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Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Signs You’re Working Too Much and Burning Out

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Signs You’re Working Too Much and Burning Out


    Ask The Entrepreneurs

    is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What are some telltale signs that you’re starting to experience burnout and need to hit the Pause button?

    1. Input vs. Output

      Are you working very hard, draining your batteries, but seeing very little concrete evidence of the time you’re spending? This means that your input/output is out of balance. You should be working efficiently and effectively, producing more than you invest, so if that’s flip-flopped, take some time to recalibrate.

      Colin Wright, Exile Lifestyle


      2. Entrepreneurship Is Fun, Remember?

        When you’re loving what you’re doing, the “fun to not-fun” ratio is heavily in favor of the fun side. You are excited to get up and get to work, full of energy and new ideas. You get stuff done fast and you’re in the flow. But once things start to shift to where the majority of your days aren’t enjoyable at all,you need to start looking for a break to get that passion, energy and fun back.

        Trevor Mauch, Automize, LLC

        3. Blurry Focus

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          If you’re having trouble focusing because you’ve taken on too many different things, your work will suffer. You’ll notice a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of interest, and overall, a lack of quality output. If you’re not able to deliver what your client expects, you’re probably taking on too much. Focus on what you can and should be doing, and find a way to cut out the rest.

          Matt Cheuvront, Proof Branding

          4. Voicemail’s Full!

            If you begin dreading calls with clients, it’s a sign that something is out of balance. Use that warning to evaluate if you’re working too many hours or on tasks that can be easily outsourced, so you can fully enjoy every client conversation and network without feeling tired or burned out.

            Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems


            5. Unnecessary Insomnia

              If you’re tossing and turning at night and having trouble getting those restful Zzz’s, it’s a sign you may have too much on your plate. It’s a dangerous self-fulfilling cycle too; if you can’t get to sleep because your mind is too active, you’ll be even more tired the following day. Look for ways to delegate your to-do’s and make R&R part of your routine.

              Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

              6. Where Do I Start?

                A disorganized list of tasks is the busy entrepreneur’s kryptonite. Without some sort of method to your daily madness, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. I recommend spending ten minutes every night reviewing your task list for the next day and creating a hierarchy that you will be excited about tomorrow.

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                Logan Lenz, Endagon

                7. Social Surfing

                  One sign that I knew I was getting burned out was that I’d spend way too much time on Facebook, Twitter, message boards, blogs, ESPN, news sites, anything to put off doing work. In the beginning, I was incredibly excited to get to work each day and crush my tasks. As I got burned out, I started to procrastinate and surf the net, tweeting more and commenting on Facebook posts and blogs.

                  Nathan Lustig, Entrustet

                  8. Steering Clear of Your Own Office

                    Whenever I am experiencing burnout, the last place I head is my office. I’d rather do laundry, scrub bathrooms or go for a walk on a frigid day than sit and do work. If you are experiencing similar feelings, take a few hours or an entire day to just set the work down and go do something totally fun and frivolous. Your brain and body will thank you immensely!

                    Erin BlaskieBSETC

                    9. Is This Annoying?

                      You know you’re starting to experience burnout when become very irritable and have a hard time keeping your emotions in check. You will tend to lash out at people that are undeserving of the outburst. Then you know it is time to take a break!

                      Justin Nowak, Mobile Business Advisors


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                      10. No Time for the Best Friend?

                        This might sound corny, but for me, if I’m too tired to play with our dog for at least a few minutes when I get home from work, it’s not a good sign.

                        Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net




                        11. When You Can’t See the Light

                          Personally, I don’t live to work, I work to live. Being outdoors is an extremely important part of my life and if I realize I haven’t seen sunlight in 18 hours, I know I’m headed straight for burnout. Even if I have to sadly supplement going skiing with taking a quick walk to get coffee, it’s better than not getting any vitamin D at all. Know what’s important to you and don’t neglect it.

                          Matt Wilson, Under30CEO.com

                          12. Overwhelmed with Apathy

                            The biggest sign I have found time and time again is when you become apathetic to your business. You stop responding to emails immediately, you spend more time on websites like Facebook and “fun” sites, and you feel like things can wait.

                            Steven Le Vine, grapevine pr


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                            13. What Is Burnout?

                              If you get to the point where you’re asking yourself what constitutes burnout, you’re probably already at a point where you need to take some away from work. It’s easy to push harder, but taking an “unplugged” day away from email and phone calls does wonders to the body and mind!

                              Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media


                              14. Didn’t I Go to Work Already?

                                If you are “at the office” even when you are at home asleep, it is time to take a breather.

                                Peter Minton, Minton Law Group, P.C.



                                15. I Love Email!

                                  Managing email is one of the most inefficient tasks of the day, but when you start loving receiving and answering emails as an excuse for not doing real work, that becomes a problem. If you live for that nice little update in your inbox when you have a new message, you probably need to take a break to figure out how you can fall in love with your real job again.

                                  Danny Wong, Blank Label Group, Inc.

                                  (Photo credit: Burnt Out Match via Shutterstock)

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                                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                                  Last Updated on December 3, 2019

                                  How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

                                  How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

                                  Achieving personal goals deserves a huge amount of celebration but setting these goals in the first place is a massive achievement in itself.

                                  While the big goals serve as a destination, the journey is probably the most important part of the process. It reflects your progress, your growth and your ability take control and steer your life towards positive change.

                                  Whatever your goal is, whether it’s losing 20lbs or learning a new language, there will always be a set amount of steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Once you’ve set your sights on your goal, the next stage is to take an assertive path towards how you will get there.

                                  The aim of this article is to guide you through how to take action towards your personal goals in a way that will help you achieve them strategically and successfully.

                                  1. Get Very Specific

                                  When it comes to setting your personal goals, honing in on its specifics is crucial for success.

                                  It’s common to have a broad idea of where you want to go or what you want to achieve, but this can sabotage your efforts in the long run.

                                  Get clear on what you want your goal to look like so you can create solid steps towards it.

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                                  Say you have a vision on retiring early. This goal feels good to you and you can envision filling your days of work-free life with worldly adventures and time with loved ones.

                                  If retiring early is a serious personal goal for you, you will need to insert a timeframe. So your goal has changed from “I’d like to someday retire early and travel the world” to “I’m going to retire by 50 and travel the world”.

                                  It may not seem significant, but creating this tweak in your goal by specifying a definite time, will help create and structure the steps needed to achieve it in a more purposeful way.

                                  2. Identify the Preparation You Need to Achieve Your Goal

                                  It’s easy to set a goal and excitedly, yet aimlessly move towards it. But this way of going about achieving goals will only leave you eventually lost and feeling like you’ll never achieve it.

                                  You have to really think about what you need to do in order to make this goal possible. It’s all very well wanting it to happen, but if you just sit back and hope you’ll get there one day will result in disappointment.

                                  Self-managing your goals is a crucial step in the process. This involves taking control of your goal, owning it and making sure you are in a great position to make it happen.

                                  In the early retirement example, this would mean you will need to think about your financial situation.

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                                  What will your finances ideally need to look like if you were to retire early and travel the world? How much money will you need to put into your retirement fund to retire at 50? How much extra savings will you need to support your travels? You could also start researching the places you’d like to travel to and how long you’d like to travel for.

                                  Outlining these factors will, not only make your goal seem more tangible, but also create a mind shift to one of forward motion. Seeing the steps more clearly will help you make a more useful plan of action and seeing your goal as a reality.

                                  3. Breakdown Each Step into More Manageable Goals

                                  The secret to achieving your goals is to create smaller goals within each step and take action. Remember, you’re looking for progress, no matter how small it may seem.

                                  These small steps build up and get you to the top. By doing this, you also make the whole process much less daunting and overwhelming.

                                  In the early retirement scenario, there are several smaller goals you could implement here:

                                  • Decide to make an appointment with a financial advisor asking what financial options would be available to you if you were to go into early retirement and travel. Get advice on how much you would need to top up your funds in order to reach your goal on time.
                                  • Set up and start to make payments into the retirement fund.
                                  • Research savings accounts with good rates of interest and commit to depositing a certain amount each month.
                                  • Make sure you meet with your financial advisor each year to make sure your retirement plan remains the best one for you. Research new savings accounts to move your money into to reap the best returns in interest rates.
                                  • Start investing in travel books, building up a library that covers where you want to go.
                                  • Think about starting a language course that will help you get the most out of your travel experience.

                                  4. Get Started on the Journey

                                  Creating a goal planner in which you can start writing down your next steps is where the magic happens. This is where the real momentum towards your dream starts!

                                  Create a schedule and start by writing in when you will start the first task and on which day. Commit to completing this small task and feel the joy of crossing it off your list. Do this with every little step until your first mini goal has been reached.

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                                  In the early retirement example, schedule in a meeting with a financial advisor. That’s it. Easy.

                                  As I mentioned before, it may seem such a small step but it’s the momentum that’s the most important element here. Once you cross this off, you can focus on the meeting itself, then once that’s ticked off, you are in a position of starting a profitable retirement fund…and so the momentum continues. You are now on your journey to achieving your dream goal.

                                  5. Create an Annual Review

                                  Taking a step back and reviewing your progress is essential for keeping yourself on the right track. Sometimes you can be moving full steam ahead towards your goal but miss seeing the opportunities to improve a process or even re-evaluate your feelings towards the goal.

                                  Nominate a day each year to sit down and take a look at your progress. Celebrate your achievements and how far you’ve come. But also think about changing any of the remaining steps in light of new circumstances.

                                  Has anything changed? Perhaps you got a promotion at work and you feel you can add more to your monthly savings.

                                  Do you still feel the same about your goal? It’s normal for our desires to change over time and our personal goals need to reflect this.

                                  Perhaps you’d like to take someone new with you on your travels and you need to take this into account regarding timelines. Are there any new steps you want to add as a result?

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                                  Remember, reflection is a useful tool in realigning your goal to any changes and it’s important to keep on the right trajectory towards it.

                                  Strive to Become the Best Goal-Setter You Can Be

                                  Having personal goals gives you purpose and the feeling of becoming a better version of yourself.

                                  But it’s the smaller steps within these big goals that the growth and achievement really lies:

                                  • Whatever your goal is, make sure you get specific on when you want to achieve it. This helps you focus on the necessary steps much more efficiently.
                                  • Research the actionable steps required to get to the end result and…
                                  • Break these down into smaller, manageable goals.
                                  • Create a daily or weekly schedule for these smaller goals and start the positive momentum.
                                  • Reflect each year on your goal journey and purpose, readjusting steps according to changes in circumstance or desire.

                                  Keep going and always have the end goal in sight. Remember the ‘why’ behind your goal throughout to keep you motivated and positive.

                                  More About Setting & Achieving Goals

                                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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