Startup culture, though often exciting and enthralling, can also be stressful and draining. If you spend all of your time working and thinking about working, it’s likely that you’ll experience burnout.
The symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, feeling sudden cynicism or detachment, and losing your usual momentum. If you’re experiencing burnout, gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to work through it is only going to make the situation worse – instead, you should take proactive measures that will help you regroup mentally and emotionally, and get back on track when it comes to your work. Read on for a few tips on to battle burnout.
Make detailed to-do lists
Though it may sound incredibly stressful to list out every single action item, writing down pending tasks can be a helpful exercise. Once the list is made, you can then sort the items into categories of things that are urgent or critical and things that can wait. Doing this at the start of each day will give you broad oversight of your to-do list, as well as a better understanding of what has to be attended to immediately.
Teamwork makes the dream work. If there are items on your to-do list that can be managed by someone else on your team, then you should absolutely delegate the work. Passing tasks on to someone equally capable of completing them will reduce your stress and give a colleague the chance to step up or take on more responsibility.
Get more sleep
If you’re truly living and breathing work, it’s likely that you’re losing sleep – or, at least, not sleeping well. But sleep is incredibly important: it’s been proven to improve your memory, sharpen your attention span, and, critically, reduce stress and risk of depression. So, make it a priority to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night – mute your phone and turn your computer off, if emails and notifications are the biggest deterrents to your slumber. You will soon discover that increased rest will have you feeling sharper and more prepared to face the demands of the office.
When you’re launching or building a company, it’s entirely possible that exercise will suddenly seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But physical exercise, like sleep, helps to reduce stress and improve brain function. Establishing a routine, be it attending fitness classes, going for a run, or hitting the gym for circuit training, will help you slot exercise into your schedule more easily, get you away from your desk and give your brain a much-needed break from your to-do list. So, don’t get in the habit of skipping your work out – it helps you do more than just build muscle.
Take a short holiday
When you’re overloaded with work, taking a holiday probably sounds like the worst possible idea. But getting completely away from the office for a day or two and letting yourself relax may help reinvigorate you and get you excited to go back to the office. If it’s possible for you to entirely disconnect while you’re gone, even better; take the time to unplug completely and focus on anything but work.
Following these tips to make simple adjustments to your daily routine can assist in battling burnout, but if you find that they don’t work for you, consider seeking out a mental health professional – there’s no shame in it, especially if it will help you find greater balance in your life.