If you have started a business by yourself, you know firsthand that it means a lot of long nights and cancelled plans. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. It can also get lonely. Most of your time is spent working on your business alone. Sometimes, things come up and you have to cancel plans or miss an event.
It might seem counter-productive, but you sometimes have to set aside time to relax in order to be more productive. The truth is that your mental health has an effect on your productivity, and in turn your business. You and your business cannot afford the long term effects of overwork and exhaustion. Here are some tips to avoid burnout as a solopreneur.
Make Self-Care a Priority
The first step to avoiding burnout out is to decide to take care of yourself. This isn’t always something people consciously set their mind to, because it seems like common sense. However, sometimes our goals of growing our business cloud our judgment, and we put self-care on the back burner. Making sure you are actively aware of how you are treating yourself plays a huge role in avoiding burnout. Wake up every morning and remind yourself to always keep self-care in mind. Stop throughout the day, and ask yourself if it is time for a break. It is okay to do so. In fact, it is important to take breaks.
Make an Effort to Socialize
Being a solopreneur means spending most of your days alone. Isolating yourself like this can have dire long term consequences on your health. In order to avoid this, you should schedule time to be social. This time does not have to be business free, it could be dual purpose. Maybe try finding a group of likeminded entrepreneurs you can talk business ideas out with. This will give you the social interaction you need, while also being a great sounding board for business ideas.
Another way to stay social is to work away from home. If you don’t have an office space, you can even try to find a common workspace to use every day instead of isolating yourself at home. Even just being around people while working is a good thing. Find professional events and conferences in your area, and attend those. These are great ways to socialize, while still taking the time to grow your business.
Making an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine is so important for business owners. Unless you own some sort of active business such as a gym, chances are that you are immobile for most of the day. Not only are you not moving very often throughout the day, but you are most likely slumped over a computer screen. Aim to work out at least three times a week, in whatever way you can make it work. Another thing you can do to improve your physical health is to make getting up throughout the work day a habit. Once an hour, stand up and walk around, even if it is just in circles. Your body and mind need the break.
Keep Up with Current Events
It is too easy to get so involved with your business that you forget to check out what is going on in the world around you. Schedule time to read and check up on some of your favorite news websites. Keep up to date with current business trends. Not only will this give you a break from the projects you are working on, but it will also benefit your business. Not keeping up with current events only isolates you further. Find a good time for you each day to just read. It could be at the beginning of the day, right before you go to bed, or anywhere in between.
Have Established Boundaries
If you do not already have specific scheduled work hours, you might want to change that. Having boundaries and a specific routine is essential for your mental health. If you were working for a company, you would have scheduled work hours. You should treat your business the same way.
Sure, these might need to be longer than the standard eight hour workday since you are doing it all alone, but figure out what you want your schedule to be and stick to it. Otherwise, you just might drive yourself crazy working inconsistent hours. You might have to make exceptions for certain occasions but don’t make this a habit. Your life is more than just your business.
And finally, the last tip is important: don’t skip vacation! Vacations really are important for your mental health. You can go somewhere or just relax at home. Vacation does not have to mean some big trip. Sometimes, you just need to take time off to spend time doing something fun and relaxing. Take a couple of days off to catch up on chores around the house and run errands you have been putting off. It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is that you give your brain and body a few days to rest. Then you can get back to work feeling replenished and ready to work. This is key to keeping you motivation for the long term.
Focusing on self-care and avoiding burnout out is essential to your long term business success. As a solopreneur, it is too easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you forget to take some time for yourself. Incorporating these changes into your life should keep you healthy, as well as even keep you motivated and happy. Your business can afford a few hours a week for you to take care of yourself.