Burnout: It may not be a medical diagnosis, but it’s real. Work-related stress can take a toll on the mind and body, whether you’re in-office or clocking in from home.

It’s easy to get engulfed in work or running a business. Without realizing it, you become so overwhelmed and emotionally drained that you’re unable to function. As the pandemic continues to drag out, more and more Americans are becoming burnt out. In fact, according to Monster.com

Over two-thirds, or 69%, of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home during COVID-19, a 35% increase since early May (51%).

Don’t push yourself harder or neglect your personal care and needs for the sake of doing business. Simply organizing, prioritizing and planning a little bit can save time and anguish later.

In fact, while it may be true that “unplugging” can relieve some stressors, technology can prove to be the best assistant in times like these.

Consider Your Health

Take time to exercise or take a walk in the fresh air. Exercise is not only good for our physical health, but it’s also a great emotional boost. Diet works the same way. Because what we eat plays into our emotional and physical health, spend the day filling yourself with fresh food as a pick-me-up.

If you’re not in the mood to do much of anything, that’s fine too. Good sleep habits help relieve burnout so darken the room and crawl under the covers.

Be sure you’re keeping work away from the bedroom and out of sight during your rest period. Even the greatest of business owners deserve a break.

Burnout Signs and Solutions

  • Exhaustion: Feeling drained emotionally? Suffering from headaches, stomachaches and appetite or sleep changes? Consider taking regular mental pauses to get a good stretch in or dance to a favorite song from your past.
  • Isolation: You’ve stopped socializing with friends, family and co-workers because you’re overwhelmed. Try confiding in someone instead. They may not have the answers but perhaps a lunch and vent session over Zoom is all you need.
  • Escape fantasies: If you’re daydreaming about running away or turning to a not-so-healthy vice, maybe schedule some time off and disperse your work among co-workers to prevent more pile up.
  • Irritability: Are your day-to-day tasks starting to feel like a bit much? Maybe you’re losing your cool over the simplest of things. Before you burn any bridges, go for a walk. Find a nice spot and journal all of your woes out of your system and take time to simply breathe.
  • Frequent illness: Stress can lower your immune system as well as lead to mental health concerns. Be sure to take your vitamins and inform your doctor of excess stress to offset these issues.

Get Out of Spreadsheet Purgatory

You’ve got quotes to send and invoices to follow up on, but that doesn’t have to monopolize your entire day. If you’re still creating paper invoices, whether that’s writing it out or printing it up, it’s time to upgrade your methods and simplify your life. 

Finding reliable business software to conduct your entire estimate-to-payment process can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to meeting your financial needs. Set up automated reminders to send alerts to customers with unpaid invoices. They can pay online, and you can get more hours back in your day.

Toss Your Filing Folders

If you’re in an office that still takes appointments down in a planner or uses a dated filing system, we send our condolences for the paper cuts you probably get daily. Whether you’re a consultant, stylist, groomer or anything in between, going digital will make your life easier.

Staying organized digitally is a breeze. Customer information in one central location means anyone on-staff can pick up and help without you having to stop and explain.

With Thryv, text and email communication are held within one inbox, that way, you’re not spending hours searching through emails and texts looking for a specific message. Our pop-out feature allows you to see any notes on the account as well as payment history. Looks like we just saved you more time to take care of yourself.

Detach from Your Laptop

The COVID shut down forced you to abandon your storefront, and you’re desperate to reach your customers. What you may not realize is that you don’t have to be attached to your laptop just because we were forced into a digital lifestyle.

Part of adapting to the digital age is allowing technology to do the work for you by taking your hands off of the mountains of work. But how will your clients know you miss them or what deals you’re running? Easy — scheduling and automation.

Creating mass campaigns and setting triggers to automatically send them out when the time is right will keep you connected with customers while saving your sanity. Are you a barber with clients who forget to come back? Set a trigger to send “It’s been a while” emails after a few weeks without a visit. Add a book online button to save them the time of calling and you the effort of answering.

Need more reviews? With every service receipt you send, add a “leave a review” button. You have better things to do than tracking down and begging customers to leave reviews on your business page.

Take some time to schedule out your social posts all at once, so customers can stay up-to-date on sales without you having to pivot from important work to write posts each day.

A few more suggestions to prevent burnout while working remotely:

  • Develop boundaries because “you’ll always be out of the office”
  • Identify your non-working hours and turn off email and work notifications during that time
  • Pick up new hobbies to avoid the temptation to work during off-hours
  • Request flexible scheduling to help you better balance personal and professional responsibilities
  • Stay productive during work hours to avoid guilting yourself into working through the evening