How to Manage Your Capacity and Workload to Prevent Burnout

How to Manage Your Capacity and Workload to Prevent Burnout

Do you find yourself starting to dread work? If you feel apathetic, demotivated, or unaccomplished when you think about work, you’re experiencing early warnings of burnout. Burnout is mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion from long-term work-related stress. 

Burnout means you’ve been working too hard for too long. Business owners and entrepreneurs are prone to burnout because of all the tasks they’re responsible for. Intense work without adequate time off or self-care will result in burnout. The longer you ignore it, the worse it gets. 

We don’t always notice our work piling up over time, so we may not be able to identify when we’re burnt out or overworked. We’ve all been there, and the best way to prevent burnout is to recognize and address it before it worsens. 

Manage your capacity

4 Signs You are Burned Out

1. You Aren’t Productive

You sit down intending to work, but then you find yourself doing other tasks. You’re checking your phone, social media, emails, etc. When you finally put the distractions away, you only do the easy stuff and procrastinate on the work that requires more brain power. In these cases, you aren’t using your time effectively.

2. You Can’t Focus

Forcing yourself to just sit down and work isn’t effective either. You can remove all the distractions from your environment and still be unproductive. You might take longer than usual to complete tasks or draw blanks for ideas. When you aren’t feeling excited or motivated to work, it’s easier to put it off. Of course, this never helps. It only creates more work and stress in the long run. When you can’t focus, you can’t be productive. If you notice your mind wandering consistently at work, it’s a sign of burnout. 

3. Lack of Creativity

Creativity is a driving force behind your business. It’s more than not knowing what to post on Instagram. It’s the way you approach work, how you solve problems, and how you communicate with others. When you’re struggling with creativity, the quality of your work suffers. 

Productivity, focus, and creativity feed into each other and worsen your burnout. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break. When you can’t focus at work, you’ll struggle to come up with ideas. Losing this creativity decreases your productivity, which makes it harder to focus on your work.

4. Anxious About Your Workload

Does your to-do list make you nervous? If changing your routine or taking on a big project causes you to feel overwhelmed with your workload, it’s an indicator of burnout. This feeling isn’t restricted to big projects, either. Completing small tasks and favors for clients can quickly add to your workload and cause you to defer important tasks. When you have to sit down and work on everything you put off, your anxiety will only get worse.

how to manage your workload

How to Prevent Burnout

1. Set Boundaries

One of the most effective ways to prevent and manage burnout is to stick with boundaries that protect your time and space. It can be hard to enforce these boundaries with yourself and your clients, but it’s necessary for avoiding burnout. 

For example, when you respond to client emails and texts beyond your “working hours,” you’re crossing a boundary. This signals to your client that you’re available whenever, which can lead to more work and stress.

You can enforce your work boundaries by laying out your hours and working strictly within that time window. Create automations to turn off work notifications when you’re done for the day. Make it clear to all your clients that you will only respond during working hours. 

If a client asks you to take on another project, you don’t have to say yes. You can politely inform them you do not have enough time to deliver quality work for their project. Don’t be afraid to make boundaries and stick with them! 

2. Take Time Off

Unplugging from your business can be scary, but it’s essential for preventing burnout. Not only does scheduling regular breaks and time off improve your mental and physical health, but it also gives you something to look forward to. 

You don’t have to take a whole week off for this to be effective. You can start by taking weekends off or reducing your work hours on a weekday. You can also schedule longer breaks in advance. Just be sure to let your clients know ahead of time!

3. Create Automated Systems

A lot of our working time is eaten up by small, repetitive tasks. Even if these tasks are routine, it still requires brainpower. You can take this busy work off your plate and set up automation in your task management or CRM software. 

Setting up automation seems complicated, but it doesn’t take too much effort. The time you’ll save in the future is well worth the time it takes to set up the automation. Not only will you free up your schedule to prioritize important projects, but you won’t get caught up stressing over small to-dos. 

4. Outsource

Along with creating an automated system, hiring some help does wonders for preventing burnout. The person you hire can complete the time-consuming and repetitive tasks (or work you just don’t like doing). Outsourcing allows you to prioritize larger client tasks and helps improve your productivity. However, you should only outsource if you’re financially able to. 

When you’re burnt out, your business suffers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or tired of your work, take a step back and evaluate what you can do to prevent your burnout from progressing. Coping with work stress is difficult, which is why it’s so vital to check in with yourself and prioritize your well-being. 

Burnout is a very real thing you’re likely to encounter while running a business. I’ve dealt with it too! I know how hard it can be to manage your business when you aren’t feeling the best. Let me take some of the work off your plate with a systems execution session or a done-for-you platform setup. Fill out the forms to get started! 

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