Some of the best jobs in the world are super stressful. A total burn out saga. Founding a startup and running operations is equally strenuous. Only, this part can be termed as ‘excitingly stressful’. You are pumped with energy most days. You push yourself to the edge to deliver and fight the constant Monday blues to get by in between.
Latest research from the American Psychological Association states that over 48 percent of Americans have experienced increased stress during the last five years. The number is going to rise, not only in US but all over the world.
There is honestly no telling as to how much is too much while running a business. As an entrepreneur, it’s a given that you are on a constant run. There are not many complaints while doing so as you would have prepared for the sort of battle on a daily basis. However, you are bound to burn out, one day or the other. The symptoms will show out too, like a classic migraine.
It is important to understand that burn out will get you, no matter how energetic and passionate you are. Put it this way – you are not a machine. A human body needs constant rest and slowdown, something you do not want to look at as an option while on a mission. Make no mistake, your body will give out the symptoms asking for a time out.
Burnout, as put forth by the experts, is nothing but a resultant of a misalignment of work. You may be putting in more efforts than what you reap, and that causes mental blocks in the background. In fact, you are pushing to the hilt as soon as there is a rise or fall in the business. The body suffers either which ways. Here is how.
As per the experts, stress has a direct impact on the prefrontal cortex, part of the brain which is responsible for executive function. This function impacts various vital aspects, such as memory, decision-making, emotional balance, and most importantly, concentration. Once you are under a burn out, everything starts slipping away. You will have difficulties to focus on even the most simplest of tasks at hand.
Absolutely predictable. You will find stress taking over home and work. There will be difficulties in managing time at work as well as with loved ones. You will find constant arguments happening with loved ones at home – all triggering from your end. At work, your team is directly at risk and so is your output. Do not be surprised if a well-wisher or a colleague will suddenly walk up to you and say “please take a break”. That’s it, you are burning out.
Burn out causes sever exhaustion, tiresomeness and even erratic lifestyle. You will find it difficult to carry out chores with no energy at all. You will wake up cranky after a ruined night of sleep, thanks to insomnia. You are so burnt out that the body does not cope with the piling exhaustion.
By burning yourself out, you have willingly opened Pandora’s Box of bad health. The list includes, illnesses, pains, weight gain, depression, anxiety and even feeling suicidal. It’s important to draw a line once you begin to feel all or any of the above. It’s time to make some serious changes.
You are working – practically all the time. Weekdays, weekends and even during the recess times. You are constantly glued to your work, or take work along with you to home. You will also distance yourself away from personal and social relationships, citing the age old excuse called ‘no time’. You will be forcing yourself to be busy all times, not caring for what’s happening to the mind and body.
You may be an eternal optimist, but once burn out happens, expect the devil to take over. You will find yourself constantly irked, cynical, hopeless and even judgmental. You will also start blaming others for your failures, as and when they happen. Nothing or nobody can pull you out of the state, unless you choose to do something about it.
No matter how well you are making a progress or how better your business is earning, you will keep saying “This could be better, things are not still there, why things are going so slow” etc. You are never satisfied and keep forgetting to pat your back for those small achievements. You are going into a burn out mode.
People have different ways while dealing with a burn out. Some switch to increased intake of alcohol and nicotine, while others find addictions with sex and drugs. This may sound insane and over the edge. But that’s what a burn out does to you. You will start going on a reckless mode, doing more harm to self than good.
Motivation doesn’t seem to agree with you. No amount of pep talk, inspirational quotes or Yoga will alter the way you see things anymore. You have reached the next level of burn out. Once you get here, it is quite difficult to get back unless something changes at the onset.
This is the eventual outcome. Your performance starts dipping, be it professional or elsewhere. You are slowly being dragged to the bottom, because you can’t deal with what you got into. It is very important to re-plug, reboot and re strategize.
Burn out is the most dangerous phase for an individual. In business, burn out is deigned to happen. Brace yourself and watch out for the warning signals before it’s too late.
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