6 habits for entrepreneurs to avoid burnout

Marc Lou
Marc Lou April 7th, 2022

Hey, I'm Marc, founding a startup from Bali 🌴

Wednesday, 9th June 2021. I started crying without knowing why. Suddenly, anger came out, I punched my bedroom wall and I sprained my wrist.

A wall with 4 fist punches
Not good

I thought creating 12 startups and earning 6 figures would make me indestructible... Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, paved with emotional ups and downs.

To handle what it takes and protect ourselves, we need a system. So here are 6 habits I use to stay sane (backed by science, books, and my own experience overcoming depression):

  1. 1. Make sleeping your #1 priority
  2. 2. Workout smart
  3. 3. Read non-fiction
  4. 4. Forget about goals
  5. 5. Eat smart
  6. 6. Daydream

1. Make sleeping your #1 priority

A koala sleeping on a tree

Among all these habits, sleep is the most important and the easiest to master.

The lack of it kills more people than any other disease.

Getting enough sleep increases your productivity, and creativity and make you less likely to get upset or angry.

Here are a few tips for you to sleep better:

  • 🔕 No alarm. Only your body knows how long it needs to sleep.
  • ☕️ No alcohol/coffee after 12 pm.
  • ✂️ Avoid segmenting your night by not drinking (too much) water before bed.
  • 🕣 Respect your inner clock and go to bed at the same time every day.

2. Workout smart

Zombies, Run! mobile app

Yes, working out is good for your body and your mind.

But I'm not going to repeat something you've heard countless times.

Instead, let's talk about willpower and how to want to work out.

I found 2 ways to be consistent and exercise every day:

  • Do a workout that does not require any willpower (surfing, skating, climbing). We are lucky to have a flexible schedule, so take advantage of it.
  • 🧩 Gamify your workouts. They are countless apps to help you find motivation by letting you catch Pokemons or avoid zombies while running.

3. Read non-fiction

Spider-Man reading a book

Here are 2 reasons I think every entrepreneur should read non-fiction books:

  1. 1. It takes a long time to get rewarded with your business. What you learn in books helps you make better business decisions and get rewarded faster.
  2. 2. Learning on a daily basis puts you in the right mood to crush your day.

Here are a few tips to start reading:

  • "Read what you love until you love to read." (by Naval Ravikant)
  • • Start small, just a few pages per day.
  • • Read before work to stay focused and get the most out of the book.

4. Forget about goals

A cake with a slice being pulled

No boss, no deadlines. Ha, what a life!

Enjoying your freedom is great, but the brain is made to work better under constraints.

Most people wait until it's almost too late to complete a task.

If your goals are not tangible and long-term, you're likely to procrastinate.

Here are a few tips to be productive:

  • 🔪 Split your work into chunks.
  • ✅ Write a to-do list every day before work.
  • ⏳ Be tight with deadlines.

5. Eat smart

A meme about a guy eating too much food as a diet

This is not the classic "You should eat healthy" tip. You already know that.

What you eat directly impacts your energy and your motivation.

For instance, eating 1 kg of pizza 🍕 (don't do it) will make you want to have a long nap.

Food is mood. Use this to your advantage. Eat the salad for lunch to stay light, and keep the pizza for dinner to sleep well.

6. Daydream

A guy daydreaming in front of the ocean

The entrepreneur Scott Adams said, "Let your imagination be the user interface to steer your reality".

Daydreaming is a form of meditation to hack your brain chemistry.

It energizes you and gives you the confidence you need to achieve your dreams.

The best part? It doesn't even have to be true!

To get pumped every morning, just think about where you'll be in 5 years (but don't think about how to get there).

Final thoughts

I hope these habits will help you as they helped me recover from depression (I'm full throttle building Habits Garden to help people fight procrastination!).

Keep in mind what's best is what's best for you. No one but you should tell you what to do.

If you have any questions, ping me on Twitter.

Discover other posts to fight procrastination, form good habits, break bad ones and live a better life.

"The #1 cause of burnout is doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing results."