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Avoid Covid-19 Business Burnout

Protecting both your business and yourself from Covid-19 burnout is essential.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and all that it entails, can be a major underlying cause of chronic stress or other mental health issues, especially in business owners.

It is completely natural to be facing small or huge amounts of stress, anxiety, and frustration while struggling to keep your business afloat during this worldwide health crisis.

This may be causing you to become unfocused, unproductive, unmotivated, overwhelmed, and/or exhausted. So don't beat yourself up if you are not accomplishing everything you intended to do in the last couple of years, or even last week.

As well as following the Covid-19 business guidelines set out by your Government and for your region, here are a few useful tips to help you with business resilience, keeping afloat, and staying sane.

1) Reduce Expenses

If your business is struggling financially, take a look at your expenses:

  • Are there any monthly or yearly expenses that can be reduced or eliminated, either permanently or temporarily?

  • Are there any annual payments that you could change to monthly payments to help ease your cash flow?

  • Are there any areas of your business where you could make changes to reduce your costs, e.g. manufacturing, packaging, stationery, office supplies?

  • Could you combine outings to save money and time? For example, instead of checking your post office box every day, New Zealand Post has PO Box notifications available via email for free when there are parcels or mail to collect. (See the link below.)


2) Manage Deadlines & Workload

Not having enough to do can be as draining as the overwhelm of having too much to do. There are several things you can do to increase your motivation and therefore your productivity:

  • If not having enough work is the problem, consider reducing your work hours. You will naturally need to be more focused to get things done in a shorter amount of time.

  • Give yourself deadlines for projects or tasks, even if they don’t have or need one. There is a reason why most homework assignments and projects get finished at the last minute – a little deadline pressure can be great motivation.

3) Prioritize

Prioritizing tasks means that your limited energy or focus can be concentrated on the most important things first.

  • Block out specific times to plan and prioritize. Don’t try to squeeze this in when you have a spare few minutes.

  • Identify your top priorities, e.g. making money, keeping your clients happy, supporting your staff.

  • Decide what your top three tasks are for the day on the previous day. This means you can start your day with direction, knowing exactly what it is you need to achieve first.

4) Minimise Repetitious Tasks

Repetitious tasks can drain your energy and your motivation. Look at ways that you can minimize these for yourself and your team:

  • Systemize processes within your business.

  • Delegate or outsource repetitive tasks to your team or contractors. Instead of creating something from scratch, pass on the information and then approve the draft they create, e.g. letters, emails, quotes, or invoices.

  • Simplify tasks. Use a template, a checklist, or a step-by-step process so that you don’t have to think as hard each time to create it from scratch.

  • Reduce or eliminate tasks that don’t add value or really achieve anything.

  • Reduce the number of times certain tasks are done, e.g. can something be done every second day instead of every day? Or every week instead of three times a week? Or fortnightly instead of weekly?

  • Grouping the same tasks together is more efficient, e.g. block out time to do all of your phone calls in a row, then all of your email responses in a row.

5) Remove Clutter

Removing physical and digital clutter can make a big difference to your concentration levels. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Tidying your work/home office space and desk. Giving it a good ‘spring clean’ is also great. Hanging some inspirational artwork, photos of family, holidays, or goals, or even inspirational quotes can also help to lift your mood.

  • File away any completed or non-urgent documents or paperwork.

  • Archive emails or put them into relevant folders, and unsubscribe from any unwanted or unhelpful emails.

6) Learn To Switch Off

Switching off is a very important part of every day. You need to be present for other parts of your life, including your family, your friends, and yourself. Think of it as sharpening the axe before you start back into chopping the tree down.

  • Take time out for breaks. When you’re on a break, eat healthily and move – even if it’s a ten-minute walk around the block in your lunch break (whether you work from home or in an office).

  • Tighten up your work hours - don’t answer work calls before or after a specific time. You need downtime to relax and recharge your brain.

With new virus variants and continually changing circumstances, the effects of Covid-19 will be around for a good while yet. It is important that you don’t burn out before things settle down again. Look after yourself, your team, and your family. Reach out for support where you need it, and we will all get through this together.


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