How to Avoid Overwhelm and Burnout when Starting Your Business: The Best Tips for Solopreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

How to Avoid Overwhelm and Burnout when Starting Your Business: The Best Tips for Solopreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Oct 05, 2022

Meet Yaritza, a woman on a journey to help others focus on coaching and service-based business.

Yaritza Baez is an entrepreneur and business & accountability coach. She’s “been there” as a solopreneur and works with clients who experience overwhelm and burnout, which is common (so don't freak out!). Simply put: she's passionate about mentoring female entrepreneurs in the early stages of starting their online coaching or service-based business.

I met her online (as I meet so many fantastic entrepreneurs!), and have watched her engage in conversations, share her expertise, and be a strong force for encouraging others. A perfect match to have as a guest author on the Free At 50 blog and, specifically, on this topic!

She helps women entrepreneurs move from being overwhelmed to where they have a clear path to build and grow their businesses from the ground up without being overworked and burned out.

RELATED: What is a solopreneur? Click here.

Photo by Furkan Dokuzlar on Unsplash

Two of the most common things I hear about solopreneurs is suffering from overwhelm and burnout.

I am no exception to the rule either. I suffered burnout early on my entrepreneurial journey, working non-stop obsessively as if I were in a race against the clock. I got sick and had to take a month off to recover.

Burnout is a real problem, especially if you are working full-time while also trying to start your own business. As a solopreneur, you feel the entire weight of your success on your shoulders. This enormous responsibility often leads to working long hours, losing track of what's happening at home, and missing family activities.

"I felt overwhelmed and burned out, doing everything all at once every day. Do this, do this, and I didn't know what I was doing and kept pushing myself then, I burned out."

That's something I hear from colleagues and past clients quite often.

Achieving a work/life balance that makes you and your family happy can be tricky at times.

One of the hardest things for solopreneurs is that they find it hard to make time for self-care; I also struggled to put time aside for self-care.

However, relaxation will help improve your overall health and mental well-being.

RELATED: Deanna Wheeler's devotion to relaxation and self-care. Grab ideas here!

Photo by Daphne: Colonial Williamsburg garden

Possible Signs You Might Be Heading Towards Burnout

  • Insomnia. Suppose your brain can't shut down because you're engrossed with work. In that case, your sleep pattern will get disrupted, leaving you overly tired and lacking the physical and mental energy to make wise business decisions.

  • Procrastination. If you are anything like me, I used to cringe at the length of my daily to-do list. It was one of the main reasons I procrastinated, leading to missed deadlines and opportunities to promote my business.

  • Fatigue. As humans, we can only handle so much stress on limited sleep. When you work yourself to the bone and don't give your body and brain enough time to recover, at some point, your body will want to give up, possibly causing severe fatigue that could keep you out of the office for a while.

  • Changes in appetite. For some people, stress causes them to overeat, and for others reduces their appetites. Neither extreme is good for your body. For me, it is a non-negotiable to take lunch breaks away from the desk. Taking the time to eat in a different environment and choosing healthy foods helps me with mental clarity and overall good health.

  • Anxiety. High stress causes anxiety. However, I also want to point out that there's a difference between the anxiety you feel when stepping out of your comfort zone versus stress-induced anxiety that doesn't seem to disappear.

Having experienced burnout early on as a solopreneur, I got to the task of finding ways to stay productive and continue to enjoy growing my business while staying healthy and achieving a work/life balance that works with my lifestyle.

Here I share my best tips to avoid burnout.

Image by Ramon Perucho from Pixabay

My Best Tips to Avoid Overwhelm and Burnout

Working with my peak energy times.

Learning to identify the hours when I am most and least productive has helped me arrange my workday to accomplish essential tasks when I have the most energy and work on the less vital during the hours of less efficiency.

Doing so made a significant difference for me because one of the reasons we tend to get sick and reach the point of exhaustion is failing to protect our energy levels.

Furthermore, by arranging daily tasks according to my energy levels, I can get more work done in the same amount of time while also improving the quality of my work.

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Batching my tasks.

It's been one of the biggest game changers for me. You can ask time-management experts or successful entrepreneurs, and they will agree batching is one of the best ways to be truly efficient.

When I started to batch my content creation and scheduling for social media, I could lower my stress levels and get less distracted by other tasks.

Batching your tasks will help you find balance in your work while improving your productivity.

Image by TheUjulala from Pixabay

Schedule time off (breaks).

It's common to hear in the entrepreneurial world that working long hours is the rule of the game, no pain, no gain. It doesn't have to be that way. You can't work efficiently if you're constantly overworked. I know that for sure.

Working nonstop left me with no energy and depressed. I even questioned the whole point of starting my own business. It is hard to be passionate when all you feel is exhaustion.

Scheduling time off or downtime helps you focus on why you chose to create a business in the first place, and you must never lose sight of why you started the business in the first place.

I also realized that taking time off regularly allowed my brain to recover, regenerate, and reconnect with my inner creativity, which is vital to help my business grow.

I'm sure you are leaving your 9 to 5 to start your business because you probably envisioned a world where you not only got to help people in the most meaningful and rewarding way but to do it within a flexible, profitable lifestyle.

You want to focus on doing what you love best.

Photo by Daphne: James River, Colonial Parkway

Create systems and structures early on in your business.

Very often, new solopreneurs find themselves trying to figure out why they always feel they can never catch up with the day's workload. Early on my journey, I felt the same. It was as if something was off, causing me to work too hard, feel overwhelmed and overworked, and not get enough done.

I learned to create and implement systems, which helped me lessen stress and bring flexibility and freedom.

Systems are the secret to getting more done without being constantly overwhelmed and becoming more profitable.

Creating systems and structures is an integral part of your success. I help my clients find tools and solutions that feel easy and natural and bring ease into their day.

NOTE from Daphne: Using a planner like this one I use can be helpful! As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases on links I share, but it does not change your price.

In summation, if you start a business while working full-time, I highly recommend that you become protective of your health and mental energy.

Scheduling daily breaks will give your body and mind the opportunity to recharge and recover. Moreover, it will keep the creative juices flowing, and you can make better decisions.

Now you know the possible symptoms that could lead you to burnout so that you can identify them early on and take action.

Let's avoid this happening!

Take care of your whole body, mind, and spirit. Get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. I take daily walks. Unplug for a weekend and live in the moment with your family and friends.

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