Operations Overload

Even the savviest of entrepreneurs get tired of being the boss

dream and throw in the towel,” Duncan says. “For a lot of people who have gotten to this point, they are also financially strapped, and they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, but Peter is just as broke as Paul,” she says.

Duncan says fighting business burnout begins with simple organization.

“Burnout happens most of the time because owners did not plan their businesses sufficiently from the beginning, so they don’t have processes and procedures in place,” Duncan says. “Create or streamline processes and procedures for everything you do because that’s going to eliminate a lot of wasted effort and prevent the chaos that leads to burnout.”

Here are six other ways you can keep burnout at bay:

Delegate: Although it’s probably one of the most difficult things for an entrepreneur to do, shedding responsibilities is crucial to freeing an overwhelmed mind. Hand off specific duties to qualified members of your staff. If needed, train people to assume the additional work. If you’re short on internal talent, outsource the activities you need completed. Delegating will allow you to not only lighten your load, but also better focus on your core business chores and those tasks that drive your bottom line.

Schedule “Me Time”: Everybody needs time to rejuvenate. Schedule vacation time –without your laptop and BlackBerry — and stick to it. Ditch eating that tuna sandwich at your desk and take a monthly lunch date with a colleague or friend. Designate a family night with your spouse and kids to play games, see a movie, or have dinner at your favorite restaurant. It’s a great way to relieve your mind of the business and refresh you for the next day. “It’s very easy to say, ‘Well I’m an entrepreneur so I always have to be available,’ but if you don’t take some downtime then it will hit you hardest at the worst possible time,” Sutton says.

Incorporate technology: Duncan says many business owners invest in technology, but don’t learn how to use it. Once you get organized, choose equipment that will make it easier to run your business and save you time with the overall operation. “The biggest time management mistake people make is not realizing how much time they waste. It’s really hours, weeks, and sometimes months because they are doing stuff the way they did it 20 years ago,” Duncan says.

Stop to celebrate your business: You don’t have to wait until your 25th anniversary to acknowledge your business achievements. Whether small or large, celebrate your victories. It can have a great psychological impact on you and your staff and avoid the possibility of burnout. “Burnout can often come from feeling as though you are spinning your wheels (and not getting anywhere). This will get to you after a while if you don’t stop to acknowledge the wins, the certifications, the new lines of business that you didn’t have the year before,” says Sutton, who, after winning Lufthansa Technik in the Philippines, held a big dinner celebration for her staff.

Get regular check-ups: Consult with your doctor

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