How to prevent a wrecking burnout

How to prevent a wrecking burnout

So you are an entrepreneur and you love what you do. At least, most of the time. Because we all know, sometimes it can be just incredibly stressful. If you are not careful you can end up with a burnout. I certainly ran into mine during the 10 years that I was involved as (co-)founder of three companies. Believe me, it is no fun and it may kill your business.

Stress and business go hand in hand and short term stress itself is not a bad thing. High pressure situations promote alertness and motivation but on the long term too much pressure becomes emotionally and physically damaging.

From my burnout I have learned that the best way to manage stress is to find a good work-life balance. It is important not to sacrifice your own well-being by making your business more important than yourself. In the end you are the one to keep your business alive and growing. Here is what helps me to keep a healthy work-life balance:

1. Stick to a routine and set priorities

Being an entrepreneur means living with lots of uncertainty and always being ready to jump on new opportunities. It is important that you can fall back on a simple and flexible routine of work, sleep, food and exercise that you have tailored to your needs. Make sure you plan your activities and allow sufficient flexibility to change. Because when a challenge comes unexpectedly, disrupting your plans, you need to be able to prioritize and adjust your routine accordingly.

Build your work routine around the important activities that are required to reach your goals. Eliminate the rest. Prioritization is a key, because there are so many distractions and you can easily loose track of your goals.

2. Schedule time offs without guilt

Working on your business is important, but you need time off too. Do not underestimate how essential it is and do not feel guilty for taking times off. They are not only great for your health, your relationships and family connection, they also boost your success because you need a calm mind to get in touch with your more intuitive and creative side. As an entrepreneur you rely on your creativity to come up with new ideas and solutions to see new opportunities and address challenges from other perspectives. So schedule holidays and short weekends in your calendar and give them priority. You also need to include daily time offs, such as morning exercises, afternoon walks outside and evening family time or a relaxing massage. This will help to rebalance your energy and stimulate positive emotions.

3. Adopt a playful attitude

Try to look at challenges and difficulties from a different perspective. They are not necessarily hurdles to be overcome, but opportunities to grow, both your business and you as a human. A playful attitude towards the unexpected helps to reduce the severity. I like to observe surfers ride the waves. They know there's always another wave coming and they look forward to it because they use it to propel them. No two waves are identical and simply by doing they learn to adjust to optimally use the wave. Adopt a similar approach in your business and get to appreciate the learning process.

The above is my approach to prevent a burnout. What are your own ways that work for you? It would be great if you share them by mailing me directly at

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