Experiencing burnout can have extreme repercussions. It can lead to physical and emotional issues and greatly affect your personal life. I’m talking about overall job dissatisfaction, turnover, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, low motivation, and frustration. Doesn’t sound fun, does it?

Having that work-life balance is more than just a fad you hear millennials list as a job requirement. It’s a necessary formula for overall happiness and healthiness, yet most business owners consider it a luxury they just cannot afford. Maybe it’s because as business owners, we’re extremely passionate about what we do and it can be hard to see the line between passion and obsession. Or maybe it’s because we’re so busy trying to make sure our business is successful and our employees are happy that we have little time for anything else. 

Whether you’ve been struggling with these negative feelings, or you’re just trying to avoid becoming another statistic, taking these four action-steps should help you eradicate burnout and make more time for the things that matter most. 

Take A Break

It’s simple. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just completely depleted, take a break. Some entrepreneurs believe that if they’re not putting in at least 60 hours a week they’re somehow slacking. In reality, this level of chronic overwork is not sustainable and will come back to bite you in the long run. It might actually decrease your productivity and it will most certainly increase the likelihood of making costly mistakes. If you’re feeling tired and worn out, allow yourself to take a step back. Go for a walk, or just step away from your desk for a few minutes. Or, maybe it’s time to take that much-needed vacation.

A great way to incorporate more breaks into your routine is to designate some time on your calendar daily or weekly, for at least an hour, to do something unrelated to work. Make sure you set guidelines so that you don’t slowly start slacking on that commitment. 

Remember Why You Started In the First Place

Business owners who realize long-term, sustainable success without burning out have one thing in common: they are truly passionate about what they do. Chances are, even if you now find yourself chasing every money-making idea that comes your way, you didn’t start out that way. You most likely had big ideas and a passionate force driving your ambition. 

Take some time to remember why you started your business in the first place. Maybe this means actually remembering the first day as a business owner. Or maybe it means looking back at your business proposal, or remembering what big life events were happening when you chose to embark on your business endeavor. It’s important not to lose sight of the original plan and the kind of person you were when you first put your business wheels in motion. This will help you reboot and refocus your time and energy on meaningful ideas that align with your original vision and values. 

Never Stop Learning

Just because you’ve graduated from school and started your own business doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know. Even if you’re an expert in your chosen field, there will almost always be newer and better ways to do things. By adopting an attitude that is open to learning, you’ll spur creativity which will prevent monotony and help you better address any challenges you may face. And learning new skills doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive to your line of work. Improved creativity can result from learning to cook, play an instrument or even reading poetry.

We’re all works in progress and we’ll never, ever achieve perfection. And that shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, focus on continuing to evolve and grow into the kind of business leader you admire. Keep an open mind and look for the learning moments. They can surprise you and humble you, keeping you excited and reengaged. 

Make Relationships Your Priority

Personal relationships can provide a much-needed relief from work-induced stress. In many cases, simply having the opportunity to discuss what’s going on with someone you trust can help relieve stress and prevent burnout. It might even help spark new ideas that will get you out of a mental rut. If you’ve been neglecting the people who matter in your life, it’s time to shift your focus and make more time to nurture those meaningful relationships.

By talking with a trusted peer, friend or family member, you’re able to gain a glimpse into their lives and viewpoint. Oftentimes it also helps you understand that you’re not alone, that others are going through their own experiences of burnout as well. Being able to sympathize with, and receive sympathy in return, will give you the perspective you need to look at your situation differently. 

Long hours and stressful conditions are par for the course when starting and running your own business, but they don’t have to result in complete and utter burnout. By putting the above strategies into action, and introducing them as part of your routine, you can overcome problems, prevent those crippling negative feelings from creeping in and achieve greater balance in your life. Both you and your business will fare better as a result.