What Is Entrepreneurial-Burnout?
Some entrepreneurs just give too much of themselves to their projects, and don’t think of the possibility of simply burning-out after a while. I wouldn’t want to discourage people from giving their all but, what is alarming to me is the striking disregard some business folks have for their bodies. They might exercise…they might practice some kind of sport, but they don’t think of their bodies as something to be taken care of; instead, they view it as a means to an end: I have to go to several places today; I have to speak to all sorts of people, one after the other; I have to practice new managing upward techniques; I can’t afford to rest or else I’ll be late on my schedule—I need a strong body.
It’s a utilitarian way of thinking, clearly. The organism is thought of as a tool that has to be improved in some way, in order for the person to keep on doing what they were doing, and not have to stop. How can I increase my efficiency…be a more effective money-making machine than I am now? That’s what it is. That’s the mentality of some of these entrepreneurs.
Give Time To Your Body To Recuperate
I like to think of entrepreneurs as similar to elite athletes. See what I’m saying? Because they both need that high energy to succeed in their respective domains, whether it be on the field, or in real-estate. You have to have that almost maniacal drive to keep doing it over and over and over again, every day. Or else you might not make it. But maybe what most people don’t actually realize is that top athletes consider rest at least as important—if not more important—than their workout. It’s their job to rest…and do nothing.
In fact, the top clubs won’t even allow their players to workout all the time; because they know they need some good quality time-off the field, to recuperate and regenerate themselves properly for the next game. Or else they might not be in top shape and risk succumbing to an injury (which would then affect the club).
It’s funny because we can see, clearly, that in sports “less, is sometimes more”. Less training and less work is, a lot of the time, better for getting favourable results. And in the end, what counts for an entrepreneur are the fruits of his labour if-it’s-working-or-if-it’s-not-working.
Lack Of Sleep Linked To Burnout
There’s an interesting study done at the university of Stockholm that highlights the close relationship between lack of quality sleep, and the now famous burnout. They go on to conclude the following:
“The results indicate that insufficient sleep, preoccupation with thoughts of work during leisure time, and high work demands are risk factors for subsequent burnout. The results suggest a chain of causation”
Here’s what the all important Mayo Clinic has to say about the best ways to manage job-burnout:
- Manage the stressors that contribute to job burnout.
- Evaluate your options. Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor.
- Adjust your attitude. If you’ve become cynical at work, consider ways to improve your outlook.
- Seek support.
- Assess your interests, skills and passions.
I remember the first time I felt what it was like to actually rest for once, like for real. I’d had spent my whole life with insomnia; and didn’t even know about it, until recently. Seriously, If you’d had spent your entire life sleeping poorly, how would you even know the difference, I mean, I felt it was one hell of a tweak…to realize I was not getting the sleep I needed.
All those years had been mediocre because of this one…detail. It’s actually pretty important, I now know. But to me it was a given that my body was able to regenerate itself adequately after, what I assumed, was a good-nights sleep to begin with. I just didn’t know any better at the time.
I’m much better off these days. But I’m aware of both of those realities. And the distance between them is so dramatic, so amazing, so violent. And that really…I could feel the tears forming in the back of my eyes, as I realized what my life had been up until now, it was really affecting me: to know how much time had already been wasted. I was never going to get all of those bad nights back…now was I.
And…in one of those occasions where I was just left with myself, just my thoughts as company and no one making any noise—or asking me anything—I felt, for the first time, I couldn’t go on like this anymore, at that pace and intensity. I was going to collapse if I did. If you drive yourself too hard, it’ll eventually catch-up with you; that’s just how it is; you can’t change it, no matter who you are.
And I’m constantly reminded of that. The beauty of the simple things are just unparalleled. You know what…there’s this guy who’s talking, almost as often as not: I have a lot of problems in my life. And the second he started talking that, I switched off immediately, I swear, because he was complaining about stuff…that really weren’t that important to me. Well it was important—to him, not to me.
You suspect there’s more to life than simply the mundane day to day routine. You want to make things happen for yourself, and others, that’ll give it that extra bit of meaning. I believe that one of the greatest joys a man can wish for is having a good nights sleep, I really do. Take care you guys!