How You Can Begin Combating Business Burnout


At some point, everyone gets exhausted. Running a startup or even simply being a team member can be emotionally, physically, and mentally taxing, especially when there is so much weight on everyone’s shoulders to make sure you can turn your business into a profitable success.

That stress is one of the greatest dangers to the continued success and longevity of startupsso let’s take a look at how you can begin combating business burnout.

Burnout usually takes shape in three particular forms. A  lack of energy and drive, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed. These are all big risks for employees and owners both and the best way to combat all of them is to take a step back and look at yourself instead of your business.

Owners are particularly vulnerable to these kinds of stresses. They have so much responsibility and tend to put an insane amount of work into trying to keep their business in good shape and they sometimes sacrifice themselves in the process. That’s when burnout happens.

When you can see it coming, focus instead on getting a handle on your habits and any problem areas in your daily routine. Look at your sleep schedule, your diet, and whether or not you’ve allotted enough time for relaxation and decompression.

If you’ve let the health of your life fall by the wayside in favor of the health of your business then that can do nothing but harm. Take a step back, take a break, and figure yourself out. Only then should you go back and begin figuring everything out around you.

FirstRound recently spoke to Roli Saxena of Clever, who hit her limits and had to come up with frameworks to deal with the burnout she was dealing with. The first thing she learned to do was recognize when burnout was starting to come on and to become more willing to ask for that time she needed to decompress.

No one wants to stop working, but sometimes you’ve got to for everyone’s sake and especially your own. If you need to ask permission for time off, there’s no doubt that your boss has probably experienced the kind of burnout you’re dealing with and will hopefully understand. This is especially true for startups that always need every team member at their best.

If you’re the person in charge, your team probably wants you in a better state too and will be more than willing to give you that time. No one likes a stressed out boss, after all.


Sometimes when you can feel burnout coming on, you don’t have to put a stop to things entirely, you just need to change your strategy for how to handle that excessive workload. We’ve talked before about how it’s generally better to focus on single tasks than to overload with multi-tasking.

This is especially true if you’re somewhere close to burnout. Put 100% of your focus on each task that needs doing and you may find that it’s all getting done not only faster, but also at a higher level of quality. Take one step and then another instead of trying to sprint it all out.

If you’re in charge and there’s just too much that you have to do then maybe it’s time to begin delegating. It can be scary to give someone else a job that you think only you can do, but sometimes you just need to let it happen. If you’ve got the right kind of team, they’ll pick up the slack and do their very best to follow your example. Besides, how are they going to learn if they don’t get that chance to prove themselves?

Don’t let burnout rule you. When it’s all too much, take a step back, unplug, and re-evaluate. Everyone needs time to refuel and there’s no doubt that when you take that time, your business will be better off for it.

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment