A 4-Step Guide to Avoiding Burnout and Actually Thriving While You Launch Your Own Company.

burnout

Since the corporate world is about delaying gratification until the evenings, weekends and retirement, and cramming it into 2-5 weeks holiday a year in the meantime, it seems a little strange that we’d do that when we start our own business too…

… right?!

One of the biggest reasons we don’t like the corporate world is because we have to squeeze our lifestyle into the spaces in between our work + obligations. And because we really want is a better quality of life, and more freedom and time to do the things we love.

So why, why, why do we end up working 24-7 when we first startup?

Let’s talk about burnout + how to thrive instead.

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If you’re starting your own business to create more freedom, a better lifestyle and a lot more space and time to enjoy the things you love, it’s uber critical to ensure you don’t start off working 24-7 and keep delaying gratification until some point in the future.

Why? Simply because you’re alive right now. And every moment should be lived fully, cherished and CELEBRATED!

You can work hard — in fact you’re probably going to have to! — but you can also make time to enjoy your life throughout the day, not just evenings and weekends, 5 weeks a year and retirement. Otherwise what’s the point of having your own business?

Shit will happen in your business. Your ideas might fail, your launches might bomb, you might get PITA clients, but if you love your life and lifestyle, you can iron out the kinks in your ideas and offers over the longer term without burning out.

It means there’s less pressure to succeed because you’ve already put your freedom and lifestyle at the epicentre of your life and work. When fledgling entrepreneurs ignore their freedom and lifestyle when they start their own business they and their ideas inevitably end up in the startup graveyard, never to be seen or heard form again.

But it really comes down to a SOLID commitment:

It’s about claiming and fiercely protecting your freedom, your lifestyle and your time for things you want to do. Right now.

Before you get overwhelmed by to-do lists and busy-ness [which you surely will!] you can PROTECT yourself from burnout, so that you and your ideas can thrive while you’re starting up.

So here are the 4 steps to avoiding burnout and actually thriving while you launch your own company, and they revolve around claiming and fiercely protecting your freedom and lifestyle.

  1. Define what freedom means to you, what lifestyle you want to have, and what you’d love to create more time for
  2. Think about what changes you need to make in your routines, habits or even location to enable that
  3. Create a weekly schedule that integrates these freedom lifestyle elements into the way you structure your startup life
  4. Fiercely protect that schedule

So let’s go through them one by one.

 

#1: Define what freedom means to you, what lifestyle you want to have, and what you’d love to create more time for.

So here are the questions.

Freedom – what does freedom mean to you?

For me it means…

  • Freedom to travel
  • Freedom to do work that I love
  • Freedom to follow my ideas
  • Freedom to be, do, share and have what I want
  • Freedom to make high integrity decisions

Lifestyle – what lifestyle do you want?

How do you want to live everyday? What does your day to day life look life? How do you integrate work into your life?

For me it means…

  • Having 2 hrs between waking up and working
  • Working max 6 hours a day
  • Taking a week off whenever I want, and when I arrive in a new location
  • Being surrounded by ocean, mountains & nature
  • Working no later than 6pm everyday
  • Taking min. 1 hr lunch break

What is it you are actively seeking when you plan your holidays?

For me I’m seeking…

  • Cultural immersion
  • Delicious food
  • Physical activities: walking, hiking, generally exploring the world
  • Meeting new people
  • Being anonymous
  • Sitting at cafes watching the world go by

What do you look forward to doing on evenings and weekends [not to recover, but what makes you feel alive and revitalised no matter how tired you think you are]?

For me it’s…

  • Reading, learning, studying
  • Yoga, breath work, meditation practice
  • Exercise
  • Working on my ideas
  • Cooking

And what is the stuff you’d love to have more time for?

For me it’s…

  • Yoga
  • Traveling
  • Hanging out with my Mum
  • Foreign, art-house films
  • Studying the things that excite me and intrigue me

So when you’ve answered those questions you’ll have a pretty good idea of your freedom and lifestyle elements.

So then you can…

 

#2: Think about what changes you need to make in your routines, habits or even location to integrate those freedom and lifestyle elements into your day.

But first you need to get really honest about what your routines and lifestyle are right now.

Map out your daily, weekly monthly schedule in a Google Sheet and study it. Understand how you’re spending your time.

  1. Where are you wasting time?
  2. What stuff is pointless, unnecessary?
  3. How are you wasting time in your morning, at lunch, in the afternoon, in your evening?
  4. How are you squandering your weekends?
  5. How are you giving away or throwing away your available time in a way that doesn’t feel good to you?
  6. What activities are your doing that deplete you?
  7. What people are you spending time with that suck you dry energetically or emotionally?

Begin to understand your existing routine and lifestyle and how it makes you feel.

So on this note, you already have a lifestyle — it’s just the way you live — it might just not be one you absolutely love right now that uplifts, inspires, empowers and energises you! But that’s why we’re doing this exercise.

So start thinking about ways to change it. E.g.:

  • Remove what depletes you and add some of the things from your freedom and lifestyle element list.
  • Switch out sleeping in for exercise or yoga.
  • Switch out checking Facebook on your commute to reading or studying.
  • Switch out time at the pub on Friday night to dinner with your parents.

You don’t necessarily have to add more in, but replace, switch out and modify what you’re already doing.

And so then you can…

 

#3: Create a weekly schedule that integrates these freedom lifestyle elements into the way you structure your startup life

So juts go ahead and schedule these new freedom lifestyle elements into your calendar. I’s hard to argue with something that’s black and white. Make them non-negotiable for a couple of weeks or months to see how it changes the way you feel. How excited you feel about your life + work. How energised you feel when you wake up every day.

And then finally…

 

#4: Fiercely protect that schedule.

Seriously. Make it non-negotiable. Remember that disciplined effort becomes effortless lifestyle over the longer term.

So set yourself a 40-day challenge to try out this new freedom lifestyle.

You don’t necessarily have to change career, business or country to change your life. You can make a series of incremental lifestyle changes that totally revolutionise your day to day experience.

And if you’re LOVING your experience, and you’re making time for the stuff you love then you’ll minimise the risk of burnout.

You’ll be happy and healthy and able to stay in the game until you get the results you’re looking for.

Because you’re not delaying gratification you’ll have less urgency around commercial success and invest more time in creating incredible products & services, high-integrity decision making and enjoying your life as you go. It’s a literally a win-win-win situation!

So… the 4 steps to avoiding burnout and actually thriving while you launch your own company are:

  1. Define what freedom means to you, what lifestyle you want to have, and what you’d love to create more time for
  2. Think about what changes you need to make in your routines, habits or even location to enable that
  3. Create a weekly schedule that integrates these freedom lifestyle elements into the way you structure your startup life
  4. Fiercely protect that schedule

So give it a go and let me know how you go!

 

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Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly email, bursting with tips and strategies for fledgling & future entrepreneurs, so you can thrive on all levels while you’re launching your ideas, and stay in the game until you get the results you’re looking for. Just head over to thefreedomphilosophy.com/newsletter

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