Productivity is essential to the growth of a business and as small business owners, we do everything we can to maximize our daily output. However, it is all too easy to unknowingly let this chase get the best of you. Sometimes, we work ourselves too hard for too long and find ourselves stricken with mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that makes it so much more difficult to do our daily tasks, whether they be work-related or not. That’s right — we’re talking about burnout. The fact of the matter is that productivity won’t mean very much if it leads to burnout, which can be damaging to mental health and self-worth. There are 5 stages of burnout. The first one is the Honeymoon Phase or the time in which we take on a task in which its success and productivity create a feeling of excitement and exhilaration. However, it is then followed by the “Onset of Stress”, which is the second stage. This is when it becomes noticeable that some days are harder than others, which is still fairly normal. When you continue to work through this, it often reaches the third stage known as “Chronic Stress”. This is when the occasional stressful day turns into a daily occurrence and it begins to affect your mood and homelife. Symptoms become critical when the fourth stage is reached, known as the titular “Burnout” stage. This is the point in which finding a way out on your own is rather difficult and your overall personality is beginning to shift towards more pessimism and isolation. Finally, burnout becomes part of you in the stage of “Habitual Burnout”, which oftentimes is accompanied by depression. This is scary, we know. It also might feel like there is no way that you might let yourself get to that point, but what makes it so scary is just how easy it is to slip into habitual burnout. Here are some tips on how to avoid and/or work through burnout so that you can always put your best foot forward in your work without making any compromises on your mental health.


Exercise is known to release all of the chemicals in your body that promote happiness and ward off depression. Your workout doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. There are plenty of videos online of teachers leading quick 15 minute workouts to get the blood (and some endorphins) pumping.

Practice good sleep habits

The body needs sleep in order to reset and rest, which is why it is so important to practice healthy sleeping habits. Trying to get an amount of sleep that makes you feel well-rested, avoiding caffeine around bedtime, and establishing a nighttime routine are just a few of the many ways to incorporate healthy sleeping habits into your life.

Ask for help

Whether you are asking coworkers or employees to pick up some of your tasks or reaching out to family and friends to talk to, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help when you need it. Don’t feel the need to pile every single task onto your list when there are other people who might be able to help out. Additionally, your family and friends want to be there for you. Let them.

Schedule free time

Make sure that you don’t end up dedicating every single second of every day to work. Scheduling free time where you turn off your phone and computer so you can enjoy being completely work free is essential.

Burnout is something that should be taken seriously because it is very, very easy to fall into. Self-care always comes first, remember that!