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Chris LoCurto

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September 27, 2011

How To Avoid Emotional Fatigue In Business

September 27, 2011 | By | 13 Comments">13 Comments

Fatigue of any kind is highly likely for an entrepreneur who’s wearing many hats and trying to grow a business. Eleven years ago, Dave hired me to run a business. I basically lived at our old office then. I would work every day until 10 or 11 p.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I did everything I could to make that bottom line bigger.

I made sales calls all day long, while people were available, and switched to the administrative side of the business at night and on the weekends. My goal was to create enough revenue with my efforts, so I could hire a salesperson to replace me. That first hire gave me most of my nights and weekends back. After hiring two salespeople, I had enough revenue coming in to hire an admin position. This allowed me to focus more on the business instead of in the business.

Was I tired? Heck yeah! As I traveled around the country doing events, I would find myself getting really frustrated and…snippy. I could feel the emotional fatigue draining me by the end of a season.  Fortunately, I found a few things that would turn it around.

  • ZZZZZZ – The biggest culprit of emotional fatigue for me is being tired! No matter how good things are going, I get emotional if I’m tired. Sleep is an absolute must.
  • Cut it out! – I find that drinking caffeine to keep you going actually has a bad effect in the long run. It’s OK if you only need the boost for a short while, but most people burning the candle at both ends tend to drink caffeine all day or night. The consistent highs and lows definitely affect your emotions. Drink as much water as you can. Hydration is essential.
  • Road Trip!!! – I discovered long weekends. I made it a point at the end of every season to take at least one four-day weekend. I would either get away or find something to do around the house that was mindless. A quick trip to a resort/bed-and-breakfast/cabin recharged me enough to get back on track.
  • Turn ’em off! – You have to have down time that doesn’t include phones and computers—at least not where work is concerned. In fact, there are many studies that suggest computers mess with your melatonin levels, leaving you tired and unable to rest well.
  • Run Forest! – Get out and exercise. You don’t have to run a half marathon…although it’s not a bad idea. The more you exercise, the more you release endorphins into your system. They are like a happy drug for your body. The more, the merrier. (It was unavoidable. :-))

While most of these ideas seem time-consuming, especially when extra time is something no entrepreneur has, they are critical to your health and business. If you don’t take the time to prevent, you will take the time to fix. There’s no way around it. The truth is that the happier you are, the more productive you are.

Question: What do you do to avoid emotional fatigue?

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  • http://broshegroup.com/ Tyra

    So true Chris! These tips are really helpful to make us more productive in life and in business especially in today’s situation that most of us have to be double our productivity and effort. To make it possible we should be doing these things so that we won’t get fatigue not just physically, also emotionally. Thanks for sharing this. Stay inspired and more success!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thank you Tyra!

  • http://lgthaxton.wordpress.com Louise Thaxton

    Wow – Chris – I needed this blog! What a month it has been in the mortgage business – just now getting caught up on all my “blog” reads – thanks for a great post – a 4 day week-end sure does sound good!

  • http://www.medicalaccountsolutions.com misty

    Chris this was an excellent post…one that I wish had been introduced to me early in my “work career”. I was driven as a child that it was never enough, was told “work never hurt a body”, and many other comments and principals. I love work…get satisfaction out of it, not just the fact that my life depends on it 100% as I have no other income resources. I have had to learn the hard way that work, work, work, work, work, work, and more work will eventually lead you to emotional fatigue and emotional burnout even if you are passionate about what you do. One of my doctors says: “rest now for a little while or later for longer”. It is true and one that we must face. As a culture, we pride and pump up people who seem to be able to go and do above others and who work, never take vacations or breaks and give their life to business. I am not sure why we do this. We must implement these 5 things in small increments if we want to see results. I know, I have had to learn the hard way! And remember, it takes 27 days to learn a new habit, so be prepared to dig in and adjust to a new routine with your sleep schedule, exercise, work hours and breaks. I don’t speak as one who has arrived, I am still learning. I would welcome others thoughts and insights as to what has helped them…but you definitely have laid out the ground work of basic principals! Awesome stuff Chris!!!

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric Speir

    I think one of the best ways for me to rest is to get some sleep and find some down time to recharge my batteries. This is easier said than done. I sometimes have a hard time cutting things off and my wife has to remind me to take a break for the family.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Mmmmm….that’s when you know you’re not taking enough time, when your spouse tells you.

  • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com specializingintheimpossible

    I run. Oh those endorphins are great!
    I struggle with making myself go to sleep at a decent time….
    But I no longer allow myself to check work e-mail past 6:00 pm. Before, it would get really frustrating when I’m trying to sleep and an e-mail I received from my boss revisits me in the form of a nightmare! I’d say that’s being a little too stressed. :)

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Yeah, that’s a very important piece!

  • http://chaseelmore.wordpress.com Chase

    It’s funny that this was your post today, as it’s my first day back from my long weekend. I literally went to mountains and didn’t check email, connect with anyone, or even think about work for 3 days (phone off and left in the car). Best. Weekend. Ever.

    Now I’m back at it this morning and my staff is giving me crazy looks because I hit it like a freight train this morning. The emotional batteries are fully charged!

    Spot on post, Chris!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Hahaha…that’s awesome!!

  • http://twitter.com/tbric Tom Brichacek (@tbric)

    Joel must have followed your advice and slept in this morning! Your advice to take a day here and there to recharge is right on. I find myself in the same situation. Taking a Friday off allows you to recharge, as long as you don’t bring work with you!

    I also quit drinking caffeine totally. No soda, coffee, tea, etc. Straight water. That seems to have helped even out the day a lot better than the caffeine.

    Now to get to the point where the B&B is an option! (I’m sure my wife would love that one!)

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Hahaha….happy wife….happy life! :-)

    • http://joelfortner.wordpress.com Joel Fortner

      Ha! That’s right, Tom! I woke up, read the post and said, “You know, Chris is right! Forget this, I’m going back to sleep!” Well that’s the way it sort of happened at least. I actually got up at 5 to work, did so until 6:30, made breakfast for MaryBeth, ate with her, read the post and then, yes, I went back to sleep. Working from home this week for my “day job.” Of course I’d already pumped myself full of French press coffee so it wasn’t the best sleep ever but I did sleep! And I’m telling you, I needed it and I feel better now. MaryBeth and I both don’t get enough sleep and it definitely contributes to emotional fatigue. And now I’m off to the gym!