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10 Tips for Avoiding Burnout

Whether your company is in its fledgling stages or beyond, running a business is stressful. Many entrepreneurs suffer burnout—becoming so exhausted, they lose their entrepreneurial passion. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid burnout.

  1. Keep a time log. For two weeks, write down how you spend your time. Which tasks take longer than they should? What are you wasting time on? What’s consistently getting pushed to the bottom of your “to-do” list?
  2. Prioritize. There’s a saying that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Focus on those clients, projects and actions that give you the best return on investment.
  3. Delegate. Many entrepreneurs burn out because they refuse to let go of any aspect of the business. As your company grows, you must bring on people to ease your burden. If you can’t afford full-time employees, try outsourcing.
  4. Set boundaries. Entrepreneurs don’t work 9 to 5, but you must set limits so you’re not focused on business 24 hours a day. For instance, you might set aside 90 minutes for dinner and family time every weeknight.
  5. Take regular breaks. Powering through the workday without a break may seem efficient, but research shows that after 60 to 90 minutes of focus, your productivity peaks. Take a quick break to do something relaxing.
  6. Take care of yourself. Proper diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise are essential to functioning at your peak. Making time for these things is an investment in your business.
  7. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” It’s hard to turn down work, but before you take on a new project, do a quick calculation of your return on investment. If the new job will cause total overload, it may be better to turn it down.
  8. Hold weekly meetings. When you’re swamped, meeting every week may seem like a waste of time. But that’s exactly when you need to meet so you can assess, reprioritize and stay on track.
  9. Make for yourself. Whether it’s a long weekend, an afternoon off or an actual vacation, take time to rest and rejuvenate. Put time off on your calendar and treat it as you would any other appointment. You’ll come back re-energized.
  10. Get support. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. You bear great responsibility, but often, there’s no one to share your worries with. Bottled-up emotions accelerate burnout. Find someone you can talk to about your feelings, whether it’s a mentor, a friend or a therapist.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Before launching her business, she was Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Follow Rieva at and read more of her insights on

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