Why Entrepreneurs Feel Drained and Tired

Why do entrepreneurs seem to feel overwhelmed, drained, or tired so much of the time?

Growing your business takes a tremendous amount of energy. We all know that we need energy in order to facilitate the growth of our business, but a lot of the time what ends up happening is we focus on tasks we hate, and it drains our energy.

Successful business owners spend their time doing what they’re best at, and they delegate the rest.

Let me walk you through an exercise that I use with my clients. It’s called the Love and Loathe exercise, and you could apply it in your business as well as your personal life. You’ll see there’s a tremendous amount of value in taking the time to do this both for yourself and your leadership team so that everyone can feel energized by what they do.

Think through the business activities that you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Some of those tasks energize you, some you feel neutral about, and some drain you. Just thinking about them is probably mentally straining for you.

What I want you to do is sort those daily activities into three categories:

  1. ‘Love it’
  2. ‘Like it/Live with it’
  3. ‘Loathe it’.

Love It tasks

They energize and motivate you. You’re excited to do them, and they’re easy for you to pick from this list.

Like it/Live with it tasks

You don’t mind doing these, or could improve on them, but overall you feel neutral about doing these tasks.

Loathe It tasks

You actively dislike these. They drain your energy, and they’re likely the ones you procrastinate on the most. You probably are not as great at these as the rest of your work, which contributes to the stress of them. However, as an entrepreneur, you may feel you’ve been forced into picking up these tasks.

You need to identify this last category, because these are the key to creating a more productive workday for you.

Entrepreneurs are typically great at a lot of different things, which is helpful in a startup environment because you wear a lot of hats in the business. What ends up happening, though, as entrepreneurs take on growth, is that they end up taking on all sorts of things without stopping to think about what they should stop doing, delegate to their team, or outsource.

As the business grows, we take on more and more, which is where that feeling of tiredness and overwhelm comes from. 

We need to ask ourselves: What am I uniquely qualified to do in the business? What is the highest and best use of my time? What energizes me the most?

When we think of these as three circles that overlap, the intersection is where you want to be spending your time. That’s the area that will energize you and offer the highest and best use of your time in your business as it’s scaling up.

In the Love and Loathe worksheet, we look at these three areas and focus in on the ‘Loathe’ category. We’re going to ask ‘what can we stop doing?’ Very often, we haven’t thought about whether we need to continue to do a task as the business grows. Often, there are a lot of activities that you don’t need to do anymore, but you haven’t taken the time to think about it, and so they’re still being done today (and taking time away from what needs to happen now).

The area where you spend your time should be integral to the value proposition of your business. Some tasks, you may find, are so far removed from it that stopping them entirely won’t change anything. Other tasks are important, but they don’t need to be your daily responsibility. It’s crucial to learn how to delegate tasks to your team member, or find outsourced help where required.

Don’t waste your newfound time.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to stop doing or delegate, take the time you’ve freed up and invest it in the things you love. Again, you really want to focus on the things that give you energy and are the highest and best use of time that you’re uniquely qualified to do in your business.

When you make more time for the things you love in the business, you’re automatically going to have more energy because you’re spending your time on the things that you love and you’re creating more value in doing so.

You’ll find this isn’t a one-time process – it’s a continual cycle of improving the amount of time that you’re investing in things that energize you, and that you’re the best at in the business.

Bonus points if the person you delegate to LOVES doing that task.

Your Loathe areas may very well be someone else’s Love areas, and you’ll both be more energized, efficient, and excited to work by trading these responsibilities. You’re taking advantage of their Unique Abilities, as Dan Sullivan would call it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your business, this is a great exercise to work through – both for yourself and your leadership team. By redistributing these tasks correctly, you’re powering up your whole team.

Click the banner below to download the Love and Loathe exercise worksheet.

If you want to schedule a time to discuss optimizing your team’s priorities for growth, I’d be happy to speak with you. Just click the link below and let’s connect.

Book a Call with Stuart