If you're a fatigued business owner, try these 8 positive daily habits to overcome burnout gaining space and creativityDec 04, 2021
When was the last time you felt so overwhelmed that you didn’t know what to focus on first?
When your to-do list grows as big as a monthly shopping list or your diary is bulging at the seams it’s hard to gather your thoughts and prioritise tasks. That’s because everything is deemed a priority at this point!
Take a moment to gather your thoughts
It sounds contradictory but finding the time to sit back, take a deep breath and be present with your workload and social schedule will help. It often appears that there is no time to take a moment but that’s because your anxiety levels are high. You are most likely operating in a state of constant nervous energy with zero clarity.
Your body's sympathetic nervous system is working in overdrive forcing shallow breathing and a quickened heartbeat because it thinks you’re running away from a sabre tooth tiger. Obviously, you aren’t running away from an ancient beast but the release of hormones and chemical reactions is the same, designed to get you out of a spot of bother!
To add to the stress, your inner voice is probably telling you that you couldn’t possibly stop because you have too much to do. Thoughts going through your head might include not letting people down, having to work harder to get the job done, or that you’re not good enough or worthy enough to take a break so you need to keep ploughing on.
Notice these thoughts, and the feelings they generate, but still, stop and take a moment.
8 positive daily habits to overcome burnout
It’s easy to feel fatigued as a business owner or entrepreneur. It’s because you take on the world and somehow cope until it all becomes too much. When you take your moment, review the following habits. Incorporate them into your daily rituals and you’ll start to feel more in control.
#1 – Set a daily goal
Setting daily goals is always a good place to begin. First thing in the morning, set a clear intention to do one thing. It may be to complete a project, sort something out for the home or office, speak to someone or tackle an obstacle. It only needs to be one goal.
The flaw with having too many goals is that you are setting yourself up to fail. By not completing the goals time after time you will beat yourself up, complain (internally and externally) and start to think that you aren’t good enough. On the flip side, if you always complete your one goal, you’ll start to feel amazing because you are a doer and an achiever. Which would you prefer?
Each morning set yourself up to win. Decide who you want to be in order to achieve the goal and determine a suitable mood level that will get you there. A motivated, high energy mood will always prevail over a depressed, low mood – think about it.
#2 – Be grateful
At the end of each day, make a list of five things you are grateful for. There are so many things and experiences that deserve gratitude from sunrises, fresh air and drinking water to having sight, hearing and touch. You might be grateful for a new project won, your home, a succulent meal or the clothes on your back. Being grateful every day will encourage you to appreciate what and who is around you, keeping away negative thoughts and behaviours.
Every day write down the name of someone you are grateful for. This may be your partner, children, work colleagues or someone who has supported you in some way. Better still, why not let them know your appreciation with a phone call or card – something more personal than a text or media message.
#3 – Add space and thinking time to your diary
Create space specifically to think and be present with your thoughts and actions. Filling every gap in your schedule will work against you and you’ll find that it stifles creativity and balance.
A great way to achieve this space is to eat mindfully at lunch, have a mindful walk, breathe deeply, or meditate in the morning or the evening. Being mindful encourages a deeper sense of awareness of what’s going on around you. It will stimulate more senses helping you to feel much more relaxed and in control of your thoughts, feelings and subsequent actions.
Another key action to help create space is to switch off social media and notifications or choose a specific time each day for browsing. Aimless scrolling and constant interruptions from notifications eat away at productive mindful time. Refrain from getting lost down the social rabbit hole.
#4 – Chunk up projects
Breaking projects and actions into smaller chunks that are doable encourages a feeling of completion. Knowing that something will take two full days to complete sounds like a daunting task. Breaking it down into ten smaller tasks of an hour or so becomes more digestible.
A bit like positive habit #1, chunking up large projects helps you to accomplish more and not beat yourself up if it doesn’t get done.
#5 – Journal and reflect
I’m a big advocate of journaling and encourage all my clients to pull their worries and stresses out of their heads each day by journaling. You can use an electronic device, but I find that putting pen (or pencil) to paper is more cathartic. Many articles confirm the benefits of emotional release, self-awareness and reflection from journaling.
Doing this in the evening offers a great way to review your day, acknowledge what you have learned and celebrate your wins.
#6 – Ask ‘does this help me to get closer to my goals?’
It’s easy to get caught up doing things for others that aren’t aligned with your goals, purpose or missions in life. Before saying yes to anything, ask yourself if it is supporting you in achieving or getting one step closer to your goal/s.
Be aware of how often you are saying yes and notice if you have the necessary boundaries in place to support your needs first. Putting yourself first will ensure that you are your best (for you and others) instead of becoming frazzled and facing the road to burnout.
Asking yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ creates more awareness around whether you are doing something for you or if you are people-pleasing through some form of compensating tendency. Draw up a list of answers to this question and check that you are doing it for yourself.
#7 – Embrace movement
Society is becoming more sedentary – and it’s not healthy. Your body needs movement to function effectively and efficiently through blood, oxygen and lymph flow. It affects everything both physically and mentally.
Move your body vigorously for a minimum of ten minutes to get oxygen pumping around your body and make sure you get out of breath. You don’t have to join a gym or plan mammoth outdoor runs. Simply running on the spot, (carefully) racing up and down the stairs or dancing works well.
Take regular breaks from the computer or whatever is keeping you in a motionless position during the day and loosen up.
#8 – Create non-client time in your diary
Like positive habit #3, creating non-client time in your diary will enable you to incorporate thinking time, strategic planning, admin and creativity into your working day.
Adding time slots as if they were appointments creates more variety throughout the week that you’ll be grateful for, as well as keeping you on track to achieve the things you love. This method will also prevent irritating disturbances so that you can finish what you start.
Putting an ‘out of office’ response on your email stating when you check emails and when to expect a reply, sets boundaries for you and manages expectations for clients.
Build positive daily habits to overcome burnout
It’s easy to get stuck in the rat race and not realise it. Answering phone calls, replying to emails and responding to social media interactions all add to the mounting pile of things to do.
Following these simple 8 positive daily habits to overcome burnout will have the outcome of creating more space in your day and more focus in your mind. These two things alone will equip you to overcome burnout and ease fatigue in no time.
If you think you need help or accountability to claim back time or to implement some of the strategies outlined in this blog article, please reach out to me.