, we all discussed the things we do when we just need a break from working on our businesses. Needing a break from business is completely normal and it’s ok to take a break when you need one. In fact, taking a break can actually prevent business burnout if you aren’t to that point yet. Some of our ideas for taking a break included things like taking a bubble bath, reading a book, taking a nap, exercising, and just shutting down our computers and taking a break from looking at screens.
Start Working Smart and Outsourcing
Name a successful business owner who doesn’t outsource anything. I bet you can’t. Outsourcing is the key being more productive, keeping your business afloat, and relieving yourself from constant burnout. When I started freelancing on the side of my full-time job, I couldn’t wait to start outsourcing because I knew it would free up more of my time and I could assign tasks I didn’t like to do to someone else to complete. Doing tasks you aren’t fond of can take you twice as long to complete and that’s not good for your business.
Of course, in order to outsource effectively, you may need a little money so you should wait until your business is bringing in enough to justify hiring help. However, if you are extremely tired and overworked, you need to start considering how you can work outsourcing into your budget. Sometimes, you’ll get to a point in your business where you can’t progress unless you receive the help you need. To defeat burnout, focus on working smart and maximizing your time and strategically choosing the right person to help fill in the gaps so everything is not on your plate.