How to Deal With Burnout

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Scenario: A year ago, John started his business with a super gung-ho let's-change-the-freakin-world attitude. One year later, he's averaging grueling 80 hour work weeks, taking zero vacations. He's now become a robotic working drone, he's bored, he sees his job as a chore, and he's getting irritated with everybody. He suffers from the classic entrepreneur's burnout.

How do you really know if you're suffering from burnout?

Harvard Medical's Harry Levinson says a burnouts show:

  1. chronic fatigue
  2. anger at those making demands
  3. self-criticism for putting up with the demands
  4. cynicism, negativity, and irritability
  5. a sense of being besieged
  6. hair-trigger display of emotions

The Entrepreneurial Cycle

Most entrepreneurs start with bright, shining, super-dope ideas to change the world. Yet, after a year, they shatter their dreams with an exhaustive work life. If you've had your business for at least a year, you probably know the burnout we're talking about. We've experienced it numerous times, and we always had to remove ourselves from our jobs to deal with our burnouts. Here's what helped us:

  • Give Yourself Frequent "Mini" Vacations

    A study by Tel Aviv's Mina Westman showed that vacations lose their beneficial effects after three days of returning to work (yes, 3 days!). Instead, she recommends: "Since respite from work decreases burnout, the more respites you get, the greater the benefits." At Trizzy, we take frequent "mini" vacations every three weeks to clear our cluttered, stressed, out-of-whack minds -- and restore our minds, bodies, and energies. It's a rinse-and-repeat process.
  • Get a Support Group

    Whether it's a group of college buddies, older business mentors, a significant other, your parents, your church, or even your dog, get a sweet support system that guides you in your rocky entrepreneurial world. If Henry Ford, Martin Luther King Jr., Sam Walton, Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein needed kick-ass support groups to build their organizations, you probably do too. A support group lets you vent your personal frustrations, offers super sexy advice, and acts as your totally crazy cheerleaders. It builds your morale, your self-esteem, and gives you the confidence to kick-ass today, and everyday like a badass that you are.
  • Talk to Your People and Your Clients

    Yeah, dealing with burnouts mostly involves getting away from work. But, the best way to attack a problem is confronting it head-on. As the Harvard dude said above, people who experience burnouts believe everyone is out there to get them. Normally, the problem lies in miscommunication. To remove that barrier, freely air your feelings to your people and your clients. Tell them why you're stressed with work, with life, with them. (But do it in the nicest way, imaginable.) They'll pleasantly surprise you by un-stressing your world.

And don't forget our secret to it all:

Smile like a mutha $^@!.

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Posted on September 08

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