How to recognize and manage burnout symptoms as a start-up entrepreneur

Start-up entrepreneurs are able to live independently, set their own working hours, and work toward their own goals. But this freedom also comes with an enormous amount of responsibility. Experiencing burnout as an entrepreneur has become relatively common, and if you’re not careful, it can affect the way you do your business – and how you live your life.

What are the biggest signs of burnout to watch for? And how can you Manage burnout symptoms before it’s too late?

The importance of being proactive

First, we need to acknowledge the importance of being proactive. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs get blown up Warning signs of burnout And keep pushing for longer hours and more hard work. They believe that taking time off or taking breaks will only make things worse, causing work to pile up unnecessarily.

Realistically speaking, however, proactive management strategies are neither expensive nor intense, but they can prevent you from experiencing the worst effects of burnout, especially in the long term. Attend online therapy sessionsReducing your work hours and delegating more tasks may be all that is needed to take you from the brink of burnout to a healthier, more sustainable place.

We’ll explore these and other proactive burnout management strategies for entrepreneurs later in this article.

Early signs of fatigue

Stress is part of almost every jobBut there comes a point when this stress begins to take over your life. If you notice any of the following signs, you can consider yourself in the early stages of burnout:

inhibition to work

There are always some days when you don’t feel like working. But if you find yourself constantly frustrated, that’s a sign that something is wrong. This is especially true as an entrepreneur, because you built this business yourself and have a real passion for the project. If you wake up every day dreading going to the office, it’s time to take action.


How do you behave with others? How do you express your feelings as actions? We all get irritable or irritable periodically throughout any given day, but as you venture into burnout territory, you become more irritable and less tolerant of the annoyance. Have you found yourself attracted to co-workers lately?

Chronic feelings of anxiety

Anxiety is normal however Chronic feelings of anxiety Or unjustified feelings of anxiety are not. If you find that your heart rate is elevated and your thoughts are racing at odd times throughout the day, or for unexplained reasons, it could be directly related to how you function.

Difficulty concentrating

Have you ever found it difficult to focus on your work? Ordinary daily distractions can complicate your ability to focus. But when you start to find it hard to continually focus, especially on tasks where focus is usually easy, take it as a warning sign.

Feeling less satisfied with work

How do you feel at the end of the day? When you come home from work, are you satisfied with a job well done? Or are you simply preoccupied with whatever comes next? If you’re feeling less satisfied with work on a daily basis, you may be on the verge of burnout.

sleep changes

To maximize health benefits, you should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. As an entrepreneur with a busy schedule, this is likely to be difficult for you even under normal circumstances. But pay close attention to any changes in your sleep patterns, such as disruptions throughout the night or shorter sessions.

Other lifestyle changes

Are there other lifestyle changes that you’ve noticed? For example, have you eaten more junk food recently, or have you begun to lean heavily on substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs? Pay attention to how severe these lifestyle changes are, when they began, and how your life at work may affect them.

Danger signs of burnout

If you don’t take action after noticing the early signs of burnout, it could eventually happen Notice your obvious tension As follows:

Relationship issues

Perhaps your personal relationships are a higher priority for you than success at work. Once your work life begins to affect your relationships in a negative way, take some time to re-evaluate your priorities and how you’ve been spending your time. If you get into more fights with loved ones, or if you become estranged from your friends, you may be entering deeper stages of burnout — and if things get worse, you’ll have less support to help you.

significant performance issues

how are you at work? In the early stages of burnout, you may have difficulty concentrating or you may be more irritable than usual, but in the later stages of burnout, you may be practically unable to be productive at work. When you work long hours and don’t get much done, what’s the point?

Headaches, digestive problems and other health problems

Stress is not just a mental problem. It could also be a physical problem. Once stress, anxiety, and a tendency to burn out begin to take their toll on your physical health, it’s time to treat this as an emergency. Headaches, stomachaches, digestive discomfort, and other health issues are common side effects of being overworked.

Substance use disorders

Having an extra drink now and then isn’t a big deal, but when fatigue takes over your life, you can end up with a real substance use disorder.

Burnout management strategies

Fortunately, even if your stress levels are exceptionally high, there are plenty of strategies that can help you Manage this pressure effectively.

Talk to a therapist.

One of the best things you can do is talk to a therapist. Thanks to modern technology, finding a therapist online is quick and easy, and because you can meet digitally, you can schedule appointments whenever and wherever it suits you. Talking about your problems is a form of catharsis, and your therapist can recommend effective strategies to better manage your stress and anxiety. They can also give you a mental check to help you recognize whether or not your stress levels are reasonable or unreasonable.

Reduce your working hours.

To avoid burnout as an entrepreneur, try to reduce your working hours. It is true that you – as an entrepreneur – are passionate about your business and your income depends on your success. But that doesn’t mean working longer hours is always necessary. Focus only on your most important tasks and consider delegating the rest. Hire additional staff or freelance translators, if needed.

Get more exercise.

No matter how busy you are, it’s a good idea to make time for physical exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress, and it helps you stay healthy in a number of ways. Even if you don’t find more than 20 minutes a day for activity, having a daily exercise routine can make your stress more manageable. While you’re at it, consider cleaning up your diet and eating a healthy balance of different nutritious foods in place of whatever junk you happen to find comforting.

take a vacation

Better yet, take a full vacation. This is especially important if you begin to notice any signs of depletion in the danger zone. Taking a few days, or even a few weeks, away from work can give you a new perspective on life and put your work into a healthier context. Don’t worry; The rest of your team can handle things while you’re away.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness meditation is another excellent tool for managing stress and anxiety. It helps you stay in the present, which reduces negative thoughts about the past or future and the process.

Entrepreneurial stress is inevitable, but manageable. And while burnout may seem inevitable with an important and demanding job for you, it really is not. As long as you are willing to proactively recognize the signs of burnout and work against them as an entrepreneur, you can make your position healthier and more sustainable.

Featured image rights: by Ketut Subiyanto; pixels. Thanks!

Diana Richie

Managing the editor in ReadWrite

Diana is Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Startup Grind and has over 20 years of experience in content management and content development.

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