While we all begin our business endeavors with boundless energy and excitement, as time goes on and we get caught up in the day-to-day, the dreaded feelings of business burn-out can start to set in.
Since I was able to enjoy a sabbatical of my own for a couple of weeks, I thought it would make sense to give you some ways to refresh and renew. I reached out to the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts to find out their best tips and suggestions for battling business burn-out. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the ideas separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Burn-Out? Receive More Energy!
When business burn-out occurs, this means that you are giving out more energy than you are receiving. One of the best ways to receive energy is to relax. You need to relax your body so vital energy can come into your mind-body system. You will be replenished and peppy again.
2. Have Passport....Must Travel
With 2 new businesses in process, my life is a bit hectic. To prevent burnout, I find a small, unknown spa with great scenery in Costa Rica. The 2 hour flight makes it perfect for a long weekend of rest.
I travel there for 3 nights, and only 3 nights, every 6 weeks. I carry no laptop, no blackberry, no business reports, and no makeup. My backpack is my only bag. After daily massages and long hot tub soaks, I return refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the world again.
3. Connect with Nature
Often, we are moving so fast that we don't realize how much time we are spending inside buildings. Our minds and bodies need to periodically visit the world outdoors.
Connecting with nature - simply letting the sun shine on your face, listening to the birds, listening to the flow of water through a stream, dam or waterfall can be wonderfully refreshing.
Yes, a trip to the spa might be fun, but you can often get the same sense of peace and restfulness from a park. Plus, it costs a lot less!
4. Working My Way Out of the Muck
A common cause of getting down in the dumps for me is taking on too many commitments. This leads to an unclear sense of priorities and also leads to me getting really snappy around everybody, because I'm overwhelmed and irritable. When I notice that this has happened, I generally look to see if there are any promises I can revoke without upsetting anyone or any timetables I can move back. If there aren't, I sometimes have to buckle down and lock myself in a room for a few hours.
5. New Perspectives? Twitter!
Go to the millions of people on Twitter and discover, in REAL TIME, what other people are doing. Share this experience; you may be surprised to learn that others are facing the same difficulties. Collaborate!
Don't be afraid to sit in on round-tables from the bottom of your company up.
I always found that the bottom up method of managing identifies the difficulties at a grass roots level. Then, share this on Twitter for perspective!
6. Take a Day Off!
Creating http://ShivaConnect.com has required my focus and attention 24/7. My mind is constantly racing.
Sometimes, I find it necessary to just stop- quiet my mind and take a day just for me.
I divest myself of anything business related, spend time with my husband, family, or friends- no business calls allowed. Although I must confess, I'm not able to stay away from my email- still working on that one!
7. Meditate and Profit
Burnout, rejections and disappointments - all are a given in a growing business. No one can escape these emotions. Over the years, I discovered the best way to deal with these - Meditation. Do this the moment your thoughts turn negative. Breathe deeply, focus on the point between the eyebrows (this balances the left and right brain) and just let go of all thoughts. The reaction is IMMEDIATE. You feel more centered, calm and learn to surrender easily.
8. Get Me to Walk All Over You
I refresh myself and my clients using shiatsu therapy- I have a brief how to video on YouTube.
9. Bake & Brainstorm
When I feel burnout setting in, I usually take a day to bake. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and once considered opening my own restaurant or bakery. Baking for me is like gardening for others: it centers me and puts me back into a creative mindset. From there, I sit down with paper and a pen and begin to think about what can be dropped. What is stressing me out? What's on my daily to-do list that really doesn't need to be there? What can I ditch or pass over to someone else? Voila!
10. Recharge to Move Ahead
I know that feeling of hitting the wall, can't think straight! Just like a vehicle needs fuel to run, we all need to recharge when our batteries wear down. I like to call up a friend I've not seen for awhile and make a date to do our favorite activity, usually an outdoor casual wine and dinner cafe that has local musicians playing acoustic instruments. The combination of being outdoors with good friends, food and music fuels me right back to feeling upbeat and where I can achieve anything!
11. Focus on Incremental Success
Motivation, passion, and focus are challenging things to maintain over a long period of time. There is nothing wrong in taking a strategic break and scaling back the complex big picture goals that have been difficult to reach and are a source of exhaustion and burnout. Instead, focus can be dedicated to more easily achievable tactical goals where you are able to reward yourself for these smaller accomplishments.
12. Deep Rest Rejuvenates
If you practice Transcendental Meditation TM, go on a weekend residence course. If you don't, learn TM and then go on a weekend residence course.
13. Business Burnout Specialist
To keep fresh and focused, lead a balanced life. To do that, I use numerous techniques: During the day, I'll making phone calls while walking around the office. That little bit of adrenaline energizes me. I’ll also make sure to get out of the office at lunch, maybe walk around the mall or have lunch with a friend. And there’s always a mini-vacation! That could be an afternoon off to play golf, take my kids to the amusement park, or a weekend getaway to the lake. Avoid Burnout by balancing life!
14. Attitude of Gratitude
I need to do this EVERYDAY, but especially when I am feeling burn-out and stressed.
Make a list of the things (and people) I am grateful for, mostly the people. Take the time out to let them know how much I appreciate them and what they do or have done for me.
When I have an "Attitude of Gratitude", everything seems to flow better. My mind is more OPEN, I seem to focus on the Solution, (not the Problem), and see the good in others.
It Frees my mind and soul to be more creative.
15. Renew Your Mind and Focus
When I have felt business burn out, I find it nice to go through my initial planning documents. When we all first have our idea and begin the planning and design phase, our excitement is very high. If you spend some time reflecting back on how this business came to fruition, it helps me personally find that new drive and reassurance. The excitement returns and new ideas on marketing, promotion and passion return to your conversations.
16. Change the Setting
My suggestion is simple but amazingly effective-- when burnout starts to creep in, change the backdrop of your workday by changing location. For example, if you find yourself having difficulty focusing at the office, grab your laptop and head to a coffee shop to work for a few hours. You may find that the new "energy" there is sufficiently different to give you a charge. Conversely, if your office is hectic, tee up a set of topics to brainstorm on, grab an audio recorder, and go for a hike.
17. Sensational Surroundings
One method that works for me is to find opportunities each week to surround yourself with sensational people. People who are hard-working, driven and striving for success, just like you. Being in their presence, basking in their creativity, and tapping into their ambition will get you out of the routine rut you are in. The key is to schedule the time to do this and to vary the audience, so that you are getting a greater variety of people all of the time who will you get excited to get back to work.
Myles Miller of LeadUP
18. Bliss Triggers
This is from Anthony Robbins. Think of something that is sheer bliss for you: golf, skiing, or hugging a child. Create one quick physical motion that reminds you of that feeling: golf swing, pushing onto a slope, or arms out for hugs. Now, when you are 'fried', take a deep breath, use your Bliss Trigger and feel the virtual bliss as you connect your hand/arm motion to your joyful memory. This is useful when you have 20 radio interviews in a row, back to back meetings or just one of those days.
19. My Burn-out Remedy
I usually try a mix of these 3.
1. A warm shower: it relaxes the tensed muscles.
2. Sleep: I wake up renewed.
3. Read inspirational stories: it gets me rejuvenated.
20. Get Out Your Pruning Shears
When you feel overwhelmed/overworked in your business, it's time to get out the pruning shears and get rid of the extras that are weighing you down.
Evaluate your activities, projects and clients - what is working and what isn't? If you're spending too much time on projects that are unfulfilling or worse, not within your area of expertise, it's time to decide whether they're worth doing.
Regularly trim the excess and you'll save yourself from burn out.
21. Burning Reps When Burned Out
All of us feel that cringe of business burnout coming on. As one who has had more than his share of air trips around the world, I can assure you that you never win when the candle is burning at both ends!
Scientists tell us that one sure way to combat exhaustion is physical exercise. There is nothing like a smooth set of reps in the gym to wake your body up- but what about your mind?
Sit back, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Perform some cranial curls for a few minutes.
22. Take a Technology Vacation
Whenever business burn out sets in there is one important thing you can do. Take a technology vacation.
I know it seems difficult as you're reading this, but give it a try. For 24 to 48 hours, shut off your computer, turn off your cell phone and don't engage online. Just be who you are behind the mask of the computer and your devices.
When you return to your work-a-day world you'll feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on new challenges.
23. Put it on Video!
When I experience a stint of burnout, I film a short (2-3 minute) video for my blog. Shooting a video allows me to exercise the more creative parts of my brain, gets me up and moving, and also gives me new multimedia content for my blog!
24. Read to Refresh
When I begin to experience burn-out, often this is due to focusing too narrowly on my own thinking and ideas.
What I've found rejuvenates me during these times is the fresh perspective offered by forward-thinking authors like Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, and Malcolm Gladwell.
While I mostly read books outside of business hours, on those days when burn-out and frustration are particularly acute, I may open one of these books midday and, with highlighter in hand, begin to read - and refresh!
25. There's Nothing Like...
When things get stressful and burnout begins to rear its ugly head, there is nothing like an early afternoon off to the Spa for a one hour, deep tissue massage and pedicure. It relaxes the body, mind and spirit.
26. Back to Basics
Going back to basics- Why did I start my business? What is my passion? For me, that is teaching and helping others grow their businesses through improved customer care. Always keeping that front and center gives me the lift I need on those days when all the details of running a business seem to overwhelm. See the dream. Feel the passion. Taking a break helps too. A 20-30 minute walk is rejuvenating and usually provides fresh insight into whatever it is that is bogging me down.
27. Refining My Focus
One of my first cues that I'm not staying on my main focus is to experience stress that depletes me. When I'm getting so harried and tired that I start to go off-track from my mission statement, I get emotionally/mentally/physically exhausted. Only when I stay focused on my objective (long-term) can I work and work hard (endlessly), because I'm energized by my vision and the process it takes to achieve it.
28. Take My Own Advice
I've written 2 books, regularly conduct workshops and do private consulting on marketing and sales for small businesses. When I need to renew my enthusiasm, I take some of the advice from my own books and workshops. One of the primary objectives of my latest book is to break big things down into bite size pieces; this way I can take my own advice in pieces that are not overwhelming, since overwhelming definitely leads to burnout.
29. Regain Balance in Your Life
My one best tip for "How I Refresh and Renew When I am Burning Out in Business" is seek immediate balance in my life. Business burnout is an indication that my responsibilities are out of place in the entire scope of my life. At this point, I try to reevaluate those other areas that may be getting less attention and make the necessary adjustments. In making those changes, I prioritize my life and then make sure that I involve myself in hobbies and activities that I find rewarding and enjoyable.
30. Sharpen the Saw
To recharge your energy and enthusiasm, get out of your normal routine. In my case, getting out of the office for two or three days and calling on customers was not only fun, but it gave me think time. I always came up with great ideas and solutions to issues when I was physically away from "the action". Taking time to "Sharpen your Saw" takes you away from every day stress and enables you to see things more clearly.
31. Breathing for Burnout!!
When you recognize the familiar anxiety of burnout approaching, it's time to start some deep breathing and centering exercises to clear the mind, body and soul. It takes no more than 5 minutes a day. Find a quiet spot (just shut your office door or head outside if you're in a cubicle), close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Let your mind go blank and then, start to focus on you! The more you breathe, the more relaxed you get and that anxious feeling of burnout will melt away!
32. Extinguish Burn Out
When I've been overdoing it & feel the burn out coming, I like to throw a brunch or dinner party for my best pals and/or family. It's refreshing to put all of your concentration on something other than work for a few hours. There is something about preparing a fabulous, abundant meal and then sitting around the table, catching up with everyone's lives that puts everything in perspective & recharges my batteries - it's a mini-vacation! Plus, it feels great to indulge of your loved ones.
33. Renewed Focus
To refresh and renew in business, you must take a physical and mental break. This break can be taking a vacation or even a long weekend and doing nothing related to business. You can delegate tasks to make the workload lighter or work with a coach/mastermind group to get suggestions on different ways to finish a specific project. Do not forget to take the mental few minute breaks daily to help with stress relief and a renewed mental focus.
34. The Happiest Place on Earth
DISNEYLAND OR DISNEYWORLD... whichever is your flavor of choice.
Seriously, not only does the vacation recharge the batteries, but there is no other place that reminds me as well or as quickly the power of living the dream. Whether it is marveling at the way each employee is ingrained with the corporate culture or the process it takes to make the dream a reality, no one does it better than DISNEY.
DISNEY shows me that we can always strive to do better and customer service is key!
35. Burnout Blues
I exercise 7 days a week, so that reduces a lot of stress. Also, I have a dog and 2 cats and they keep me centered as well. So, those are my best practices to stop any kind of burnout. Some people would consider those two things stressors, but to me, they keep me sane and smiling.
36. Talk to Students
I refresh myself by telling my story to students. Sharing life experiences with those still in the dream phase of their careers is motivating for me. It reminds me how much I have done over the years and how much farther I want to go. Yes, life is a journey, not a destination. It is traveled one step at a time and every step offers new opportunities and new people. It may be exhausting at times, but it is also exhilarating to realize that every day promises new adventures.
37. Eating, Sleeping, Relaxation
Life is based on rhythms. There are rhythms of mind and body such as eating, sleeping and exercise. The drive to get things done often disturbs these rhythms. I always start with keeping sleep patterns under control and making sure that I'm eating on a healthy schedule. Next comes regular meditation, which becomes easier when the other two rhythms are intact. Regular and consistent contact with that place of deep inner stillness creates a momentum that melts burnout before it takes root.
38. Get Outta Here!
When I need to feel renewed or to refresh my business, I find that I need to get away- basically, anything that takes me out of my "normal" day and away from the computer. I've used the coffee shop, the local park, lunch with a friend, or even a weekend away to change up the stagnant energy. In fact, my husband and I just returned from a business retreat where we mulled over our visions for our businesses. It was exactly what we needed...that change of environment to re-spark and refocus the biz.
39. Time to Boost Your Business?
The best way to get a business boost and a new influx of energy is to surround yourself with other successful business owners who care about the community. Rotary Clubs are a good example of people helping people. If you don't know anyone in a Rotary Club, call a local Club and ask if you could attend their next meeting. I guarantee you'll meet inspiring people who care and, by networking, someone there might have solutions to the very problems you're dealing with.
40. Watch a Child Enjoy Life!
If I love what I do, there would be no burnout. How wrong! My advice? Single, no children, loving what I do -- is a recipe for burnout. So, once a month, I borrow a 5 year old and do what he likes doing. Just watching him enjoy the little things in life is energizing. Another thing I do is pull out my "Serenity Cards". Create your own cards (or list) when life is serene. Then, when things get out of hand -- for any reason -- just remember 1 thing -- FIND YOUR CARDS AND DO SOMETHING!
41. Secrets to Rejuvenation
We all face burnout. It's not fun. Instead of pushing harder to get through it, here's what works for me:
1. Admit that you're tired and worn out.
2. Rest body, mind and soul - unplug and take a day off to rest. In the Bible, Jesus says "turn to me all you who are weary and need rest", so I meditate on this.
3. Do something fun with friends or family.
When back at work, get an easy win. Grow confidence by progressively going from easy wins to harder wins. Log your wins for future review.
42. Beware of the Unknown
Revamp your business model and your mission. Replenish on fresh and innovative ideas to attract new customers and inspire old customers to be repetitive consumers.
43. Rest, Relax & Rejuvenate
Business burnout usually means that you're not taking enough time off, getting enough rest or having time away that takes your mind completely off business. What is relaxing for one may not be for another, but whatever you choose should be something that requires you to be 100% there. I lean toward physical activity for this reason. Nothing is better than a kayak on the water or a 30 minute break shooting hoops. I know others who read, ski, etc. And, finally, you have to take days off when you don't work!
44. Run Away from Home!
Avoid burnout by changing your "geography"! Go to a yoga class. Walk around the block. Change your physical location at least once/day and you'll come back refreshed.
At least quarterly (monthly is better), take a total strategic retreat day somewhere - a retreat center, a library, a park - anyplace where you can be in the quiet, recharge and refuel. I get some of my best ideas and do my best planning work during these retreats - and come back with enough energy to make the ideas happen!
45. S.W.O.T. Yourself!
The stages of business can have you pulling your hair out, wishing you had never started on this path or simply wanting to give up. Resetting the "Refresh/Renew" button at the various business transitional stages can make anyone feel better and be more productive. To get that well deserved "R&R", doing a personal and business S.W.O.T Analysis is vital. Knowing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats can make a difference to the path you take to success.
46. Burning Out? Light Your Fires!
When you feel that you are burning out, ask yourself:
1) What burns me up? If you're upset, for example, about waste, your feelings could motivate you to anti-waste activism. Often, our do-good efforts offset the burnout and ennui that plagues us all from time to time.
2) What lights my fire? Examine your passions. They may lead you to new undertakings--undertakings that could effectively negate the burnout.
When I am stressed or feeling burned out, I can take a quick vacation from the overload by meditating. The practice of taking 15 minutes to go inward, focus, relax and let go, allows me to refresh and renew simply and quickly without waiting for the time or money for an actual vacation. The anxiety I was experiencing prior to meditation magically disappears. I return to a state of calm and confidence and accomplish the necessary easier and more effortlessly than before the meditation.
48. Throw a Party!
To combat business burn-out, our company throws parties!
We are a Silicon Valley tech start-up and wanted to raise awareness about our company. We sought recognition in that community for what we believed to be a great product. So, we hosted a party that included all of the hottest tech start-ups - more than 400 people showed up, and it was a huge success.
We would encourage any business to host a party or event when they feel the onset of business burn-out.
49. Un-Plug to Avoid Burn-Out
Take the day off & get 'un-plugged'. I go to our cottage on the Lake (cell service isn't dependable, it's perfect!). I take the day for 'me' time: get some exercise the night before - helps get rid of that burnout feeling; meditate/pray before going to bed so I'm totally relaxed; wake up the next morning when my internal clock tells me to; spend the day outdoors puttering in the yard, enjoying activities on the water, reading a book, bird-watching, or going for leisurely walks in nature.
50. Rediscover Your Mojo of Flow
I ask whether it is a lack of energy (mojo!) or a lack of flow. I have about 50 ways to revitalize my energy. My favorite is to have my Bars run (an Access Consciousness bodywork process). It defrags my 'hard-drive' physically and mentally, so I feel revived, creative and relaxed. If I have a lack of flow, I write a list of to-do's (so my mind can relax) and then I do something creative or go somewhere inspiring. In BEing not DOing, I generate fresh perspectives. Mojo + Flow = Business Bliss!
When I started out, I stayed "on" all the time. I worked 24/7 on my business. Over time, I began suffering from unexplained achy joints and daily migraines. As it turned out, my kidneys were failing, which was symptomatic of a bigger issue of general exhaustion. So, I rested for a week, and then I gradually restored my interest in entrepreneurship by connecting with other entrepreneurs. Now, I am re-engaged in business with a mindful eye on when it's time to rest--restore--re-engage.
52. Laugh From the Belly
Watch a comedy, talk to a funny friend -- do whatever you need to do to spontaneously erupt in an authentic peel of laughter, so strong it makes your sides hurt.
53. I Hit the Bike
Exercise always helps me fight off burn out. My favorite form of exercise is bicycling. I'm lucky; I live in Denver where we have a whole lot of great bike trails. I love biking because it is low impact and fun. I'm a slow runner. If I run for an hour, I feel as if I haven't gotten anywhere. But when I put in an hour on my bike, I've been somewhere and seen some things. I get into a rhythm that helps me relax and clear my mind. I return from my bike rides refreshed and ready to go.
54. Back in Balance
Whenever I feel my life getting out of balance, I sit down and make a list of all the ways I spend my time during my waking hours, everything over and above a standard eight hour work day. I rank the list in order of the amount of time I spend on each. Next to that list, I write down the five things I consider the most important in my life, in order of their importance.
55. Unplug to Recharge
My suggestion isn't earth shattering, but the reasoning behind it is deeper than most realize: take a week off!
People who take regular vacations enjoy:
- Fewer feelings of tiredness, anxiety, burn-out, and depression
- Higher interest in work and higher productivity
- Lower risk of stroke and heart disease
- Higher satisfaction with their marriages
Just like a tire rotation or a professional teeth cleaning, semi-annual vacations keep all our machinery functioning optimally.
56. Step Back and Breathe
When the mind burns out, many of us decide to just put in more hours. That doesn't work. Burnout renders you ineffective. It impairs judgment. When you feel yourself burning out, you need to take a step back. Get away. We all have excuses why we can't. The fact is, we need to look for excuses for why we can. Otherwise, the burnout will be complete.
57. Life Began in the Garden
The fastest way that I get reconnected to what's important is in the garden. Nurturing something to grow forces your mind to think of something other than itself. You sweat, you get dirty, and you create an environment that allows something to live. In doing that on a regular basis, I find it feeds my soul. It gets me back to the basics of what is needed to sustain life.
58. Overdraft Protection
Burn out occurs when your spiritual, mental and physical accounts are overdrawn. Remain refreshed by balancing your level of energy output with your level of energy input. When your schedule is more hectic, you need MORE down time to rest, recover, and replenish. With a little more effort, you can protect yourself from the penalties of an overdrawn business life...down time is whatever you do to pause and bring strength, comfort and peace to you.
59. Stand on My Head
Physical activity and time with my kids (I often combine the two) clears my head. I have a yoga mat rolled up under the sofa in my office and I start the day there. After a couple of hours of work, the kids go in the double stroller and I take them to a park, getting in a 5 mile walk or jog.
60. Light the Fire
Jump up and down and scream, “Life is not fair!!!” stick your head in the sand and declare, “I can’t.” or figure out WHAT in your life and business is not working and vow to change it.
Burn-out comes from doing more and more while receiving less and less. Change this insanity with one simple step- measure every marketing endeavor. If the marketing produces a positive cash flow, repeat the action. If not, seek out the next activity.
Live the life you choose.
61. Perception is Reality
How you perceive your situation is the reality it will become. If your perception is that the deck is stacked against you and there's nothing you can do, then that's how it will be. But if you perceive that you have the ability to move forward, solve your problems and reach your goals, then that's exactly what will happen; your belief will make it so. Perception becomes reality and you create the perception.
62. Mesmerize Your Money Maker
As a certified hypnotherapist and business success coach, of course I have to use hypnosis to recharge my batteries. Not only is it effective for stress relief, I am able to condition my mind to operate more effectively (and attract more money). What entrepreneur doesn't want that?
63. Count the Wins!
When work is wearing you down, it is often because you are going through a difficult challenge in your business. Celebrate why you do what you do! Remember all the successes, the happy clients and the praise. When you remember why you are doing what you love, it is easier to pick yourself up and get things going again. So, review those letters of appreciation, the huge challenge you overcame, the happy customers, and the opportunities that are ahead of you. You'll feel refreshed in no time!
64. Stop Business Burnout!
In my experience as a business coach, the best strategy for preventing business burnout is to promote a comfortable and friendly atmosphere at work. The legend of separating home-life from work-life and is just that, a legend. You can't be the rabbit in this race. There is no quick fix to solve your exhaustion. Having good relationships with your co-workers is the best and most effective way to fighting business burnout. It will feel less like work when you are with your friends.
65. Dump Your Bucket & Relax
The best strategy for me is to use post it notes to empty my brain of all my ideas. I write one idea per note pad and then post them on my office wall. When they are all stuck to the wall, they are much easier for me to move into categories and determine what ideas I like, the ones I'm working on, and the ones that are likely back-burners. After this step, I can put a planning timeline together to determine what, when, where and how to bring the idea to fruition. Then, I take the day off!
66. I "W - E - A - N" Myself...
1. Weep - I get a good cry in, which provides a good emotional cleansing.
2. Eat - The quality of food decreases in proportion to the burnout depth...But I never allow myself to feel guilty for this particularly hard-earned consumption.
3. Argue - I'll debate politics, current events, anything thought-provoking with friends, family, or even myself, just to activate lazy brain cells.
4. Nap - Nothing resets the body better than a long slumber...Sometimes, I just simply need rest.
67. Separation Provides Sanity
My mind is active enough, without it bouncing off the never ceasing bombardment of stimuli around me like a pinball. When I’m reaching the point of over-saturation in my business and need a break, I must completely unplug to achieve some refreshing tranquility. Being alone with nothing but my thoughts, whether on a distant beach or in my den, allows me to refocus on only my highest priorities. The rest is merely noise, on which it's easy to waste precious attention, and limit my potential.
68. Pick a Day...ANY DAY!
You gotta be as deliberate about taking care of YOU as you are about taking care of your business! So pick a day, ANY DAY, every week. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? And DO IT! I used to take every Tuesday...Yep! Right in the middle of the week. Don't think it'll work? Try it and see how much more energy, focus and enthusiasm you have when your business works within YOUR schedule instead of the other way around! The practice works for long weekends every month too!
69. Create a Tranquility Cocktail!
Drink a Tranquility Cocktail: Take an 8 ounce glass of water, a cal/mag/D, a Passion Flower (an herb to ease the mind), a Valerian (an herb to ease the body), sit back, close your eyes, thump your upper chest 1/2" below that little V in your neck, and notice how quickly you unwind! The "thymus thump" activates the thymus gland which instantly sends out a substance to calm you and increase your immunity! It enhances the natural tranquility created by your Tranquility Cocktail.
70. Burnout to Balance
Take time off! Go on a vacation when possible~ No internet, phones etc and relax, sight see, do nothing, whatever a vacation means to you. If leaving isn't possible, go on an overnight. Scale down the size as the possibilities become smaller. Taking time to refresh and recharge is really important to maintaining balance and lowering stress levels, which is clearly indicated in order to think clearly and make good decisions. Have fun and be in nature if you can...
Whenever I sense burnout setting in, I find someone else to ask for help. My burn-out sets in because I have outrun my headlights and tried to do more than I am physically capable of. Like a tree standing alone in a snow storm, I break up. I move to talk over my situation or gain clarity from my coach. I become one tree in a forest of trees, leaning my work-heavy branches on another for support. The weight of burnout lifts and I move forward to conceive a work positive lifestyle again.
72. The Big Screen
When burnout sets in, I sneak out and go to the movies! It never fails to take my mind off of things and get my creativity going again.
I always get back to work feeling motivated and ready to tackle new challenges. I have been thinking of scheduling one in now & then!
73. Staying Fresh
It was the scene in the picture "The Hustler".
Minnesota Fats (pool shark J. Gleason) was being devastated by new comer pool shark, Fast Eddie (P Newman). Into the wee hours of the night, Fats was being beat over & over & Fast Eddie was rejoicing. At some point, Fats stops, orders some food, goes into the bathroom, washes & totally refreshes with a new shirt, tie, a suit jacket- comes out, puts some powder on his hands & says " Eddie lets shoot some pool" . He was totally refreshed & wiped out Eddie.
74. Recharge by Review
Stress, exhaustion etc. are often the outcomes of focus loss. Take time to review your core values, long term objectives, internal motivators and why you chose them. Are they still viable? Great, recommit to them with new found enthusiasm. If these seem out of place or not fitting, reevaluate, reset and recharge. Doing this once a quarter can minimize the "burn-out". Do more often if needed! This should also help you clear the "clutter" that is bogging you down.
75. Work Ahead
One storm that is better than a thunderstorm is a brainstorm. I do this to collect ideas so that when the ones I'm working on become stale or no longer effective, I have some inspiration I can always turn to.
76. Brain vs. Brawn
When my brain begins to turn into mush, I seek out short-term, physically challenging, part-time jobs to provide me with a different perspective. I worked as a barista, retail clerk, baseball parking pass seller (try standing out in the rain/wind/heat for four hours with a two-pound apron holding rolls of tickets and wet money when it rains!) and bartending jobs. Once the stint is over, I appreciate the restful times of writing at the computer in the warm, dry office with hot coffee at-hand.
77. Avoid Burnout with Burnouts
Since most of us are "ON" 24/7, we rarely disconnect. I get into my 1971 mini cooper & drive as fast as possible on an Auto-X track to avoid burnout. I love speed & this is the one place there is only a fast lane & no cops. It's the antithesis of work for the most part. No multi-tasking, no other people- just you & the track. You do however, have to apply some entrepreneurial skills, so don't get caught up in what you're doing without envisioning the next turn or you'll end up way off course.
78. Play-Doh to the Rescue!
As a leadership consultant and corporate facilitator, I use Play-Doh in several of my programs and workshops. Working with Play-Doh allows adult learners to circumvent the critical, logical "side" of their brain and experience the joy of pure exploration and creativity. When I feel business burn-out setting in, I too reach for tubs of the colorful, clay-like compound, turn off my analytical brain, and let my hands take over. In short, I play! I find it amazingly therapeutic and cathartic.
79. Put Spaces Between Thoughts
Incubation is the most important part of the Creative Process. When you're lagged, burned, and dragging, put spaces between your thoughts. Vacations are nice, but you don't need to go that far. Blank out. Meditate. Walk. Drive with the music on. Loud. Make love. Think about nothing, anything but business. There's a reason Eureka! moments happen in the shower. Those ideas, thoughts, solutions will start to flow again as long as you don't try to force them. Your enthusiasm will soon follow.
80. Clap Your Hands
I find spending time with my nieces Clare & Emma and nephew Max the perfect answer. We have fun, are spontaneous and really use our creativity. There is nothing like seeing a toddler shriek with joy when singing "If you're happy and you know it." Being around children reminds me that you need to have a balance between work and play. They see fun and opportunity; they don't tell themselves why they can't do something. It's the perfect way to recharge and refocus.
81. Read Rocket Science
Here's what helps me break out of the burnout: Hit the nearest Library or bookstore, go to any section but business & read a few pages of a random book. You'd be surprised at how powerful Arts, History, Literature, or even Cooking books can be and not just to change your mood, but to help you get a totally new perspective or knowledge about something that you may or may not have known otherwise.
82. Revisit Your Roots
Burnout is our business' way of telling us to stop for a pulse check and revise plans accordingly. If you are feeling fried because business is booming, now may be the time to hire an assistant while you focus on scaling the business, so that you can step out of the day-to-day. If you've had it because despite your sweat and tears, you are going no place fast, revisit your business objective. Still viable? Find a new approach and plow ahead. Not making sense? No longer fun? Buck up and move on.
83. Crank it Up!!!
I'll crank up some great music that charges me up and think of all the people that said I couldn't do it, or are standing in the background waiting for me to fall on my face. This, in combination with the music, helps me get my perspective, drive and determination back. There's nothing better than to persevere and keep moving forward with a smile!
84. Stress Song!
Particularly with people-managing, I wrote new lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game..." which absolutely draws on right-brain relaxation... new man/woman! (This tune can be heard on a Youtube video on our website).
85. Joseph Will Get You Through
If you are experiencing burn-out, begin writing non-stop as fast as possible for 10 minutes while focusing on your current situation. What is burning you out? Why is it that you are burnt-out? List all of the reasons you are experiencing the feeling of burnout. Once you are done writing, shred the papers you just wrote on. The final step in the cleansing process is to leave everything behind - cell phone, blackberry, anything that could take your attention, and go for a 30-minute brisk walk.
Do you have another tip that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!