6 Things Startup Founders Should Do to Avoid Burnout

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Burn Out - Entrepreneur

Burning out sucks.

We’ve all been there.

You’ve been there. I’ve been there.

But there’s definitely a way to avoid burnout and ensure that you’re constantly running at 100%.

Do you know some people who seem like they’re always shipping products? Always shipping code? Always launching blog posts?

Do these people know something you don’t?

Some might. But in this article I’m going to share with you the insights that help you get to that level:

Recharge Throughout The Day

Work in sprints, focus on a taking down a number of tasks or one really large one and then take a break. We were trained our whole life that we should work our shifts and only take a short break; as a founder your shift never ends so get used to putting a few breaks into your day to stay recharged.

Pick up a book, watch an episode of something on Netflix, go for a short walk, something that takes your mind to a place where you aren’t thinking about what comes next. These short breaks can help arm you with the surge of energy you need to keep moving forward.

Stop Saying Yes To Everything

This one was the hardest for me and I think it might be for a lot of hustlers.

You want to make the most of your time and you want to make an impact, this can lead to a schedule full of distractions that will take you away from your core work.  Learn to say “No” so you can focus down on what you really need to be doing.

It’s tough to reject meetings, events and even a coffee chat. We don’t want to hurt other peoples feelings and we don’t want to seem as if we’re too good for anyone. This template from Mark Suster is one that I’ve remixed a bit and used myself in the past and encourage every founder to have in their bag of tricks:

Thank you for writing to me – it’s nice to hear from you (or meet you) via email.  Fortunately [my company] has started to take off in ways that I couldn’t have imagined just a short time ago. Unfortunately that means I don’t have as much time as I used to have to take meetings with people.

 

I hope you’ll understand.  I’m now under a lot of pressure from my board to deliver against some pretty ambitious goals.

I do try to get to tech social events from time-to-time so I hope we can catch up there.  Hope you understand.

Get Regular Exercise

One of the best things you can do for your life is get frequent and regular exercise. As an entrepreneur, you’re likely facing lots of high stress situations and studies have found that exercise can reduce anxiety and boost productivity.

A walk, a run on a treadmill, a few sets under the bar; exercise can give you a break from your work and a feeling of satisfaction that makes everyday better. If you are having trouble getting your mind off work nothing will help like having a large amount of weight in your hands. This will also release a lot of good chemicals into your brain making you feel better.

Hangout With Good People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

You are the people you surround yourself with. The people you have brought into your circle can keep you focused, motivated, and feeling supported. They are the ones that know when you need a break and will ask if you want to grab a bite or a pint. I mentioned above that you need to learn when to stop saying yes, but part of that is knowing to say yes when you need to see people. Aim to see friends at least 2 times a week even if one of those is a remote work / hangout day.

Focus On The Positive

“Induced positive emotions produce wider visual search patterns, novel and creative thoughts and actions, more inclusive social groups, and more flexible goals and mindsets” Fredrickson, 2009

By staying in a positive frame of mind you will see an increase in multiple areas;

  • Wider visual search patterns
    Novel and creative thoughts and actions
    More inclusive social groups
    More flexible goals and mindsets

So being positive actually acts as it’s own positive feedback loop, you stay positive and you improve, allowing you to keep improving and stay positive longer. You need to do things that allow you to focus on the positive things in your life, take inventory of the good, meditate, review your day with a cup of team, just focus on the positive.

Fuel Up On Delicious Coffee

The dark rich flavor, the smell, even the sound of coffee being made puts me in a good mood. Now this is partially because I love the taste of coffee and because of Hustle & Grind I have a lot of it (you can too if you subscribe). However, it is also because coffee acts on the chemicals in our brain making us feel good that I’m recommending it today.

Dopamine and serotonin are released when we drink coffee, acting to improve our mood. It’s a great way to adjust your mental state and help make the world a better place!

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Conclusion

Burnout can happen to anyone but the people who are the most productive and successful are the ones that actively work to avoid and prevent burnout. This is a game of balance and you need to take care of yourself! What is one thing you could do today that will let you de-stress? Pick that one thing and add it to your schedule and then add another tomorrow. You will find that you get more done and feel better at the end of the day!

You got this!

Stay positive, take breaks, build your future!

What is your favorite way to avoid burnout? Let us know in the comments or tweet it at us @hustlegrindco. It might just make it’s way into a blog post!

 

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