If you are a busy entrepreneur, we need to talk about burnout.
Yes, I know we all have in mind that sort of “collapsing” scene that usually depicts it. You know, the one of a person that, after months of being completely unable to cope with the daily tasks, full of worries and responsibilities, feeling tired and not interested, in desperate need of sleep without being able to get any, finally collapses.
But this is the “final scene” of the movie.
Burnout is not something that suddenly happens, without warning.
It is a slow, cumulative process that, let me tell you, is more common than what you think.
So, what if tell you that there is a way to avoid burnout? What if I tell you that your body talks to you and that if you learn to understand its language, you might be able to prevent it?
So, if we want to talk about prevention, fundamentally, we need to recognise first the signals, and then we will be able to do something about it.
Of course, ideally, we wouldn’t need to arrive at that extreme if we were able to take certain precautions and adjust a little bit our way of doing things. But I will leave this topic for the future.
Today, let’s concentrate on the signals. There are many, but the main four are the following:
The right questions that you can ask yourself to check if you are at risk are:
Do I feel depleted?
Do I feel completely run out of energy, like spent?
Do I feel tired all the time?
Note: Remember that exhaustion can also be emotional.
All of us get to experience some lack of motivation now and then. Even if we love what we do, it is pretty normal to be less enthusiastic about things, for a short period of time.
Moreover, we don’t need to love every single task involved in our work, so we might find ourselves procrastinating, for example.
But what if we lose the enthusiasm completely?
What if we have no more interest whatsoever and cannot fall back in love with what we do?
And what if on top of that, each task seems a mountain to climb, to the extent of having difficulties to drag us into work or even getting out of bed?
Pay attention. It could be symptom N2.
The right question to ask yourself here is related to your vision of the world and the future.
After so many dreams and disappointments, ups and downs, you might have begun to lose optimism. Moreover; you are almost convinced in the end, everything is pointless, and you feel hopeless.
You might also have begun to wonder about the real meaning of your purpose and mission and why it is worth to keep on trying.
The whole world appears negative at this point, and you might be secretly feeling like you don’t care anymore.
But you don’t share this thought with anyone.
Beware: frustration and cynicism can also be burnout signs.
Have you been facing memory problems lately? And what about the ability to stay focused and centred?
Consider that burnout interferes with your abilities. If you feel foggy and somehow lost, making an effort to concentrate and pay attention, or if you have experienced repeated episodes of loss of memory, it’s time to stop and make a consultation.
More signals and symptoms are usually present in a burnout syndrome, but only a physician and a psychologist can make the final diagnosis. Burnout can be easily confused with chronic stress, for example.
What you can do is to pay attention to your body and check if you’ve been having 2 or more of the signals we discussed here.
Don’t wait to collapse. Be proactive.
If you want to learn more about this topic, feel free to send me an email or, even better,
I am happy to be of help.