Service based businesses are unique in the sense that they provide a direct service to their clients. This service is usually provided by the business owner or an employee of the business. When providing this service, it is important to be aware of the signs that you may be burning out. You will be of no use to your business or your clients if you can't function well.
As a service provider, you want to offer your clients consistent services while also maintaining your own health. Let's take a look at how the demands of being a service provider can lead to burnout. What are some signs you are heading towards burnout, and how to prevent burnout from happening again down the road?
If you're finding yourself doing it all and running out of energy, it may be time to rethink your basic operating procedures and what methods you are employing for increased productivity and organization during your day.
Find out what other small business owners are saying helps with success: 16 Valuable Tips From Entrepreneurs To Skyrocket Your Success
Being Always On As a Service Provider Can Lead To Burnout
If you're a service provider, you know that being always on can lead to burnout. But what are the signs that you're burning out? And what can you do about it?
One of the most common signs of burnout is feeling like you're never able to switch off. You're always thinking about work, and even when you're not working, you're still worrying about everything that needs to be done. This can lead to insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Another sign of burnout is feeling like your work is never good enough. No matter how hard you try, you feel like you're falling behind and like you're never going to be able to catch up. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.
You most certainly aren't worthless or inadequate. Let's clear that up now. What's happening is that you're emotionally and mentally drained from the demands of your job. You care deeply about the work and services you are providing, and that can eat away at your non work life.
What Are Some of the Most Common Signs of Burnout?
There are many signs that can indicate you are suffering from burnout, but some of the most common include:
Feeling exhausted all the time, both physically and mentally
. feeling like you're constantly running on empty and have nothing left to give.
feeling disconnected from your work or feeling like it's not fulfilling anymore.
Losing interest in hobbies or activities that you used to enjoy.
Feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed more often than usual.
having difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks.
making more mistakes than usual or feeling like your work is sloppy.
Avoiding social interactions or withdrawing from people you care about
If you're experiencing any of these signs, it's important to reach out for help and support. Don't suffer in silence. Burnout can be debilitating and impact every area of your life. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or doctor about what you're going through and look into ways to ease the stress in your life.
As a former "grass widow" (a woman whose husband is away often or for a prolonged period) who also homeschooled two little kids without help I am all too familiar with burnout. The desire to always provide your best is admirable, but when it cuts into your own health, you need to recognize that so you can be better for everyone in your life both personally and professionally.
What Are Some Ways to Recognize Burnout Before It Stops Your Productivity?
If you're running a service business, it's important to be aware of the signs of burnout. Burnout can lead to decreased productivity and even a complete business shutdown if left unchecked. Here are some ways to recognize burnout before it stops your productivity:
1. You're working longer hours but getting less done.
If you find yourself working longer and longer hours but your productivity is suffering, this is a sign that you're burning out. Try to take a step back and assess how you're using your time. Are there ways you can be more efficient? Are there tasks you can delegate to others?
2. You're always tired.
Another sign of burnout is feeling exhausted all the time, even when you've had a full night's sleep. If you can't seem to get enough energy to get through your workday, it's time to reevaluate your schedule and see where you can make some changes.
3. You're not taking care of yourself.
When you're burned out, it's easy to let your self-care habits slide. But if you're not taking care of yourself, it's only going to make the situation worse. Be sure to schedule time for yourself where you DON'T allow work related thoughts to creep in.
How Can You Stop Burnout From Happening Again?
So burnout happens. It's not the end of the world, although it may feel like it when you're experiencing it for yourself. You feel low and lack energy. It's not a good feeling, and you know you can't be much use to clients like this. You certainly don't want to repeat this again down the road once you dig yourself back out into the world and start functioning better. So what can you do to prevent this debilitating experience down the road?
1. Know your limits: It's important to know how much you can realistically handle without burning out. Take on too much and you'll quickly become overwhelmed. This is one reason why I limit my client load. I want to provide my best services to the clients I currently have. I also want to have a good quality of life. Isn't that one of the reasons entrepreneurs start service based businesses for themselves is to know that they have a bit more freedom than a regular nine to five?
2. Schedule breaks: Make sure to schedule regular breaks into your work day. This will help you avoid getting too bogged down and stressed out. (Even a laundry break will help if you're working at home.) It takes your mind off of the current task and resets it on to something else.
3. Find a hobby: Having a hobby can help take your mind off of work and prevent burnout. Find something you enjoy doing outside of work and make time for it every week. I can honestly say having many hobbies is an excellent way to prevent burnout and allows for more personal development, which never hurts either.
4. Getting enough sleep is essential for preventing burnout. Make sure you're getting enough rest each night so you can be refreshed and ready to tackle each day.
5. Eat healthy: Eating healthy foods will help give you the energy you need to get through your work day without burning out. Avoid sugary snacks and caffeine which can lead to an energy crash later on. Admittedly I like my caffeine but knowing my limit for the day and adding in a lot of water is a great way to stay awake and energized.
6. Mindfulness: Pay attention to what you are feeling, thinking, and doing on a more consistent basis so that you can recognize early warning signs that you are heading towards burnout so you can reign back on your work activities.
At the end of the day, you have to be able to function both in your personal life and your professional life, so allowing that nasty monster "burnout" to rear its ugly head isn't good for anything. Remember that you are as important as any of the clients you are servicing, and that means you need to treat yourself kindly.
If you're suffering from severe depression related to burnout, please seek professional help and advice. If you need a new hobby, I, of course, recommend Pinterest, as it's filled with so many of life's great distractions. From upcycling old furniture, to free crochet, knitting, and building patterns for the DIYers out there.
Pinterest is filled with great recipe bloggers, so there are a lot of healthy eating recipes out there to help with your new revised burnout free diet!
I wrote this article because I have been there at the precipice of burnout many times from work, parenting, and life in general. I am a huge advocate of self-care and as a Pinterest manager, I know all too well how wanting to provide the best for clients can eat into your well-being. When I started two years ago, I was working seven days a week trying to get my foot in the door. When you work that hard, burnout is inevitable.
I took a step back and took a breath. I realized it was time for something to change. One of the things that really helped me was to source some new programs that could speed up my processes. I also implemented a new method of management that allowed for a more streamlined service.
So ask yourself, if you find yourself on the edge of burnout, what you can do right now to take a step back and give yourself a bit of time to restructure your service based business.
Looking to catch a break read: 10 Reasons Why Outsourcing for Your Small Business is Key.
For more on Pinterest best practices, pinning strategy, and business, be sure to follow along with Blogatcha! Written by Pinterest manager and mom, Amber Flinn. My goal is to help educate those interested in Pinterest, small business, entrepreneurship, and social media. I welcome guest submissions, so if you think you have a great idea for an article, please reach out!