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Ways to identify burnout before it seriously impacts your business

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CollegeDegrees360/Flickr Creative Commons

From Wire Reports

CollegeDegrees360/Flickr Creative Commons
CollegeDegrees360/Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re feeling discouraged, you’re not alone. As an entrepreneur, you’ll go through ups and downs — a roller coaster of emotions, successes and failures. Sometimes you’ll feel empowered, other times you’ll think it’s all been a waste.

Whether a financial rut, cash flow issues or staff issues, we’re all impacted by our businesses. Entrepreneur burnout is real — and dangerous. A serious burnout can be detrimental to your entire business.

Knowing how to spot the signs of burnout is key to stopping yourself before it’s too late. Here are six signs of burnout to help you nip them in the bud before they do too much damage.

You’re Exhausted All the Time

We all feel exhausted from time to time. Maybe it was a late-night prepping for a board meeting or insomnia from a change in the business. Being exhausted occasionally is normal. But being exhausted all the time is not. If you’re constantly exhausted, it’s a sign that the business has become overwhelming and is taking a toll on you physically.

Whenever you feel your energy plummeting, it’s time to take a break, even if that just means watching a movie. The simple act of not thinking about work is re-energizing.

You’re Easily Overwhelmed

Everyone freaks out occasionally. But if last week’s broken coffee maker made you upset, you need to start taking it easy. When little things overwhelm you and impact your mood, it’s a sign that you’re under high stress.

Sometimes it can feel like everything is coming at you; especially when having a small business. Often it can means lots of issues you are tasked to resolve — sales issues, cash flow issues, employee issues, IT issues, etc. When you feel like you can’t answer politely to an issue, no matter how small or trivial, it’s time to take a break.

You Find Yourself Working Around the Clock

While you might think this is normal, any sane person will tell you it’s unhealthy. If you find yourself working long hours at the office, coming home to work and spending your weekends working, you are on a path to burnout. Prevent yourself from burning out by putting up boundaries and setting limits.

You Have Trouble Focusing

If you find it difficult to focus on your work, whether it’s avoidance or you just can’t stare at your screen long enough to write an email, it’s a sign that you’ve overdosed on work. Not only is focus necessary to get things done, it’s important for entrepreneurs who need to make things happen. A lack of focus and vision can send everything crumbling down.

With so many things coming your way, it’s often hard to focus. Whenever you are unable to focus it’s best to take a time out and either leave the office or work from home. The simple change in surroundings helps to re-focus the mind.

Take a Breather and Listen

We all have the right to get stressed out. But for entrepreneurs, burnout can mean the downfall of the entire organization. Learn to spot the signs to help you avoid a burnout that you can’t fix.

As well, surround yourself with people who are supportive of both the business and you personally. Family and friends are your biggest supporters. Listen to them when they tell you to take a break — they’re probably right. If you’re not listening to your own body, you should at least listen to your family.

Although it may seem impossible to fix burnout, remember that a little break or a change can make all the difference. Take a few days off and focus on yourself, or go on a weekend vacation. Whatever you decide to do, know that you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle everything when you come back.