17 Ways to avoid burnout in your small Australian business

October 16, 2020

How to Avoid Burnout in your Small Australian Business

Running a business in Australia has never been an easy task for any business owner. When the business is new, the morale is high, you feel energetic, and you tend to take that business as your baby, focusing all your energy on running it. As time goes by, you start to realise things are not working out as you had anticipated. Frustrations and disappointment begin to creep in, causing burnout. Burnout is a condition that occurs when you endure too much stress that causes exhaustion draining you psychologically, physically, and emotionally. During the pandemic period in Australia, most entrepreneurs have been experiencing burnout for not accomplishing their goals, making them feel incompetent.

Causes of Burnout

If you are a small business owner in Australia and you find yourself making decisions you never fulfill, keep postponing your deadlines, finding yourself with unending responsibilities, or keep staring at your computer without a single new idea on how to improve the business, as sad as it may sound you need to take a break and recuperate. It might be challenging to identify when you are suffering from burnout. Fortunately, some symptoms are associated with it that may help you realize before it is too late.

The symptoms associated with burnout are lack of concentration on your work, mood changes (sudden anger), loss of energy, forgetfulness, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and often feeling ill without an exact diagnosis. All these symptoms are dangerous, as they may cause depression.

The incredible feeling of doing what you love is incomparable. Most business owners put all their time into managing the business and forget they need time for self-care. We all need some “me time” to think and come up with new ideas to help in the business’s growth. Here are some of the measures on how to avoid burnout in your small Australian business.

17 Ways to Avoid Burnout in your Small Australian Business

1. Hire Competent Employees

Working on your own can be overwhelming. It is advisable to hire one or several employees to assist you in the workforce. When hiring, focus on not only the employees’ experience but also the need. Some employees have the required knowledge and expertise but lack competence in the job.

Brigitte Hyacinth, Author of Leading the Workforce of the Future, posed a question for employers, “Assuming you schedule an interview with two candidates who are qualified with both the skills and experience. The first candidate arrives on time and well dressed. The second candidate, while on his way the bus gets a puncture, has to look for other means to get to the office. As he is waiting for another bus, another vehicle splashes mud on his clothes. Later he gets to the office all dirty and late for the interview but still insists on taking the interview. As the Human Resource Manager, whom would you hire between the two candidates?”

2. Appreciate Small Wins

Sit down, look back, and analyse what you have accomplished since your business started. You will realise you have achieved more than you had imagined, which will uplift your spirits. The small achievements that most people ignore are the ones that make the business flourish in the future. As a business owner in Australia, learn to appreciate and celebrate your wins and accomplishments, no matter how small. It will give you hope and power to keep moving forward.

3. Work on Priorities

Managing a business in Australia can be stressful. Learn to prioritize what is more important. Prioritizing will help you to manage your work effectively. If you work without priorities, you will have unfinished work most of the time, keep postponing what is essential, and you are unable to meet deadlines. Moreover, in every business, you will likely find all kinds of customers. Some will give you reasonable deadlines that you can manage, while others want you to work on a tight schedule. Learn how to handle all these types of customers to make your work easier.

4. Engage Investors

Most small business owners in Australia think it will be easy to manage the business on their own. Once the business starts going down, they start to panic since they have nowhere to turn. The good news is that no matter how small your business might be it is good to engage an investor. You can consult if the business starts to fail. Two heads are better than one, and that is a fact. You can probably sell 30% of your business shares to an investor. The capital s/he will invest, use it to improve or upgrade your business. You will be saving yourself from the stress that later causes burnout. It also helps in growth and creativity.

5. Seek Advice

Talking to someone with more experience about a specific business makes work more comfortable. In whichever industry you are managing, there must exist someone with more experience in the running and has succeeded. Take a step and seek some advice. Ask what motivated then to start, what they have learned from the business, what mistakes have they made that has caused them fall behind at some point, ask how they have made it. Using all this information, come up with your plan. At times, it is better to learn from other people’s mistakes than your own. It will save you time, burnout, and money.

6. Self-Care

Doing what you love is the best feeling, no doubt about that. Most of the time, we find ourselves creeping on work without realizing we are causing harm to ourselves. We get lost in our jobs and forget our self-care. Engage in regular exercises to make you fit for the job. Take care of yourself. Know when to take a break. You can decide to be taking one or two vacations annually, depending on your business. Have a getaway moment out of town and experience the beauty of Australia to try to recuperate. By the time you are back to work, you will have new ideas and ready to implement them. It is an excellent way to avoid burnout.

Having a “me time” works wonders. Take a vacation, visit the beach, unplug from technology, and enjoy yourself to the fullest without thinking about your work. When you go back to your usual working schedule, you will be fresh and ready for growth.

7. Working Schedule

Whether you work from home or the office, make yourself a timetable on how to go through your day. It will help you manage your time effectively. Most people struggle to handle their responsibilities due to a lack of planning. If you plan your day well by writing down your responsibilities, you will have attained your goal at the end of the day. Working without a plan can stress you out, causing burnout, and you will have a lot of unfinished business and unable to meet your deadlines. Avoid such incidences by making a working schedule daily or weekly.

8. Identify Your Work Stressors

Running a small business in Australia may seem easy, but it is not. You cannot be perfect at everything, and this is normal. There are those things that you most likely do not like doing. Probably when it comes to data entry, you tend to struggle, and it takes a lot of your time. Identify that section as your stressor. Ensure you work on data entry when your mind is fresh to avoid making too many mistakes. When you force to work while tired, chances are you will leave it unfinished and probably with many mistakes. Later it might cost you money to fix the errors. Work stressors can also cause you to burn out quickly. Learn how to handle them appropriately.

9. Learn To Say “No”

No matter how much you love doing your work, there will be some instances where you have to decline some work. It does not mean you are neglecting your job; instead, you are doing yourself a favor of avoiding stress. If there is some work, you do not want to do, say no instead of stressing yourself to impress the client.

10. Sleep

Getting enough sleep may save you from burning out. Adequate rest is sleeping a maximum of eight hours per day. Ensure you disconnect from daily chores and sleep without any distractions. Make a routine of going to bed at a particular time and wake up at a specific time. It will help you cope with responsibilities easily. Before going to sleep, avoid taking caffeine and limit the time you spend on a screen.

11. Healthy Living

Eat well, eat a balanced diet, do some exercise, live a healthy life. Foods that contain omega-3 act as antidepressants, and they help to boost your mood. Healthy living is an excellent tactic to fight business burnout. A machine functions better when well maintained, so does your body. Give it what it needs to respond accordingly.

12. Set Work Hours

Owning a business in Australia comes with a lot of pressure. You need to ensure you are making enough income to sustain you and the company. When you put this in your mind, you will find yourself working during odd hours, which can be very dangerous for your health. Set your working hours; for example, you can plan to do six to eight hours from Monday to Friday. Also, take some breaks in between your working hours to pull yourself together and relax.

13. Change Working Location

Learn to change your working location from time to time. If you have a tight schedule, you cannot afford some time off. Make a point of breaking your routine by changing your location. A change in the environment is as good as taking a rest. If you work from an office, try working from home. If you work from home, try using a nearby coffee shop, enjoying the breeze.

14. Organise Yourself

Set clear expectations for you and your team. If you need them to work late hours, inform them upfront. If you need them to arrive earlier than usual to work, let them know beforehand so they can plan their time well. To motivate them to do the extra mile, offer them overtime bonuses.

The same case applies to you; ensure you set reasonable expectations that you will achieve without working yourself out, accelerating burnout. Think of your well-being; do not overwork yourself to please clients. Once you cannot control your business, the clients will shift to the next available business without minding you.

15. Take Care of Your Employees

Just as they say, “happy wife happy marriage,” the same applies to business too. When your employees are happy, they tend to produce good results. Ensure your employees get some time off to spend time with their families and friends.

Several ways to achieve this is by instituting a flexible schedule for the team. Give them some paid off leave and ensure working hours are as stated, for instance, no late-night calls.

16. Be Positive Minded

There comes a time when you feel worn out, unable to move on, and feel like giving up. If you are a business owner, you might be familiar with such feelings. These are negative emotions, which are very knowledgeable. Anytime you have such emotions, take a break, walk around, have a friendly chat with a colleague, or take a deep breath. Doing this will help you overcome negative thoughts and keep yourself together.

17. Avoid Multitasking

Imagine you are on the phone and typing an email at the same time. Chances are either you will not get what the person on the phone is saying, or you will type the wrong email. Avoid such instances by doing one thing at a time. Managing a business can be challenging but never try to be a hero by working things out at once. It never works; you end up messing things up. Avoid dividing your attention.

Final Verdict on how to Avoid Burnout in your Small Australian Business

It is hard to avoid stress, but you can prevent burnout. Once you realise this, it will be easy for you to cope with your daily business stress and efficiently handle them. Ensure you follow the above-discussed measures as a business owner in Australia to save yourself from burnout. Most Australian business owners think they have it all figured out, and later they realise that is not the case; some suffer from depression. Taking a pause, seeking advice, and engaging partners are excellent measures to avoid burnout.

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