Entrepreneurs, perhaps more than any other group, are always in danger of burnout. It is a constant battle to keep the proper boundaries between business, family and leisure time. Many entrepreneurs end up losing the battle. It is easy to see why.
They do not punch out their time card at five o’clock. They do not look forward to the weekend when they can forget about work.
And while they may be physically at work 50-60 hours per week, their mind never really shuts off—business consumes their thoughts most of the day.
It is hard to keep this level of intensity up for long. Your energy is drained, and eventually something has to give.
Life is not all about money. It is also about putting energy into personal relationships, experiences and living the life you love—an impossibility if you do not have any energy left, or worse yet, you’re completely burnt out.
So here are 3 ways you could be leaking energy, how you can plug these energy leaks, and how to save yourself from burnout.
Energy Leak #1: Years without a vacation.
Taking a relaxing vacation is like pressing your energy “reset” button. The longer you go without a vacation, the more the pressures and responsibilities of your business build up, and the more they take a toll on your energy.
I like to vacation at least once a year with my family. In fact, in the last five years I have been to Paris, London, Dublin, Rome, Monaco, Amsterdam and Venice. There was a time when I would have thought that irresponsible. Now, I know it is imperative. By taking time off for a vacation, not only will you feel rejuvenated, but your business will learn to become more productive without you.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, when you are away, your employees have to learn how to run the ship on their own. By the time you come back, they will be more efficient and self-reliant, freeing your time up to concentrate on the tasks that energize you the most.
Energy Leak #2: Jack of all trades.
Most entrepreneurs have a tendency to want to control every aspect of their business. This sometimes means taking on responsibilities that do not match your strengths and take focus away from areas where you excel. This energy drain steals your passion for the business.
The first step in plugging this energy leak is to simply stop doing the tasks that drain your energy. Maybe it is billing, taxes, networking, meetings, paperwork, advertising, but whatever task it is that saps your energy, find someone else to do it.
If you have always believed it is too expensive to hire someone else, try rearranging your finances, loans and bills to free up cash.
Energy Leak #3: A distant retirement.
Retirement planning can be confusing for entrepreneurs. You do not have an employer to set you up with a retirement plan. Even if you invested in a 30-year retirement plan on your own, which I do not recommend, 30 years is a long time to keep working as hard as entrepreneurs do. Burnout is almost a given.
Another retirement plan popular with entrepreneurs is to sell the business one day and live off the proceeds. But again, if that is 10, 20 or 30 years down the road, you may reach burnout long before then. Your uninspired business may not be worth enough to retire comfortably.
The way to avoid burnout and plug this leak is to change the way you think about retirement. Stop thinking about retiring from your business in 30 years, and start thinking about retiring in your business in two or three years. Start with hiring the right people to do the tasks you hate and giving your employees more responsibility. Providing leadership and incentives for your team to run the day-to-day business without you.
Plugging these three leaks will protect your energy and free up your time so you can live the life you love now.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.
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