Stop, Smell the Roses, and Prevent Startup Burnout

There are consequences to overworking yourself that will take a toll on your business -- here's how to avoid them.

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When I started my business, the commute from my bedroom to my office was just three steps. While wearing a bathrobe to work was an undeniable pleasure, there were other aspects of this arrangement that were not so relaxing.

It seemed like my life was lived between my bedroom and my home office — it felt like I didn’t leave the house for weeks at a time. Eventually, cabin fever set in, and because my home life and work were so intertwined, both suffered the consequences.

 

Getting Off the Startup Treadmill

Whether working from home or not, entrepreneurs know all too well that it can feel like tremendous odds are stacked against them during the early stages of launching a startup. A relentless pace seems like the only thing pushing their ventures to succeed.

While there’s no denying that applying yourself with dedication is a key to success, it’s equally true that if you never give yourself a chance to step back and smell the roses, you, your work, and your relationships will suffer.

There are consequences to overworking yourself that will take a toll on your business. For example, you run the risk of becoming:

  • tired and less effective — 8 hours of work at 100 percent is better than 12 hours at 50 percent.
  • irritated more easily, which impedes your ability to focus.
  • prone to making rash decisions just to “get something over with.”
  • frustrated which makes you a poor leader, which affects your entire team.
  • myopic by trying to force yourself to solve a problem, you might not have the perspective to see the best answer.
  • bored and burnt out due to repetition.
  • stressed and lacking in exercise or healthy food; plus sitting too much negatively impacts your health.
  • a loner; damaging your social relationships with family and friends.
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Business Benefits of Stepping Away

There are a few warning signs indicative of being overworked. If you’re constantly feeling tired or stressed, or you come to the conclusion that you’ve cut all of the enjoyable activities from your life, it’s time to force yourself to do something — other than work.

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