If there’s one word that describes entrepreneurs in a nutshell, it’s “busy”. In fact that’s where the word “business” comes from – “busy-ness”. That being said, when your business is so busy that it leaves you feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it’s hard to focus and remain inspired about the work you do.
To avoid entrepreneur burnout and stay motivated, try these 9 tips.
Pause and reflect
Your body and your mind need a day every once in a while to rest and recharge. Don’t let yourself turn into the hamster on a never-ending wheel of work. You’ll eventually hit a wall and you’ll end up feeling demotivated and crushed by the weight of all your work.
Instead, take some time to unplug and clear your head. Turn off your phone and your laptop and quietly read a book. Take a walk and focus on your breathing as you appreciate the world around you. Spend time with your family without any screens or devices so you can appreciate talking to one another in person.
Do something that allows you to separate yourself from the stress of your business so you enjoy the life you’re working so hard for.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Instead of being motivated by stress, shift your focus to being motivated by inspiration. Make time to do things that get you excited and energized about problem solving and moving forward. Go to a museum, talk to a mentor, or watch a TEDTalk. Need more ideas for how to find your inspiration? Read these 50 Ways to Find Inspiration.
Sometimes you get so wrapped up in everything you still have to do that you forget to appreciate how far you’ve come. Think about everything you’ve accomplished so far and feel gratitude for all the people and experiences that have led up to where you are now.
In an interview with Apple Product Professional, Yuri Vlasyuk, he explains how he and his team review their completed tasks in Daylite each day to help motivate them going forward.
“Everyday I can view the Smart List and see everything accomplished that day by my entire team. This helps give us the feeling that we’re progressing. When we see we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this gives us a feeling of accomplishment so we know we’re moving forward.” – Yuri, iLand
Take a moment to celebrate each success, no matter how small.
Review your goals
Reassess what’s important to you by looking at the big picture. When there’s an overwhelming amount of work to be done, revisit your goals and adjust your focus accordingly. If you can’t do everything, figure out what’s most important by what will best align you with your goals.
Start saying “no”
This tip pairs with reviewing your goals. Avoid the trap of trying to do everything because you think you should or because you think you have to. You can’t do everything and do an amazing job at all of it so stop spreading yourself too thin. If you’re being pulled in five different directions you’ll never move forward.
Be selective about your clients and projects. Be selective about the opportunities you go after and the tasks you aim to complete. Steve Jobs spoke about the importance of saying no at WWDC 1997.
Review your ROI & trim the fat
If you have a hard time saying “no” or you’re not sure what to say “yes” to and what to turn down, review your ROI (Return on Investment) and trim the fat where you can. Which projects and clients are giving you the best return on your investment of time? Focus on these. Which projects and clients are not giving you a good ROI? Either adjust your pricing for those services or shift your focus away from them otherwise you’ll never get ahead.
If you’re using an app like Billings Pro to keep track of your time and invoices, you can compare reports for time spent on projects and amount billed to find out which projects are most profitable.
Change your bad habits
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, chances are there are some bad habits that are contributing. Are you checking your phone or email too often and wasting time that could be productive? Are you hitting snooze too many times and starting your day feeling rushed?
Maybe you’ve gotten in the habit of procrastinating or starting meetings late. Or maybe you have a habit of opting for unhealthy foods that cause you to feel tired and sluggish. Whatever these bad habits are, you have the power to change them. Try these top 10 ways to break bad habits or How To Break Bad Habits – The Ultimate Guide.
Switch up your routine
Do something different to spark your motivation. To grow and improve you need to do get out of your comfort zone. Switch up your morning routine or change up the scenery by working in a different coffee shop.
Changing up the way you do things causes your brain to think more creatively and opens the door for new motivation and inspiration.
Create a schedule for your productive time
Instead of burning yourself out by working too many hours, figure out your most productive time and schedule your most important work during this time. Whether you thrive on mornings, peak after your afternoon workout, or are a night owl, set a schedule for your productive time and stick to it.
This will also make it easier to say no to things that drag you down the rabbit hole, because you’ll be forced to focus on your top priority at a specific time each day.
Need help getting organized and staying focused? Try Daylite to manage your tasks, projects, clients, and schedule in one app.