How to Avoid Burnout as a Trade Business Owner

3 February 2021

Owning a business is stressful. Long hours, managing multiple jobs and employees, and significant financial risk are just some of the stressors you will face throughout your career. Unfortunately these are often unavoidable and the effect of these stressors can build up and lead to “burning out”.

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. With the responsibility of your business and your team on your shoulders, burnout can cause serious harm to your wellbeing and your career. Fortunately, this can be avoided by taking some of these simple steps. 

Exercise

The benefits of exercise on your physical and mental wellbeing are too extensive to list. Countless studies and expert advice have proven that exercise is perhaps the most important factor in combating stress. Unfortunately, as a trade business owner, you’ll often find something that takes priority, and may keep telling yourself you’re simply too busy to go out and exercise.

It is imperative that you find the time to move your body. Exercise doesn’t have to be a two hour long run everyday. It could just be going for a short walk around the block or playing a quick game of basketball with friends in the evening – anything that gets the endorphins pumping. Find what works for you. It’s highly likely that there will be some form of exercise that you can find time for and that you enjoy. 

Sleep

When you’re finding yourself without enough hours in the day to run your business, often a good night’s sleep is the first thing that gets cut. It may seem productive to stay up late finishing off any work that needs to be done, however this is more than likely causing more harm than good.

Much like exercise, sleep is essential in maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing. You’re much more likely to feel the effects of stress and find yourself burning out if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Not only this, but the time you made up the night before in working late will likely be lost the next day when you’re too tired to focus. It’s been found that reducing your night time sleep by as little as 1.5 hours can result in the 32% decrease in alertness and productivity the next day. 

Here are some easy steps you can take to increase the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting each night:

  • Try and get into a consistent sleeping pattern
  • Avoid screens, caffeine and anything that is likely to overstimulate you late at night
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a warm shower or bath before bed to relax
  • Don’t eat junk food/sugary food before bed

Switch Off

Switching off is difficult, especially when you have a business to run. You may feel like you need to be available 24/7 to react to any issues that may arise immediately, and you’re not alone. A recent study suggested that approximately 69% of workers are required to work outside of office hours. However, constantly feeling like you need to be at the ready can cause immense stress and lead to burning out.

You must be able to switch off to give your body and mind a break. You could take a holiday, spend time with the family or even just take an hour a night to turn off your phone and completely relax. If you take time to actually schedule some time to just switch off in the day, you will find it’s easier to manage and once you come back to work, you’ll find yourself to be more productive and ready to take on the day. 

If you would like some helpful ideas that will assist you in switching off easily after work, read our guide ‘6 Tips for Switching Off After Work‘.

Delegate

Unless you’re the sole worker in the business, it’s likely that you have a team working for you. This team, people you’ve handpicked because you trust them to carry out the tasks you need done, are there to help. Use them. If you try to do everything yourself or micromanage everything that your team does, you’ll find yourself burning out quickly. 

Train up your team so that they can handle as much of the business as possible without you needing to be there. You will find that your stress will be halved if you fully trust your team to take on any task you give them with full confidence. You will also find with proper delegation you will be able to find time for the previous steps in this article as well. You will have more time to exercise, you’ll find it easier to switch off or take a holiday if you’re not constantly needed and you’ll be able to sleep much easier. 

While training is important for successful delegation, another extremely important step is rigorous planning and a good review system. You want to be able to know what your team has done and let them know what they need to be doing for the future so you can switch off. Trade Trak, our all-in-one job management system, is the perfect tool for communicating with your employees about where they need to be and what they need to be doing. Feel free to email us directly at contact@tradetrak.com.au“, or contact us here, to have a chat with us and find out if Trade Trak is exactly what your business needs so you can expertly delegate and avoid burning out.