It’s completely normal to feel tired occasionally, particularly if you’ve been working hard on a project but chronic mental fatigue is something very different. You’ll feel as if you’re constantly feeling your way through a fog, unable to think clearly or focus on the tasks that need your attention.
Mental fatigue isn’t a symptom you should ever ignore. It’s a warning sign that you are becoming overloaded and need to slow down for a while. If you disregard what your body is trying to tell you, the consequences will be far worse, and you’ll end up completely breaking down – which is what happened to me for a year.
Here is a closer look at what mental fatigue feels like and why it’s so important for an entrepreneur to be able to tackle it effectively.
What is mental fatigue?
You may have heard the term before, but do you really know what mental fatigue feels like? Take a look at the following symptoms:
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Short term memory loss
• Difficulty focusing on or understanding information
• Eating too much or too little
• Lack of interest and motivation
• Mood swings
If you are experiencing several of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from mental fatigue. Next, we’re going to look at why it’s so important to overcome it if you’re an entrepreneur.
The driver of the business
Even if you have a good team behind you, the success of the business relies on you being committed and driven enough to maintain momentum. The employees carrying out the day to day tasks may be able to keep the business afloat temporarily but without you at the helm, it will soon flounder and fail.
If you’re suffering from mental fatigue, you won’t feel as motivated or driven to get involved and continue to push your business forward. Mental fatigue may seem trivial but if can be the single factor that causes widespread problems.
Your success depends on you
When you become an entrepreneur, you accept the responsibility for the success of your own finances. With the freedom to make your own decisions, you aren’t dependant upon a pay packet at the end of the month.
This can be extremely liberating and gives you the flexibility to earn more money if you’re a success. But the flip side of the coin is that if you fail, your income will suffer. Unlike regular employment where your salary is guaranteed, if you want to earn an income as an entrepreneur you can’t skimp on effort or hide away.
Other people rely on you too
When your business is a success, you need to consider the effect not just on your own income but what it could mean for those people working for you. Your employees will depend on the wages you pay them, so if the business collapses they could end up in financial difficulty too.
As an employer you have a responsibility to those who work for you. This is an extra burden to shoulder but it’s an integral part of being an entrepreneur.
Don’t wait to tackle it
The sooner you take steps to tackle your mental fatigue, the easier you’ll find it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as cutting back on the hours you work or taking a long-overdue holiday. In other cases, you might find that a therapist can help; being an entrepreneur can be a lonely position and it’s useful to talk through those feelings with a professional.
Become more self-aware about your state of mind, and what makes you feel better and take conscious steps to look after yourself, for the sake of everyone involved.
Also published on Medium.