Harvard Business Review recently looked into what causes small business owner burnout. What they found was alarming—a full quarter of survey respondents said they were at least moderately burned out, while a further 3 percent said they felt strongly burned out.

Burnout is Associated with a Number of Issues

People who feel burned out by their jobs suffer many consequences which relate to job performance and overall health. These include:

  • Job Dissatisfaction
  • Increased Absences from Work
  • High Turnover
  • Inefficient Decision Making
  • Higher Rates of Depression
  • Increased Risk of Heart Disease
  • Elevated Death Rates

You May Be Experiencing Burnout If…

Harvard asked survey respondents a number of questions to gauge their level of burnout or likelihood to experience it. A few telltale signs of burnout or impending burnout are:

  • You’ve stopped enjoying your job
  • You don’t feel your job is right for you
  • You don’t feel like your work is meaningful
  • You feel compelled to work and do it all
  • You have trouble not working because there’s so much to do
  • Your emotions are dictated by your workday
  • You don’t feel like you have a harmonious life
  • You feel like you’ve lost control of your life or career

Burnout has Historically Been Linked to a Few Core Issues

Historically, lack of motivation or passion, reduced autonomy and level of engagement have been predictors of burnout. The Harvard study found the same tendencies, but dug a bit deeper, particularly where work/life balance and flexibility were concerned.

Harmonious Passion for Work is Associated with Lower Burnout Rates

Even though entrepreneurs have the ability to set their own work schedules, some allow their work schedules to dominate their life instead, which the study links to the type of passion different entrepreneurs possess. Those who keep their nose to the grindstone are said to have “obsessive passion,” while those who have balance between their careers and other aspects of their lives are said to have “harmonious passion.”

Harmonious respondents “reported experiencing high levels of concentration, attention, and absorption during their work.” They also felt their careers gave them the opportunity to create memorable experiences and said they could achieve balance without feeling guilt or conflict over it. Ultimately, they suffered less burnout.

Having a Flexible Mindset is Associated with Reduced Burnout, Too

Interestingly, entrepreneurs who were set in their ways and believed things must be done a certain way were more prone to experience obsessive passion. It was the rigid mindset which changed the way they viewed their careers overall. Those who saw their jobs as at least somewhat flexible didn’t have the same inclinations; they were more harmonious in their passion overall.

Become More Flexible and Create Balance to Avoid Burnout

The key takeaway from the study was that those who want to avoid burnout should adopt a more flexible mindset and focus on creating harmonious passion. But, if you’re the type who already has the obsessive type of passion, getting yourself to change gears is not something you can change overnight. You have to set yourself up for success and give yourself actionable steps that will lead to natural harmony.

1. Give Yourself Set Work Hours

Giving yourself a standard work schedule and sticking to it should be your first order of business. It doesn’t matter what schedule you choose, but bear in mind, more hours do not increase productivity. You might actually increase productivity by working less.

2. Delegate Tasks

Teach others how to do some of the jobs you do, so you can focus on what matters most. It’s ok to do this in baby steps. Begin by choosing a few low-level tasks to delegate to employees and build up from there.

3. Simplify Your Processes

Search for solutions to some of your biggest headaches. For example, invoice factoring can reduce collection time and put less strain on your credit.

4. Plan Breaks and Vacations

You need time away from work to recover. Taking breaks and vacations will give you the opportunity to reignite your passions, enjoy life and connect with loved ones. That feel-good vibe will carry through when you return to work.

Let Interstate Capital Help You Reduce Your Workload

It’s good to love what you do, but if your collections processes are contributing to your burnout, it’s time to simplify. Interstate Capital offers invoice factoring, a process that allows you to sell your invoices to a third party. We make sure the invoicing is covered and payments are collected, and you receive payment right away. If you’re ready to learn more, check out our Guide to Invoice Factoring.