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Burnout is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.”
It’s something anyone can suffer from, but it’s especially common among the self employed. Why? Forbes lists five reasons.
- Entrepreneurs are predisposed to resist constraints, boundaries, and expectations.
- There are few benchmarks by which entrepreneurs can measure ourselves and their success.
- Unlimited possibilities means it’s difficult knowing how you compare to others in your field.
- “What if” is a constant in entrepreneur’s minds.
- There is a lack of consistency, making it difficult to have a “normal” day.
Signs of Burnout
Burnout has many symptoms in common with depression and other disorders. The difference is burnout lasts for a shorter period of time and is clearly caused by situational stress.
It can be dangerous to your career because it can undo everything you’ve built. In addition, it can be dangerous to your health and contribute to illness and weight gain as well as substance abuse.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- You feel exhausted all day and/or experience unexplained headaches and aches and pains.
- Every day is a bad day.
- Work doesn’t bring you fulfilment. You feel either overworked or bored.
- You lack of motivation.
- There is a sense of hopelessness or helplessness.
- Sleeping or eating habits change.
In a writer symptoms include:
- Making stupid grammatical and punctuation mistakes.
- Not caring if a client is satisfied with the quality of work.
- Lacking motivation or enthusiasm for projects that formerly were of interest.
Prevention is the best cure for burnout. Beginning by identifying your stressors.
Tips for prevention include:
- Establish clear office hours.
- Take time to spend with friends and family.
- Exercise and eat right.
- Outsource work if possible.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress.
Take care of yourself. Your business, clients and quality of work will thank you.
Have you ever been burned out? How did you overcome it?
Updated: 25 June 2018