Is your motivation for running the day to day operations of your business starting to wane? The enthusiasm and commitment it takes to keep a small company afloat, let alone thrive, can feel never-ending. While your reserves of energy may have been limitless in the beginning, the nonstop grind of keeping things running can take its toll. How can you stoke the fires of inspiration again and work past feelings of burnout?

Don’t work 24/7.

Although this advice is obvious, really consider if you are fully disengaging from work as much as you should be. Downtime is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. No one comes up with fresh concepts or solutions to problems when they are exhausted. Making time for other things in your life can stimulate new ideas for your business that may not have occurred to you otherwise.

Schedule breaks – and take them.

Build time into your day that is designated solely for the purpose of taking a mental break from your work. Schedule a 30-minute block to take a walk outdoors, read something interesting or inspirational, or chat with someone who will brighten your day. See these time slots as necessary diversions that will rejuvenate your thought process when you return to your desk.

Think carefully about the projects you’re accepting.

There’s no bigger psychological drain than working on tasks that give you no sense of satisfaction or joy. If you can turn away projects that are not interesting to you, do it. Having too much work to do, especially on jobs that really don’t appeal to you, is a surefire way to burnout.

Delegate responsibility.

Are you getting bogged down by tasks that someone else could handle? Free up some time by handing off those jobs to someone else and get your focus back on the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Tap into why you originally started your business.

What was your motivation for striking out on your own? What was the vision you had and how can you get more closely aligned with it again? Also, spend some time thinking about the successes you’ve had and how far you’ve come. Remembering the progress you’ve made can help you keep perspective on the current challenges you face.

Get the support of likeminded people.

No one can relate more to your particular stressors than other small business owners. Reach out to connect with those who can understand your situation and offer what has worked for them when they have felt depleted and needed to recharge.

Invest in your health.

No, you don’t have time to exercise and eat right, but you still have to. Not attending to your physical health will only backfire in the long run. There are limits to how far you can push yourself. Something has to give – don’t let it be your health.

These suggestions are probably things you already know – the key is to actually put them into action. Try sincerely committing to at least one or two changes and seeing what effect it has. Feeling burned out in your career at some point may be inevitable, but having it derail your productivity indefinitely doesn’t have to be.

Susan Bryant is a writer and editor who enjoys working on diverse subject matter and collaborating on interesting projects. She can be contacted at