What Make Business Owners Burnout and How to Prevent Them

Stress. Headache. Tired. Unproductivity. Lack of creativity. These are just a few symptoms of burnout. According to Help Guide, burnout is defined as, “the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress”. So if you’re feeling exhausted, started to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, then you are showing signs of burnout and stress is the most common cause of burnout and comes mainly from your job.  

Business owners are more at risk of burnout because they tend to be extremely passionate about work and don’t realize that they are already reaching the point of burnout until their brains start to become filled with doubt and defeat. So if you feel like you’re experiencing these signs, it’s time to get rid of those. Avoiding burnout as a business owner will increase your productivity and productivity will allow you to free up your time, reduce stress and train your brain to only focus on tasks that will lead to revenue and business growth.

Here are six proven tips you can take to your productivity, beat the odds of reaching burnout and truly enjoy the journey of being a business owner.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Who wants to be successful? Everyone, right? That is why most business owners tend to work beyond working hours no matter what the cost is! While it’s healthy having a strong mindset and the will to work towards your goals every day, you still need to think about the risk you’re putting into this hustle mentality — burnout. 

The truth is, you don’t need to work 10 – 16 hrs a day to grow your business! Tim Ferris, New York Times best-selling author of The 4 Hour Work Week, stated in one chapter, “focus on being productive instead of busy.” Meaning, don’t bury yourself in busywork! Focus on the most important task first, list down all possible distractions, and don’t multi-task.

Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? This 80/20 rule changed the productivity of most business owners because this is known as one of the most helpful life and time management principles. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist discovered that 80% of outcomes (outputs) comes from 20% of causes (inputs). In other words, 80% of your business revenue comes from 20% of your actions. Imagine! You only need 20% of your actions to grow your business, you just have to analyze your business from a bird’s eye view to identify what tasks produce the most amount of revenue, and from there, you can already prioritize those tasks on a daily basis. 

Make Quick Decisions

As a business owner, you are forced to make hundreds of decisions every day. The reason why most people are struggling to make a decision fast is because of “maybe’s”.  An investor and bestselling author of The 10x Rule, Grant Cardone, shared in his Instagram post, “My best productivity tip is when asked to do something, I decide immediately whether I am in or not. Decide immediately yes or no and have no maybes. Then, complete the task. The definition of work to me is not effort but a complete task.”

Try this next time you’re faced with a decision, whether it’s big or small, learn to decide quickly and confidently. Listen to your intuitions. With unshakeable confidence every time you are faced with a decision, you can constantly move yourself and your business forward.

Delegate Responsibilities

One of the main causes why business owners burnout is because of too much work falling on their shoulders. Even if you have a team of high-performing employees supporting you but aren’t performing to the best of their ability, then neither will you. Learn how to communicate within your team and assign clear roles and responsibilities to them. The more you delegate and the better your team performs, the more time you will have to work on things. This is part of the 20%. 

Filter The People In Your Life

Did you know that you can catch emotions and behaviours from the people you hang out with? This is known as emotional contagion, it means that you are influenced by the people you surround yourself with and this includes your family, friends, and team members. As a business owner, you have to be aware of how those people affect your energy and productivity because if you are constantly feeling stressed, drained, or low-energy, then it might be a sign that it’s time to find a like-minded group of people to hang out with.

This may not be an easy decision because sometimes it will require you to cut ties with people you’ve known or loved for a long time but this will give yourself the best chance of succeeding and keeping your productivity at its highest point. 

Take A Break

Overwork doesn’t increase productivity, it actually increases the risk of making mistakes as business owners become more and more tired. Trust us, it’s okay to take a break from once in a while! Taking a break at work is good for your productivity because the truth is, we are not wired to concentrate for 8+ hours. Allow yourself to take breaks at least 10 minutes every hour, you can walk around, and stretch a little bit, this can provide meaningful mental relaxation, clarity, and will also help you stay focused!

A vacation is also a must! According to lifehack.org, 82% of business owners who took a vacation were performing better at work when they got back. Taking a vacation makes everyone happy and being happy will make you more productive. So take a break!

Find Meaning In Your Work

What makes you get up in the morning? Is it because of passion or money? Chasing a potential business just because it’s a good money-making opportunity will cause you to stress, but chasing something that you are passionate about will give you meaningful ideas and more importantly, you won’t get burned out, even when stressful situations arise. 

Like the famous quote from Simon Sinek, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called ‘stress’ but working hard for something we love is called ‘passion.”


The secret to a successful business owner is to boost your productivity by performing at your best, maintaining a healthy mental and physical state, and avoiding burnout. Put these tips into action now and never forget the  80/20 rule. 

Do you have your own tips on how to prevent burnouts? We’d love to hear it from you! Comment down your tips below and we’ll add it on our list too! 

Source: Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

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