It’s the beginning of the week, and your employees already feel tired. Some might be unmotivated, others disengaged. The most likely culprit? Burnout. Burnout is work-related stress that can harm your physical and mental health, and over 92 per cent of Canadian employees believe they’re at risk of workplace burnout.
And that’s just the employees. As a small business owner, how often do you consider your health? We know how hard it can be to step away, but your team needs a strong leader — so follow these four steps to minimize burnout and stay on top of your game.
- Set goals — big and small
Setting goals is paramount to avoiding burnout; among the bustle of running a business, goals keep you focused on what matters. Reaching a goal (lofty or small) feels fantastic and deserves celebration. But it’s easy to get caught up in conflating the company’s goals as your own — think about what’s essential to you, and work to achieve it. And don’t forget to reward yourself. Take stock of what you’ve achieved and be proud of your progress.
- Monitor your workload and schedule
Delegating tasks isn’t easy, but it’s sometimes necessary. You don’t need to be responsible for everything; if you manage many aspects of the business, it might be time to take a step back. And we get it — it’s not always easy to pass on your responsibility. But by examining your weaknesses and delegating effectively, you can maximize your time and help your team grow.
If you don’t have the staff to delegate, consider hiring permanent or freelance employees. You may have to spend the additional time upfront, but you’ll see the long-term payoffs.
- Make a list — and check it twice
Burnout could be around the corner if your days are filled with an endless stream of tasks to complete and crises to solve. It’s so easy to fixate on the amount of work you have and lose sight of what’s achievable. The solution? Prioritize. Make a list and focus on what’s critical and doable. Don’t get bogged down — complete what’s essential and go easy on yourself.
- Remember: it’s OK to say no.
Turning work down is always challenging. And as a business owner, you have that added responsibility. But saying no to new tasks doesn’t make you a poor leader. Your team relies on you; your leadership will suffer if you struggle with burnout.
- Take advantage of mental health resources
Mental health benefits are becoming increasingly popular among employees — and for a good reason. Healthy employees are productive employees. For instance, you could consult a mental health professional or use a mental health day.
And don’t worry if you don’t currently offer mental health benefits — that’s where we come in. With PaymentEvolution, you can create a custom benefits plan in seconds. We support small businesses across Canada and work with any budget to ensure you and your employees receive the benefits you need.
- Know your strengths — and weaknesses
You might own the business, but that doesn’t mean you like every aspect of it — we’ve got all those tasks we procrastinate. And avoiding these dreaded duties can help you beat burnout. Now, that doesn’t mean you neglect these tasks entirely — working on your weaknesses is a great way to grow — but you can plan around them. You can delegate where possible or plan to complete the most stressful tasks as soon as you can. Work will feel more rewarding if you don’t have these stressors hanging over your head.
- Take time off
Finally, we have a slightly scary suggestion: take some time off. We highly recommend taking time away from work to relax and reflect on your accomplishments. Plus, taking a vacation can improve your creativity and productivity.
If you can’t take time away from work, try an afternoon with no meetings, phone calls or emails. Once the initial trepidation wears off, you’ll find it surprisingly relaxing. And be present in your personal life — there are people outside of work who need you too. Try and leave work at work.