How to Prevent Job Burnout
Posted Dec 13, 2017 by Anastasia Prokofyeva

End-of-the-Year Fatigue: How to Stop the Hamster Wheel and Prevent Job Burnout

End-of-the-year fatigue is familiar to many of us.

While growing their business is the aim and pure joy of every entrepreneur, a multitasking lifestyle сontributes to the stress level. No one wants to make a fortune at the cost of their health, personal life, or love for their job.

The Ecwid team gets what it means to live your job just like you do. It requires you to be proactive in preventing job burnout. Don’t let the fatigue hang in the air. Instead, find your work-life balance to keep loving what you do.

What Is a Job Burnout?

As Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary states:

Job burnout is exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.

According to Xero survey, 77% of small business owners feel the effects of burnout at work, and 87% of entrepreneurs experience work-related stress even while on vacation. Moreover, age also plays a part: younger managers report higher burnout than older ones. So it looks like you might have two strikes against, and it doesn’t hurt to take precautions.

Infographic stress among small business owners

How to Prevent It

If you love what you do, and don’t want this feeling (and sales) to fade, create a healthy work environment so that you don’t add to the unfortunate statistics.

Know the signs of work stress

It’s better to know the symptoms of a disease than to treat it later, right? Same here. The signs that you’re experiencing work stress that can lead to burnout, are the following:

  • You can’t switch off from work when at home, with family, or friends.
  • Your workers and/or clients annoy you.
  • You avoid tasks, which need concentration.
  • You spend more time on your business, but the productivity goes down.
  • You don’t remember when the last time was that you actually enjoyed your work.
  • You feel overall physical exhaustion and a lack of energy.

Do not ignore those signs, as they may lead to poor health: according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, healthcare expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress.

If you agree with some or all of the statements above, it might be a good idea to take a short break. If you can’t do that right now, spot your stressors and think how you can mitigate these factors. Maybe you need an assistant? Or a nanny to pick up your kids after school so that you have an extra hour to rest?

You can also find your own way of coping with stress, just like one of our merchants Colleen Hurley did.

Colleen Hurley

Colleen Hurley, The Gentlemen’s Quarter

To control stress, I like to listen to different motivational speakers on YouTube. Tony Robbins and Les Brown are two of my favorites. Listening to music while working is also helpful, something soft and easy in the background. I love to listen to the cello.

Every day I take my dog for a walk around the block. It’s important to get out of the shop and take a break. I remind myself to take nice deep breaths and to look up at the sky or the trees, and watch for birds. It helps to clear my mind and feel refreshed. By the time I get back to the shop, I’m ready to work!

Related: 10 TED Talks That Will Change the Way You Do Business

Keep in mind that stress is infectious. If you manage a team, remember that they are the same human beings as you. Your employees can also experience work-related stress. According to the survey, more than one-third of employees report that they are typically stressed out during the workday.

More than one third of employees are typically stressed out during the workday

More than one-third of employees are typically stressed out during the workday

Always have regular one-on-one meetings with your employees. Listen to them attentively, reveal their stress at the early stage, and show them that you care.

Organize your time and workflow

When you’re self-employed, it is easy to get carried away with “flexible work hours”. Next thing you know, you’re sitting behind your computer at 2 a.m., packing an order, and praying you won’t oversleep and fail to drive your kids to school in the morning.

Being your own boss means:

  • setting work hours,
  • prioritizing tasks,
  • scheduling business and nonbusiness-related stuff.

Individual workers with burnout “need help in structurally changing their working conditions”, the study says. You have to think through your workflow so that it doesn’t damage your health in the future.

Research shows that it helps: workers who employ time management have less role ambiguity, psychological stress or strain, and greater job satisfaction.

As a freelance author, I learned that there’s no sense in working seven days a week when you don’t have a client base — you spend more time looking for projects than actually working.

If you are often busy with loads of work, start with something easy, like using Google Calendar. When you see that your day/week is already stuffed, you won’t take more tasks and spread yourself too thin. And don’t forget to take a break: the study says that short breaks let people maintain their focus on a task without the loss of quality.

Also read: Elon Musk’s 8 Time Management Principles to Work like a Machine

One of your fellow Ecwid merchants, Ralph Watson, also can’t stress enough the importance of organizing.

Ralph Watson

Ralph Watson, the creator of ShopGOAL.ecwid.com

Stress usually comes from the lack of organization. In this case, people have no idea what they want to accomplish, or how and when they want to do that.

Focusing on organization lets me prevent the stress factor, especially in business. Ecwid helps me because I can use a number of different options on the site to control my business and all of them are easy to navigate.

So my number-one tool to beat stress is organization. How do you get organized? Use Ecwid for your business.

Related: Productivity Hacks for Small Businesses

Stop being a control freak

It may sound odd, but asking someone else to do your work can actually boost your profits. The research confirms it: when done right, delegating tasks increases the revenue. Think about the to-dos that are time-consuming and can be accomplished by another person.

Do you really need to spend your time on packaging and shipping the orders? Or maybe you’re spending too much time on your social media posts? Busted!

It’s hard to stop being a perfectionist and trust someone with your business. But if you want it to be successful, it’s critical to let it grow. You won’t control your adult child even though you wish the best for them, will you? Treat your business like your child: it needs to change, and so do your responsibilities.

If you work from home, don’t forget that you can also delegate some non-business chores to the members of your family. Or at least discuss hours when you shouldn’t be disturbed.

Learn more: 16 Tips for Building the Perfect Home Office

Stay realistic

We’ve all been there: you’re trying to do as many orders as possible, working on weekends, and staying up late.

Ask yourself: does it help? If you’re just starting out, maybe a couple of extra work hours can make a change. But when you’re working like this for months and see no difference, it’s time for a feedback session with yourself.

Ignoring the problems will surely lead to work stress and eventually to burnout. Take time to analyze and find new methods for your work.

It took me some time to understand that fun projects, or the ones I’m eager to spend time on, are not always the ones that are paid well. Sometimes it saves you money to drop an idea rather than to spend time trying to make a profit from it.

Also read: Is Your E-commerce Business Making One of These 10 Design Mistakes?

When on holiday, stay on holiday

3 in 5 business entrepreneurs check in on their business every day while on vacation.

Technologies like Ecwid Mobile create a great opportunity to stay in touch and always be aware of what’s happening with your online shop, even when you’re building a sandcastle with your kids on a family vacation. But it’s better to come home refreshed and ready to work than to sacrifice your well-earned rest for the sake of another sale.

Moreover, the study on vacation impact shows that people who take vacation are more productive in their jobs than those who do not.

Learn more: You Deserve That Vacation: Guide to a Stress-Free Break for Entrepreneurs

Spend time doing something different from your everyday routine, but if you can’t go on vacation right now, try to mix up your activities.

Joe Crow

Joe Crow, the owner of White Crow Botanicals

I go to both extremes, being an active person. I strive to breathe deep and exhale and keep a daily meditation practice. I will use different light exercises and violet flame visualizations. This keeps me feeling free of the emotional baggage that we all carry and/or create every day. It helps me to feel a new sense of peace and the realization of going back to loving what I have chosen for a business.

Now the other side to prevent burnout. “Take time to play” is my motto. I love going surfing and camping in the redwoods and walking on the deserted beaches. This is my passion and constant surge of renewed energy and vigor to my world. If it is winter, then snowboarding takes the platform.

I guess in a nutshell, my way of preventing burnout is getting out in nature, swimming, hiking to waterfalls, biking, and playing disc golf too.

Picture by Joe Crow

Picture by Joe Crow

***

Now that you know how to prevent a job burnout, remember it’s crucial to stay physically and emotionally healthy to run a business. Work-related stress can be a real loss maker, causing a failed sales season or the loss of an interesting project.

How do you beat stress? Help other merchants by sharing your advice in the comments.

About the author
Anastasia is a freelance author and writes about e-commerce, traveling, and lifestyle. In her spare time, she's a crazy cat lady and a chocolate addict.