How Do You Stay Motivated and Avoid Burnout?

Why Do I Feel Burnt Out and Unmotivated?

If you’re an entrepreneur, you were once motivated by your business ideas, personal goals, and other factors that drove you toward this career path. However, it’s not uncommon for business owners to lose the motivation they once had. 

Some data has shown that 33% of US entrepreneurs report that they feel less motivated than they did at the start of their entrepreneurial journey. This loss of motivation can largely be attributed to one of the causes of burnout – stress. 

Beyond that, the survey indicated that the next two most common reasons entrepreneurs lose their motivation are the lack of a stable income and lack of a work/life balance. Because of how common burnout and a loss of motivation are, it’s important to develop tools to prevent burnout. 

How to Find Motivation When You Have None

If you’re lacking motivation, it can be difficult to get anything done. However, there are ways that you can work to rebuild this motivation so you can get your business back on track. For example, your lack of motivation may be causing you to develop a list of reasons why you shouldn’t take action. In this situation, it may be effective to argue against what you’re thinking and come up with reasons why you may succeed. This can help to turn your negative feelings around and take a look at the problem from another angle.

Next, being too hard on yourself could be why you’ve lost your motivation. Instead of being a harsh critic, try practicing self-compassion instead. In research conducted by the University of California, researchers found that being compassionate to yourself can increase your motivation to recover after a failure. The best way to approach this is to balance being kind to yourself, while honestly acknowledging room for self-improvement. 

If you feel unmotivated, you can also try taking a break and getting outside. A study from 2013 found that a 30-minute walk in nature can reduce brain fatigue and rejuvenate the brain. This brief escape from the tasks you’re having trouble completing can allow you to come back feeling refreshed and with more clarity to see things through.

Keep in mind that what motivates you during tough times can be different from your peers, so you may have to try a few strategies to uncover what works best for you. However, this will be well worth the effort in the long run. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Burnout?

While burnout can feel impossible to overcome, the good news is that it is not permanent. Unlike depression, burnout is not a medical condition. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as chronic workplace stress, and can cause fatigue, a loss of motivation, and other detrimental effects. However, once the factor causing burnout is removed, you begin to feel better. 

Still, it’s unlikely that all the feelings associated with burnout will immediately end. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to recover from burnout. This length of time often varies from person to person and also depends on the severity of burnout, how long you endured it, and the specific situation causing burnout. Additionally, protective factors, like your family and support system, can help to speed up your burnout recovery timeline.

Is It Possible to Avoid Burnout?

Just as it’s possible to recover from burnout, entrepreneurs can work to avoid burnout as well. While it’s not always easy to do, the first step is to develop an adequate plan for managing stress and your response to it. This could include ensuring you are taking care of yourself – getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising – or setting aside enough time for hobbies or spending time with family and friends. 

Just like when rediscovering your motivation, the best way to avoid burnout will look different for everyone. It’s important to develop burnout prevention strategies that help you effectively mitigate stress and not just do what other people think you should do. 

Once you’re able to find your motivation and you can overcome the burnout you’ve been experiencing, you’ll be in a better position to manage your company. In the long run, your business will thank you.