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TII #009: My Anti Burnout Recipe
Burnout is a real problem for many founders. Here is what I do to prevent it and 4 actionable tips for you to do the same.
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In the recent months I have seen a few friends on Twitter post about burnout. Some even completely stopped posting because they were struggling too much.
It hurts to see, but this seems to be a problem among startup founders.
It's especially true for founders working on their startups next to a full time job. It’s straining.
Even though I work an average of 9-12 hours a day, I’m in the lucky position to never having had burnout.
Over the years I developed a system to make sure it stays this way.
I realize this might not work the exact same way for you, but I hope you can take this article as inspiration to create your own anti burnout recipe.
Make time for things providing you with energy
This sounds obvious, but many don't follow this incredibly simple advice.
First you need to find out what provides energy in your life.
To give you an idea, here are mine:
Sport: Gym, swimming and hiking
Relationships: Partner, family and friends
Learning: Languages, how to build things and tech
Creating: Writing, videos and software
This could be similar for you, or something completely different like playing video games.
Personally, I get the most joy out of hiking with my partner.
Once you have identified what leaves you recharged, you do one simple thing:
Schedule recurring reminders for each of those things.
Once every two weeks: call a friend or someone in your family
Three times a week: do exercise
Once every month: go on a date with your partner
Daily: Create something just for yourself
The only thing you need to do then is to do whatever pops up.
For me the most impactful thing is going for beach walks or small hikes with my partner. This has the highest priority out of all the things in my week.
Make it a priority to do these things. Recharging is vital.
Reduce things draining your energy
Just as much as you should add energizing things to your life, you should remove energy leeches.
This could be:
Whatever it is, make an honest effort to reduce or even eliminate them completely.
Yes. This doesn't always work.
If you are working for a company with mandatory meetings, you might not have the liberty to reduce them.
Do as much as you can.
I mentioned exercise in my "energizing" section, but only because it energizes me.
Regardless of whether you have picked exercise as one of your energizing points or not, exercise is a necessity.
Exercise can help to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and increase energy levels, which can help to prevent burnout.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins can make you feel happier and less stressed. Exercise also helps your brain get more blood and oxygen, which can make you think better and feel less tired.
Exercise energizes you by default.
Regular exercise will also:
Improve your sleep
Help you "turn off"
So exercising is a good way to stay healthy and prevent burnout.
Go out for a meal. Pop the champaign, or open a good bottle of whiskey if that’s what it takes.
Make the small moments count. Make them memorable.
I do this because it provides me with extra motivation.
It strengthens my WHY.
I hope this article was helpful.