Busy Franchise Owners

Franchisors are driven, passionate individuals who put a lot into making what they do a success, whether it’s long hours, hard work or resources.

On top of that, they bear lots of responsibility on their shoulders not only to become a success but also for the people who work for them.

Ironically, all these positive qualities can take their toll and lead to burnout. In fact, many franchise owners reach this point of exhaustion, only to learn that they can’t keep doing things the old way.

The good news is that you can reverse the dreaded state of burnout and regain your energy and passion for work. Many times over, in fact!

Read on to learn how successful franchise owners deal with this tough challenge and what routines and habits they employ to achieve a more balanced way of life.

What Is a Burnout?

In this day and age, everyone values hard work and determination. 

How could we not, after all, they’re the building blocks of success. 

It’s what society expects of us, but it’s also what we expect of ourselves too. We don’t want to fail because lots of people depend on us, and we have just as many to prove wrong, right?

So, we put in the hours, stretch ourselves thin, and we achieve success.

For a while.

All until one day, we seem to hit a brick wall, and even the simplest of tasks seem to take excessive amounts of energy–an energy we no longer seem to have.

That’s the exact moment you know you’ve hit burnout.

What Are the Most Popular Symptoms of Burnout?

You may initially feel like you’re close to exhaustion and that going to work feels like a drag.

Many franchise owners, in fact, would shrug these initial signals off and continue to push themselves even harder.

However, sooner or later, everyone reaches a point when they know they’ve reached burnout. 

During this phase, you will likely notice any or some of the following things:

  • Anxiety;
  • Alienation from your work;
  • Uncharacteristic emotional outburst;
  • Wanting to skip work (or leave early);
  • Feelings of loneliness or self-isolation;
  • Exhaustion (mental, physical, emotional);
  • All of the above.

The good news is that even if you feel that way now, it can all be reversed.

However, the recipe is simple but not so easy to implement.

What to Do to Avoid Burnout As a Franchise Owner?

What are the two most important things that are going to help you avoid burnout?

The first thing is to work smarter, not harder.

The second thing is to have a strong self-care game.

You see, reaching burnout is a turning point for many successful franchise owners. That’s when they discover the things they need to change a few things in their lives in order for their success to be sustainable over the long term.

Sure, being busy and hard-working is an important aspect of what’s going to make your franchise a success. However, without a strong support system of healthy work-life habits, you will only get into your own way.

First, you have to realise the old ways of doing things are exactly the sort of thing that got you there in the first place. And then, you need to let go of the destructive habits and make meaningful changes, particularly when it comes to self-care.

After all, you don’t need to run yourself into the ground to be successful. Actually, you might. You may even reach success–for a while–but you’d be miserable and burned out nonetheless.

How successful would you feel, then?

That’s why having a strong self-care game, so you achieve the right balance between work and your personal life and working smarter, not harder, is what’s so important.

All of these habits, when properly combined, are what’s going to help you fortify yourself against the many daily challenges of your life.

Optimising Your Work Habits

Now, the two biggest issues that lead to burnout that franchise owners face are widely known: work overload and dealing with stress.

Here are some of the most helpful ideas to implement in your daily routine to combat burnout regarding your work:

Establish Clear Priorities – and Focus on Them First

Assess your daily work priorities, and identify the most effective tasks and habits.

Which 20% of your daily activities contribute to 80% of results? Focus on those, and delegate or outsource all the rest to reduce your workload and stress.

Once you establish your priorities clearly, you will have a very clear idea of what constitutes a successful day and what to spend the most time on.

Furthermore, knowing your most important tasks can help you break them down into smaller manageable chunks so they’d be easier and faster to complete.

Chances are, in a few weeks’ time, you’ll notice your productivity and results have increased, and your stress levels have returned to tolerable levels.

Get Organised & Track Your Work Day

No one achieves much, especially on a consistent basis, without being highly organised. 

That’s why it’s essential to assess your work schedule and look for ways to optimise all tasks.

After you’ve established clear priorities, create a system for tracking each working task throughout the day. Use a notebook or file and log in every single one and roughly how much time you’ve spent on it.

At the end of the day, you can review your work day and see a clear written record of all you’ve done. That’s especially helpful for people who constantly feel they’re not doing enough, as “the proof” will provide much-needed peace of mind.

Master the Art of Batching

There’s cognitive exhaustion that occurs when you’re switching back and forth between different types of tasks.

This is probably one of the things that make franchise owners often feel overwhelmed by work and contributes to burnout.

That’s why you should try batching. It’s essentially grouping similar activities together and focusing on them one thing at a time.

For example, if you’re a post office, you wouldn’t send a letter every single time you get one. You wait for a certain critical mass of letters to accumulate before you send them.

The time and labour of sending 1 letter or 50 are the same, so you naturally wait for the critical mass to accumulate to be time and cost-effective.

Now, take this idea and apply it to your specific situation. Look at your schedule, and designate a specific block of time when you do thematically similar tasks–admin task, marketing, product.

For example, you can schedule important phone calls for a specific day(s), say Monday and Friday. In those two days, you will focus on these activities.

Or, you may notice mornings from 8-10 are your most creative hours. So, you time-block 2 hours in that time interval to devote only to tasks that require some kind of creativity and synthesis.

This will allow you to avoid task switching and cognitive draining, which will drastically reduce your stress levels and the likelihood of burnout.

Trust Your Skilled Employees – Delegate Responsibility

Everyone begins to feel exhausted when they try to handle too much responsibility–especially over long periods of time.

So, naturally, you need to rely on others and delegate some of the responsibilities where possible to avoid work overload.

Trying to micromanage everything is not only detrimental to your organisation (as it’s simply not sustainable) but also – to your health.

Instead, by delegating a certain amount of decision power to your trusted employees, you can take a lot off your shoulders and even turn your employees into self-sufficient and effective parts of your organisation.

This will increase your organisation’s productivity and free up lots of mental resources for more important tasks that would otherwise contribute to your daily stress and burnout.

Take Short Breaks When You Finish a Task

The latest studies have shown that there’s a cognitive cost associated with switching between different types of tasks. And yet, there are many hard-working people who do long hours without burning out.

Why is that?

Well, most of them have learned the art of taking effective breaks.

You see, even when you finish a task, your brain is still busy processing it. 

That’s why, to avoid burnout, it’s important to take short breaks between each completed job to allow for your brain to rest a bit before continuing on to the next one.

The best way not to forget to take these rests after you finish a task is to schedule them in your calendar, at least in the beginning, until they become a habit.

How to Level Up Your Self-Care Game to Avoid Burnout

The number one thing many young franchise owners who deal with burnout lack is a strong self-care game. They have the drive, they have the determination, but they don’t balance all that with supportive habits, and thus, they reach burnout.

Work-life balance is crucial for the long-term sustainability of whatever it is you do in life. So, how do you go about restoring it?
First, assess where you’re unbalanced. 

Do you eat healthy meals? Do you have an exercise regimen to support your overall health, energy levels and concentration? Do you get enough sleep, or do you wake up feeling tired all the time?

Chances are, you push hard but do not take sufficient care of yourself: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

So, you have to address all these areas of your life and improve where you either are inefficient or lack any practices completely.

Here are some effective ideas you could try implementing in your schedule:

Have a Work Shutdown Ritual

Many hard-working people need to know this. 

It’s when work seems to seep into our personal life, we take it home with us, and we continue with something unfinished long after it’s reasonable.

That’s a terrible habit which is not only cognitively draining but also contributes to burnout in a major way.

That’s why you need to have a clear separation ritual between your working and your non-working hours and leave work at work.

That’s essentially what developing a shutdown ritual is all about. 

It’s a game-changing routine to finalise your workday without your subconscious trying to seduce you into 15 more minutes of work or just one more e-mail, etc–all bad habits leading to stress and burnout.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. About half an hour before you close your workday, begin by arranging your workspace, whether physical (tidy your desk) or digital (close open tabs, etc).
  2. Review your to-do lists and prepare for the following day. 
  3. Ensure you have a plan you trust that can lead to any unfinished tasks’ completion.
  4. Take one final look at your email for the day.
  5. Reflect on what went well today and celebrate small wins daily.
  6. Say the magic words: “My working day is done”, “shutdown complete”, or any other phrase you like to indicate that the work day is over.

Once you implement that in your schedule, you will eliminate a great deal of extra stress and increase your productivity while no longer feeling like you’re always working.

Start a Recharging Hobby

Your downtime is just as important as your work because that’s when you destress, rest and recharge.

In fact, choosing the right hobby can invigorate your mental and creative powers and serve as an important counterbalance to your daily work responsibilities.

For example, many people choose gardening as it provides not only visible fruits for all their labour but also promotes feelings of accomplishment, mastery and higher self-esteem. 

Creating a fantastic garden also reduces cortisol levels (the stress hormone), creates a daily balance between mental and physical activities which is necessary to avoid burnout, and also provides Vitamin D if done outdoors, which is essential for having a good mood.

If you’re doing particularly mentally draining work, nothing can counterbalance this type of exhaustion like physical activity. A good cardio exercise (like jogging, swimming or biking) is especially effective at clearing your mind and decreasing stress.

In the end, a simple daily walk through nature can also invigorate you and reduce any feelings of stress or burnout.If you can’t decide, try lots of things out until you are certain you’ve picked the right hobby for you. Once you find your thing, you will be amazed at how powerful it can be when it comes to reinvigorating yourself after a hard day’s work.

Consider Diet Changes to Improve Energy Levels

Supporting your body with the proper nutrients is vital for performance and focus and to avoid burnout or help you recover from one.

The most important diet change you can make is to reduce carbs, sugars, and saturated fats to a minimum. These foods are highly inflammatory and can contribute to burnout, but also be the cause of brain fog, tiredness and general unwellness.

Instead, consider high-quality protein, keto or Mediterranean diets as alternatives. Consult with your physician before any major changes, so you can choose the diet most suitable for you.

Improve Quality of Sleep

Everyone knows how important sleep is.

After all, there’s a reason why our bodies ache for rest when we feel burned out or exhausted.

So, essentially poor sleeping habits result in diminished energy, and that, over time, results in exhaustion and, eventually, burnout.

Even if you have no problem with your sleep, you can still look for ways to increase the huge benefits that a good night’s rest provides.

Here are the most important factors to consider:

  • Invest in a top-quality mattress. Probably, the most important improvement you can make. Getting the right mattress can greatly enhance your sleep.

  • Get a high-quality pillow. Everyone has different sleeping positions and preferences. Getting the right pillow for your individual needs guarantees you’ll wake up invigorated and well-rested.

  • Blackout curtains. To get the most out of your nightly rest, you need to sleep in a pitch-black room. This also means no electronics or screens in your bedroom.

  • Have a sleeping routine. To improve your Circadian rhythm, it’s essential to go to bed and wake up at the same time consistently. Getting exercise throughout the day and avoiding electronics 1-2 hours before sleep is also a must.

  • Earplugs (if needed). A great tool when you have particularly noisy neighbours or family members.

If you have trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, you need to introduce time for rest and relaxation before going to bed.

One healthy habit to achieve all that is to journal before sleep. Write 2-3 pages in longhand about everything that comes to your mind. The goal is to empty your mind onto the pages so your thoughts don’t keep you up at night.

Continue until you’ve poured everything into the pages. This tried-and-tried trick will do wonders to reduce your anxiety and will increase your sleep quality.

Additionally, you can also follow the 10-3-2-1-0 rule:

  • Stop taking caffeine 10 hours before going to bed;
  • No more food and alcohol 3 hours before bedtime;
  • Stop working 2 hours before you go to sleep;
  • No more screen time 1 hour before;
  • Lastly, 0 is for the number of times you press the snooze button in the morning, as getting up as soon as the alarm goes off is how you avoid feeling sleepy and groggy throughout the day.

Meditation and Mindfulness Practices

Meditating sounds like a good idea, however, many people think it’s not for them.

In fact, the most common reason they give this answer is because they are unable to sit still and relax. Either their minds are racing, or they’re just too anxious.

However, that’s exactly why they should learn to meditate.

You see, lots of people who do mentally exhausting work and who’ve tried meditating say it’s been a game changer for them. It calms the mind, allows it to relax, and renews its energy and creativity.

While there are many forms of meditation, you can try one of the simplest ones called “breathing meditation.”

The goal is to sit somewhere quiet for 10 minutes, where you will not be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable position (or lie down if you prefer), close your eyes and just focus on your breathing.

Initially, you may notice thoughts or images coming to your mind. Acknowledge them without dwelling on them, and just let them go as they come. Continue focusing on your breathing, allow your body and mind to relax and let things go as they appear.

That’s it.

After 10 minutes have passed, you will open your eyes and feel recharged, your mind clearer and sharper.

Take Care of Your Relationships

To live a balanced life also means taking care of your family and relationships. 

A peaceful and supportive family environment can create wonders for your garden franchise business, as it can be not only a strong motivation but also a source of energy and a strong support system.

If you’re an extrovert, you know you need plenty of stimulation from meeting lots of new people, doing outgoing activities, and spending meaningful time in big crowds.

And, vice versa, if you’re an introvert, you value quality “me-time” and intimate moments spent with a few close friends and loved ones above all.

By taking proper care of your relationships, you will reap the rewards of those efforts many times over the years, and you will build a strong support network that you can lean on in difficult times.

Think of How Often You Make Mistakes That Lead to Burnout

Now that you know how to prevent burnout, you must also investigate the kind of behaviours that have led you to it in the first place.

Assess your schedule and the specific things that led to exhaustion, and commit to avoiding making these mistakes from now on.

Remember, self-care is self-respect.

By living a more balanced life and taking proper care of yourself, you’re going to fortify yourself against the daily challenges and thrive as a franchise owner without worrying about burnout. 

And with that, you will achieve long-term sustainability in your endeavours, giving you the strength to pursue making all your dreams come true.

By admin

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