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Burnt out? Tips for change and how to avoid it in the future.

Don’t let burnout snatch away your dreams.

It’s the end of the year, and the accumulation of the year’s stress may be at an all-time high for moms. Burnout may already be happening, or it may be close. On top of the stressors of being a parent (and likely your own family manager), business owners feel double the weight. Year-end projects, goals, budgets, parties—all coming in hot in December. I’m here to let you know there are feasible ways to avoid and fix burnout.

Woman sitting at desk looking at her phone with books behind her

Let’s start with how to fix the burnout. 

If you need to make a lifestyle change or need an external factor to motivate you, consider tapping into your professional network or seeking out a mastermind class created for the issues you’re facing. 

At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I started to feel burnout after about 3 years of running my own practice. I had built up a good client list, but I didn’t have systems in place yet to run my firm like a business. I realized that while I had started my own practice, I had not built a business that could run efficiently without me doing everything. That is when I committed to changing my business. I signed up for a mastermind for women law firm owners in December 2019, and after the first meeting, I instantly felt energized being part of a group of women with the same challenges and goals.

I’ve also built a leadership team at my firm to share some responsibilities. While I am ultimately responsible for the direction of the business, I can’t be the only one making every daily decision in a multi-million dollar operation. I have a COO who manages firm operations, a CLO who oversees legal staff work product, a CFO who handles our finances, etc. I am involved in every aspect of the business but not single-handedly responsible for every decision.

If you need more short-term fixes, take a day to really examine the root cause of the burnout and think about what would solve it. I always find a lot of peace and solutions on long walks or hikes. It can feel impossible to take a day when you’re overwhelmed, but it’s worth it. Walk around a park, a trail, or just around your neighborhood for a good hour or more to clear your mind. Then, make a list of each item that is contributing to your feelings of burnout or overwhelm, and use that list to create a game plan. I always feel empowered once I’ve identified the problem and started working toward a solution.

Now, let’s talk about how to avoid burnout. 

When thinking long-term, it’s imperative to have a long-term vision to know what you’re working toward. Running a business can feel like running on a hamster wheel because every time you solve one problem, there will be a new one. Running a business is dynamic, and you’re never “done.” The martyr attitude of “I have to be the one to do everything” is toxic and a surefire way to burn out—at work or home. Delegating and accepting help, even if imperfect, is necessary.

Avoiding burnout can also start with a commitment to do the basic things at home. 

Get enough sleep, keep a morning schedule, and take long walks. I aim to do this nearly every morning. I use the time to think through any challenges we might be facing in the firm, and I almost always come to some kind of solution this way. Also, remaining organized with an agenda and to-do lists makes me feel in control.

Now, I know all of this advice is easier said than done, but I highly, highly, highly encourage you to make a commitment to yourself to adopt practices that provide levity to your everyday.

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