The default position for entrepreneurs is action, so charting a course away from the burnout model requires proactive planning. There’s no reason entrepreneurs can’t use their innovative talents to recharge, mapping out a refueling strategy as if it were a business plan. Here are some ways to get started.
1. Schedule two 10- to 15-minute breaks in the morning and two in the afternoon to let your mind get off-task and reset. Listen to music, take a walk–anything to break up the mental strain.
2. Don’t inhale lunch at your desk. Step out and get a change of scenery and new thought associations.
3. Set aside 15 minutes for thinking and reflection each day. What do you like to do? What makes you happy? What brings you energy?
4. In addition to your work calendar, keep a “life” calendar of events, social activities and recreation for evenings and weekends.
5. Take up a new hobby or sport with regular classes. This can force you out of autopilot to help your brain get the recharging it needs.
6. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to increase blood flow to all parts of your brain.
7. Take a vacation–the best antidote to burnout–of at least two weeks. Part of this is being wise with hiring, so you feel secure that you can step away without your company missing a beat.
8. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
9. Learn to delegate the tasks you don’t need or like to do.
10. Head outside to a green space. A study at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh found that a walk in a park reduces frustration and increases meditation, as well as leads to higher engagement afterward.