Here’s what Mike Tyson, the prolific boxing champion, said about planning.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
What are you going to do when life punches you in the mouth?
If Mike Tyson hit me in the mouth, I’m sure it would be lights out for me.
If I didn’t become unconscious within one millisecond, then I’m sure I would be overtaken with a concussion.
With my Mike Tyson induced concussion, I would experience the following:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears.
Everything would come to a screeching halt with my concussive state of mind.
I would need to take some time off to give myself time to heal and return to normal.
How much better would my life be if I avoided that left hook from Mike Tyson.
This is a situation where an ounce of prevention would definitely be better than a pound of cure.
When you’re a busy business owner, you get so caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life.
If you don’t take time for yourself, then it’s just a matter of time before the Mike Tyson of life comes along and deals us with a devastating punch in the face.
Now you won’t experience a concussion from this left hook to the face.
Instead, you’ll be smack dab in something just as bad, perhaps worse.
Here are some of the symptoms of burnout.
- Becoming cynical or critical at work
- Dragging yourself to work
- Having trouble getting started
- Becoming irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients
- Lack of energy to be consistently productive
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Lacking satisfaction from your achievements
- Feelings of disillusionment about your work
- Using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel
- Changing sleep habits changed
- Unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
I think you can agree that it would be much better to avoid burnout than to have to treat it.
I’ve experienced burnout several times over my career in business and each time I go through burnout, I recognize that my behaviors were the top reason for my burnout.
Each time I burned out, it started with a drive to get ahead in business.
I became so overbalanced in pursuing my success that burnout was inevitable.
What I’ve come to learn is placing self-care into my life is an important preventative measure that reduces the chance I’ll reach a point of burnout.
Self-care provides a pressure relief for my life that gives me time to decompress and recuperate.
It gives my mind, body, soul, and energy a time to restore itself to levels that improve my effectiveness.
Here are my top three fast ways to avoid burnout.
Schedule days off
You should have at least one day off per week.
For me, Saturday is my day off.
I don’t do anything work-related.
If I’m tired, I sleep.
I’ve been known to have two or even three naps on Saturday.
Saturday is the day where I take some time and spend one on one time with one of my four children.
My main priority during this time with my child is to be present with them.
This special time with my child deepens my relationship with them and builds memories that I treasure many days, months, and years later.
These memories become an important wellspring of strength when times become challenging in my work world.
In addition to taking a few days off each month, it’s important to take days off each month.
These days are bonus free days for you each month.
Think about why you got into business in the first place.
You probably wanted to have control over your calendar.
However, as the demands of work increase, you’ve allowed work to take over your life.
It’s time to start now to take control back over your calendar, which will lead to taking back control of your time.
The first step I recommend is to start by taking one additional day off once a month.
Group this day off with your regular weekly day off.
In my example, I take Saturdays off, so I would want to take a day off on either Friday or Sunday to give me two straight days off.
If you don’t feel like you can take a full day off, start with a half-day.
It may be hard to disconnect from work, but I promise you it will give you the relief you so desperately need.
Get plenty of sleep
What if there were a magic drink you could consume that would improve your well-being, creativity, effectiveness, and happiness?
What if this magic drink was free?
Sleep is one of life’s greatest gifts.
When we get plenty of sleep, everything is better in our lives.
If you are sleep deprived, everything in your life will suffer.
You’ll be more irritable with your loved ones.
You’ll make more mistakes.
Your health will decline.
Your stress level will increase at the tiniest detail.
However, when you get the proper amount of sleep, you flood your life with the restorative power that will dramatically improve your life.
Do something creative
We, as human beings, are born to be creative.
Many times in our lives, we get caught up in the daily routines of doing the same things over and over again.
Life becomes mundane, and we become bored with life.
We lose the anticipation and excitement that empower us when we have something to look forward to.
Remember that childlike wonder you had when you were using crayons to color a picture?
That simple act of coloring brought creativity into your life.
The other side benefit of engaging in creativity is you disconnect your brain from your work, and you focus it on something completely different.
Many times, the biggest way to find a solution to a problem we’re working on is to get a break from that problem.
Engaging in creativity will allow you to relax a little and give your brain the space it needs to inspire fresh new ideas and propel your attitude and energy to new heights.
Think back to some creative activities that you enjoyed while you were growing up that you loved doing.
Choose one of those activities and spend some time doing it this week.
One of my favorite activities as a child was building plastic models.
So that is my hobby now. I build model airplanes.
I have so much fun building those airplanes
The demands of business ownership are enormous.
We’re so busy taking care of other people that we often lose sight of taking care of ourselves.
Nobody is going to care for us.
We have to take care of ourselves.
Otherwise, we are on a speeding bullet train headed to burnout.
Burnout will do more to sabotage your success and derail you than any other factor affecting your business.
You must make self-care a priority for yourself in this new year.
You must be deliberate in making time for self-care in your daily and weekly routine immediately.
Here are my top three ways to implement self-care in your life now:
- Schedule days off
- Get plenty of sleep
- Do something creative
Start with one of these three ways this week.
Do that self-care activity for the next four weeks.
Next, add one of the other self-care activities into your life for four weeks.
Then add the remaining self-care activity into your life for another four weeks.
There in the space of 12 weeks, you will establish a self-care routine that will bless you for many years to come.
You deserve to have a burnout free life.
Practicing self-care now will be the ounce of prevention that improve your odds of avoiding burnout.