When an entrepreneur first starts a business, they are full of hope and energy. They can see their goal, have an idea of how to get there, and are excited by the challenge. They know it will take a lot of hard work, but they believe the ultimate pay-off – whatever that may be – will be worth it.

However, all too often, that initial drive fades quickly and is replaced by stress and exhaustion. Decisions need to be made, issues need to be dealt with, and the workload ends up being much more than they expected. With little time to recuperate, the long hours start to take their toll as their personal life and health begins to suffer.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re probably suffering entrepreneur fatigue.

What is entrepreneur fatigue?

While not a new concept, the impact fatigue can have in the workplace has only recently become widely understood.

Entrepreneur fatigue is more than just being tired – it’s the physical and mental exhaustion that comes from not taking the time to rest and recover. As such, more than just a good night’s sleep is required to overcome it and it will only get worse if not addressed.

Beyond being a serious health and safety concern, fatigue can have a significant impact on your ability to perform. Being fatigued can reduce your ability to concentrate, make you more forgetful and impulsive, and negatively affect your mood. This, in turn, can lead to poor decision making, a lack of attention to detail, and resistance to change.

How can you minimise the risk of entrepreneur fatigue?

When it comes to fatigue, prevention is much better than cure. As such, establishing strategies to manage and maintain energy levels should be a priority for all business owners. These could include:

  • Further developing your time management skills: Good time management will help you to identify what’s most important and arrange your schedule to make sure you achieve it. It will also give you the confidence to say “no” to projects and activities that aren’t worth your time and energy.
  • Identifying activities that can be outsourced or delegated: Offloading administration and other ancillary activities will allow you to focus on the things you do best. In addition to helping you avoid burnout, concentrating on your core activities can lead to further and faster business growth.
  • Scheduling regular time off: Having specified non-work times will help you to actually take the time to reconnect with family and friends, and to look after yourself. As part of this, it’s important to focus on eating well and exercising regularly.
  • Focusing on your sleeping habits: The quality of your sleep is just important as the quantity and there are many simple things you can do to improve your sleep.

In addition to avoiding the long-term health impacts exhaustion can cause, these behaviours can also have a positive impact on your business’ culture. As such, implementing them early can help make sure that you – and your people – stay healthy as your business grows.