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8 tips to avoid Small Business burnout

When you're a small business owner, your business is like your baby, and you love it so much. You try to do everything while wearing multiple hats. The desire and drive to make your business dreams come true can be powerful.

However, walking away from work even for a short time can be really difficult, especially when you really enjoy what you do.

People are right when they say you have to take care of yourself before taking care of others. Taking some time away is one of the best ways to stay on top of your game.

Let’s look at 8 tipss to avoid burnout in your Small Business.

To Done Weekly planner

Get Organized

Yes, the obvious! But if you don’t have a good handle on your day-to-day business administration, activities, files and work environment - it can be seriously stressful. A cluttered environment can cause a cluttered mind, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to work hard and complete tasks efficiently and promptly. Take time to get organized. You could do this by: -

  • cleaning and organise your work environment - create a minimal and calm space so you’re not distracted.

  • file and label everything so it’s easy to find, including your digital files.

  • Time block - yes, block out time for particular tasks, based on when it fits best within your day.

  • Make a to-do list - writing out a list of things to do creates a sense of accomplishment when you tick it off, knowing it’s done. Make your to-do list small - say around 3-5 tasks, depending on how big they are. A smaller list will leave you feeling more productive. Anything you do above this will make you feel like you’re really getting ahead.


If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you know there is ALWAYS something to be done. Thinking about the huge list of things to be done can become very overwhelming

Write everything down that needs to be done, prioritize what’s most important and what can be done quickly. Some things will require more attention so if you can get lots of small things done quickly - this will free up some time. Breaking your to-do list down into small segments makes it more manageable to work through.

Wall calender over a work desk with desktop and house plant

Set work hours

Ever get really annoyed when your work roster was 8:30 am-4:30 pm, but you ended up being at work outside of those rostered hours? If you nodded your head to agree - check to see if you are doing it to yourself in your own business? YES, you want to succeed and YES you're working your hardest for business to grow quickly to reap the awards of work-life balance and flexibility. But make sure you do it at times that work best for you. Look at what times work best for you, what times you are more productive in your day. Set your hours, whether it’s 9-5 or 5-9, but once you set them, stick to them!

I normally work Mon-Wed between 9 am-3 pm (sometimes my gym is allocated into this time), and Friday afternoons between 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm.

Schedule time off

When you’re growing a business, chances are your schedule is packed and feeling as though you have to shuffle your time to do something else can be stressful. A great way to combat this is to schedule some time as if it’s another work meeting or break.

Allocate a 30min meeting and go for a walk. Over time, this will become a habit and you will find it easy to take a break during the day. I myself have joined F45 Petone to get active each day. During the week I attend the 6:45am class, 9:30 am or 12:15 pm class (depending on my sleep the night before), but I ALWAYS go. After a free 2 week trial, it became such a habit to attend that I feel as though my day doesn't flow as well if i miss it.

Exercise activity


Acknowledging your weakness, getting help and support, focusing more on what you like to do rather than what you dislike. Doesn’t sound like something you should be doing in a small business, but it’s actually the right thing to do! By delegating tasks to employees, virtual assistants, web designers or accountants - you are maximizing your time and the impact of your skills. You could also be providing an employment opportunity to someone who may be on their own journey to build a small business. Take your time to ‘feel’ them out, ask questions and make sure they are the right ‘fit’

It takes a village - You can apply that to your business baby too! If there is something you know you just do not or cannot do, find someone you can outsource this task to. Your business and sanity will thank you!

Say no!

Saying no to work and projects can be a scary thought - but not as scary as taking on too much. only to burn out and not be able to deliver. Don’t feel as though you have to take on everything to get ahead. Create your ideal clients, ideal workload, and ideal projects. Once you have this, take on what works and feels best for you and ensure you measure all your incoming work against your current workload and timeframes.

A client will appreciate your honesty in saying you will be free in a few weeks' time, rather than dragging out the work longer than needed. In the meantime, you could give them a brief to fill and prepare so when you’re ready - you’re both prepared to work with each other.

Bold quote painted on concrete wall "Punch today in the face".

Walk away from that brick wall.

If something has you feeling stressed out or has you procrastinating- walk away from it, instead of spending too much time on not getting something done. It may be that you need a fresh perspective or time for it to sink in so you can fully come up with a solution. Write down a plan to tackle these tasks in an efficient way, as fast or as slow as you need. Or, as mentioned above - delegate it to someone else whose an expert in the area. You don’t need to hit your head against a wall!

Ask yourself, “Do I feel healthy?”

Are you feeling tired, not eating properly, body aching, headaches or tummy aches? Getting snappy at others due to stress and exhaustion?

Our body is an amazing tool in every situation, and if you’re feeling one of the above - it may not just be a case of the common cold. Take time to listen to your body and the signs it’s giving you.

  • If you have a headache - unplug from technology and allow your eyes and mind to rest.

  • If you’re feeling tired - get some more sleep or even some fresh eating

  • Eat well - it can be convenient to grab the fastest snack - but eating healthy will help with energy levels and a clear mind.

  • Get some fresh air - taking a quick walk, coffee in the sun, or taking the kids for a bike ride. Whatever you do - it will help those racing thoughts turn off, meaning you get to relax and reset to think more clearly and calmly.

  • Getting snappy - walk away and spend some time alone to recharge.

It’s important to keep yourself healthy - mentally, emotionally and physically. Your general health and wellbeing are more important. Again, my way to combat this has been attending F45 Petone and sleeping when I need it incl, during the day if absolutely necessary.

Scrabble pieces used to spell out quote "Pause rest but never give up"

If you want your small business to survive - make sure you allow yourself to live! Enjoy your whanau, your friends, your hobbies and your free time. Take a little holiday, get your nails or hair done, sleep in, coffee or dinner with friends.

I can guarantee you chose this path to create more work-life balance and flexibility. Are you following the path you strive for?!

Working towards your dreams shouldn’t leave you feeling tired, sleepless, or like you’re in a nightmare. But what can you do to save yourself time and sanity?! I have some options to help you incl. Social Media Management, Website Design, SEO support, Blogs, Graphics and Email automations and marketing.

To discuss what you need help with and how I could support you, check out our services or send me an email.



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