18 May 2016
Burnout is a real challenge when growing a business.
As soon as you are not excited to come into the office or to log into your computer, that’s when you know it is time to take a break. Whilst no one can look forward to every day, constantly having that feeling of ‘Sunday dread’ is incredibly unhealthy.
When you think about it, we spend a third of our lives at leisure, a third sleeping and a third working. We should not spend a third of our lives being demotivated and unhappy.
Additionally, your emotional and physical exhaustion takes its toll on the team around you. Burnout leaves you feeling tetchy and irritable.
Working every hour of every day is not something to take pride in. It is a red flag. Often I see UKFast much more clearly when I have taken a step back from the everyday hustle and bustle. It is on holiday, with a clear, relaxed mind that the ideas begin to flow, the solutions present themselves and inspiration arises. I believe that it is impossible to stay inspired when you are at the grindstone every single day.
Perhaps it is not plausible to take a holiday, but you could take a rest. Go for a coffee, read a book or I would recommend going for a run or playing sport. There is no better way to release anger or frustration than exercise – even when you are at your most exhausted!
I have a strict exercise routine that helps me to stay focussed and at the top of my game. We also have a routine for holidays, going away at least twice a year with my family. Time with my daughters is a wonderful remedy to the stresses that come with running a growing business. Children and their imaginations are truly magical.
I often wonder if I would give this advice to my younger self, the person who spent every moment of every day on the phone trying to get the UKFast brand on the radars of as many people as possible; to the husband and wife team who would pass on the street as they swapped shifts at their new office. That was how Gail and I got UKFast off the ground. It worked, but it was extraordinarily hard and it’s not sustainable.
How can you look after a business if you are not looking after yourself?
Listen to yourself, recognise the triggers and signs and pause. You will get much more done, more efficiently if you do.
What are your tips for avoiding burnout?