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How to Avoid Burnout Running Your Small Business

Running a small business can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be incredibly demanding and exhausting. The pandemic has only intensified the pressure on small business owners, with many struggling to find a healthy work-life balance. However, research shows that prioritising downtime and avoiding burnout can actually make you a better leader.

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Avoid Burnout Running Your Small Business

In this post we explore the dangers of ignoring burnout.

Finding a balance between work and personal life can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Whether it’s a physical break, an emotional break, or a sensory break, finding what works for you is key to achieving a healthy work-life balance.

According to a recent survey by American Express, 88 percent of small business leaders say work regularly interrupts their life outside of work, with 27 percent reporting these interruptions happen every day. This constant pressure is taking its toll, with almost half (49 percent) of small business leaders feeling burnt out.


Finding a balance between work and life is crucial to avoid burnout and improve your mental and physical well-being. As a leader, you need to be accessible to your team and business, but as an individual, you need to prioritise your personal life too. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it is essential.


The pandemic has led to personal and professional reflection for many small business leaders. Work-life imbalance is acknowledged as counterproductive, with 62 percent of leaders agreeing they make more mistakes when they don’t prioritise downtime. Additionally, the struggle to separate work from home is impacting personal wellbeing, with 46 percent saying they feel guilty about not spending enough time with family or friends due to work commitments.


Despite this, business leaders understand the importance of taking a break and are keen to prioritise downtime for their wellbeing. Research shows that pressing pause will have a positive effect and result in better leaders and managers. Respondents understand that a healthier work-life balance will lead to better mental wellbeing (48 percent), improved mood (35 percent), and stronger relationships with colleagues (30 percent).


Finding a balance between work and personal life is essential to avoid burnout, and the benefits are clear. Leaders who prioritise downtime will have greater energy and motivation, improved productivity and creativity, and an overall better sense of what’s important for their business.


It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving work-life balance. The concept differs depending on the individual and what they deem valuable to them. However, almost six in 10 (58 percent) of small business leaders say a physical break - proper rest and relaxation - would be most valuable to them right now.


In conclusion, prioritising downtime and avoiding burnout is crucial for small business owners. It’s not only essential for personal wellbeing, but it can also make you a better leader and improve your business’s overall performance. Finding a balance between work and personal life can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Whether it’s a physical break, an emotional break, or a sensory break, finding what works for you is key to achieving a healthy work-life balance.

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